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Highlander: End Game (Soundtrack) by Nick Glennie-Smith and Stephen Graziano

 

End of the Immortal
Review by Christopher Coleman

Composed by Stephen Graziano and Nick Glennie Smith
Released by GNP Crescendo Records  October 2000

Highlander: Endgame

Highlander: End Game (Soundtrack) by Nick Glennie-Smith and Stephen Graziano

Highlander: End Game (Soundtrack) by Nick Glennie-Smith and Stephen Graziano

Category

Score
Originality 7
Music Selection 7
Composition 7
CD Length 8
Track Order 7
Performance 7
Final Score 7/10

Something was missing.  Reaching two-thirds through the year of 2000, there has been no significant Celtic-film score released.  Seemingly, since 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 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 is 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. 

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

 Track  Title  Time

  Rating

1 Bonny Portmore * 3:36  ***
2 Opening Titles 10:18  ****
3 Motorcycle Gang Fight 4:46  **
4 Driving to Loft/ Getting Duncan/ Ride to the Grave 2:36  **
5 Say Goodbye to Kate/ Last Supper Slash 3:33  ***

6 Heather Cuts Her Hair Sound Clip 1:08  ****
7 There Can Only Be One! (Killing Kell) 6:53  ***
8 Prelude/ The Song of the Pooka * 3:32  ***
9 The Legend of the Immortals 10:34  ***
10 Connor and Duncan Fight Together 0:45  ***
11 Duncan Visits the Loft 0:54  ***
12 The Hidden Room 1:16  ***
13 Attack at the Loft 6:08  ***
14 Killing an Old Friend 2:17  ****
15 In Memory of Connor 3:58  ***
 

Total Running Time

62:22  
 
 

* Traditional

Referenced Reviews:  
Braveheart | Durango

 

Quick Quotes

Overall, 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 hoped. ***

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

 

 

Composer 
Stephen Graziano


Composer
Nick Glennie Smith



Highlander: Endgame 

Amazon.com | CDNow.com


Sound clips

Track 6 - Heather Cuts Her Hair Sound Clip

 

 

 

 

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