End of the Immortal
Stephen Graziano and Nick Glennie Smith
Something was missing. Reaching two-thirds through the year of 2000, there has been
no significant Celtic-film score released.
1995 and James Horner’s epic music for Braveheart, Hollywood has made sure
that this Celtic influence remained prominent.
If there has been a such a void in the film music releases in 2000, then it
has likely been filled…at least partially.
In the fourteen years since its original theatrical release, Highlander has become somewhat of an international sensation due to the comic series, television series, and movie sequels. The score to the original film, Highlander, was written by Michael Kamen, but unfortunately, none of his original theme remains as we have reached the story's last installment, Highlander: Endgame.
Ex-Media Ventures veteran, Nick Glennie Smith, collaborates
with the not-so-familiar composer, Stephen Graziano to score the final chapter in the
long running story of Highlander, which originally launched in 1986.
While Glennie-Smith is recognized for his work for The Rock, Graziano
has an impressive list of music composed for film trailers: Dances With Wolves,
A River Runs Through It, Waking Ned Devine, and for
television including: Dawson's Creek, Sliders, The Outer Limits, and Party of
While Glennie-Smith is recognized for his work for The Rock, Graziano has an impressive list of music composed for film trailers: Dances With Wolves, A River Runs Through It, Waking Ned Devine, and for television including: Dawson's Creek, Sliders, The Outer Limits, and Party of Five.
Opening the score is a somewhat contemporary rendition of
the traditional Celtic song, “Bonny Portmore,” sung hauntingly by
Jennifer McNeil. Her vocal talents are
also heard in track 8, Prelude/ The Song of the Pooka. The
second track kicks the score into full gear with a 10 minute Opening Title sequence. Meandering with a solitary then ominous atmosphere, one can't
help think of sort of material Media Ventures has produced over the
years. The solemn choral section
gives this track, along with a few others, that distinctive MV-touch. This piece also weaves in the traditional as well-
paralleling the epoch and cultural hopping of the Highlander plot.
Another notable track featuring Nick Glennie- Smith’s choral arrangements
track 6, Heather Cuts Her Hair. Whenever
this trademark element appears, it is a definite highlight of the score.
Graziano’s 10 minute track is matched by one of similar length of
Nick Glennie Smith.
While it starts out in classic Media Ventures style it quickly shifts
into a more lighthearted and rhythmic section, before, shifting back again to
the formidable MV style. Still,
within this lengthy track, the music shifts again to reflect the Scottish
influence underlying the storyline and will certainly remind Glennie-Smith fans of
portions of The Man in the Iron Mask. The best track of the the CD may be track 14, Killing an Old
Friend. While it is rather brief, it contains the main theme and the
two major elements (Celtic and synthesized) that comprise this score.
The best track of the the CD may be track 14, Killing an Old Friend. While it is rather brief, it contains the main theme and the two major elements (Celtic and synthesized) that comprise this score.
While Highlander: Endgame is certainly not a Braveheart or Durango, it does break a rather lengthy draught in the film music genre. For consistency's sake, it would have been nice to hear Kamen's original theme incorporated. In any event, a satisfactory end to this tale of immortality. Albeit, a bit of a hodge-podge nature, Nick Glennie Smith and Stephen Graziano combine to provide the listener with a score that features a good number of intriguing musical moments. For those who enjoy the techno-moody style of music that tends to emerge on the Sonic Images record label, then this GNP Crescendo release might be worth investigating.
Track Listing and Ratings
it is a jumbled album, but it has several very strong stylistic expressions
of a minute or two in length throughout its contents. The sound is modern
and contains enough traditional Scottish influence to keep it afloat on the
whole, but I can only wish that that the two composers could have
collaborated together more closely, as they only did with the excellent
sixth track. As is, the album is not quite as immortal as we might have
Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks
There's too much reliance on electronic sound effects and not enough on developing any musical ideas. You know something is wrong when the CD sound quality is better than the music by these two composers. **
Roger Hall - Film Music Review
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