from the Darkness - Inspiration!
Conducted, and Produced by Christopher Gordon
For most, their first impressions of Christopher Gordon’s score for On the Beach are filled with unexpected jubilation. His score is simply an unanticipated marvel. However, if the sources of Gordon’s inspiration are considered, such an intriguing, multifaceted, score might not be so surprising.
This Showtime mini-series starring Armand Asante, Bryan
Brown (and wherever Bryan Brown is, his wife, actress Rachel Ward is nearby), is an updated remake
of the all-star 1959 original film. The
1959 film featured the incomparable talents of Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner,
Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins and the score composed by Ernest Gold.
The potential threat of world wide nuclear war is realized
and only Australia has been spared…for the moment; however, clouds of radiation are riding the
One US submarine has managed to survive the holocaust and is set out on a life and
Add to this the proverbial love triangle and any film score composer would be
salivating at the possibilities.
Add to this the proverbial love triangle and any film score composer would be salivating at the possibilities.
Ironically, with the aftermath of nuclear war as the setting
for a film, one would likely not anticipate a score that is full of life and
vibrancy yet Christopher Gordon delivers a great deal of just that.
On the Beach is filled
with moments of unforgettable beauty, heroic determination, and
On the Beach has already garnered critical acclaim and
deservingly so. Varese Sarabande
has released one of the best listens of 2000, as the over 73 minutes of score
never become repetitive. Bombastic
moments of militaristic intrigue are cunningly contrasted with ethereal
choral pieces, strings, and varying brass solos- each having its own
personality, but together forming an even greater poignant musical
Gordon’s score firsts grabs the listener with its boldness in track 1, The World at War. Here, Gordon establishes the main theme that is found
scattered throughout in a plethora of unexpected yet entertaining forms.
His own style of militaristic bombast will remind many of another
surprisingly popular score, Medal of Honor by Michael Giacchino.
This sort of gusto-filled music is sure to keep your ears at attention
as long as it plays. While
Track 7, Through the Darkness, supplies some of the most
beautiful music of the score, featuring unforgettable strings and lead by the
violin. If one has a “thing”
great string pieces, this is a sure gem. Tracks such as this
are what helps to seperate On the Beach from other wartime, sub films, such
as 2000's earlier release, U-571. It is Gordon's ability to
weave memorable romantic themes with romantic memorial themes, that makes
this score such a pleasure to listen to...over and over again.
Tracks such as this are what helps to seperate On the Beach from other wartime, sub films, such as 2000's earlier release, U-571. It is Gordon's ability to weave memorable romantic themes with romantic memorial themes, that makes this score such a pleasure to listen to...over and over again.
The Summer of 2000 has seen the release of some highly anticipated films and scores. Many delivering the goods, some not. All in all, the Summer of 2000 could be qualified as a good one for film music lovers. Just when heat and brightness of all the Summer hits began to fade, out of the subtle darkness of Summer cable television comes a truly inspired score, On the Beach.
Track Listing and Ratings
have been many fine television scores this year - fine theatrical film
scores as well. But the best of them sit alongside this one - ONE THE BEACH.
It's a moving, emotional and beautiful score from a real craftsman of
orchestral music -- Christopher Gordon. I can't recommend it enough!
Gordon's militaristic score features far more depth and feeling than most scores for theatrical films, let alone ones made for television. While the old problem of the album being far too long is in evidence yet again (it's unfortunate that most soundtrack album producers are unable to resist the temptation of putting as much music as they can possibly afford on albums, whether it deserves to be there or not) there is certainly enough top-grade material on offer here to warrant a strong recommendation. ****
James Southall - Movie Wave
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