Pan's Labyrinth (soundtrack) by Kyle Eastwood & Michael Stevens

 

 

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Pan's Labyrinth by Javier Navarrete


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Pan's Labyrinth (Soundtrack) by Javier Navarrete

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Composed by Javier Navarrete
Milan Records

Rating: 7/10

Buy Pan's Labyrinth by Javier Navarrete  from Amazon.com

 

Listen to this soundclip of Pan's LabyrinthLong, Long Time Ago (300 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Pan's LabyrinthA Book of Blood (433 kb)


More clips from Pan's Labyrinth at Amazon.com

 

“In his musical score to the film, Javier Navarrete has accomplished the difficult task of incorporating elements of fantasy, suspense, and horror. ”

Magical Mayhem
Review by Cap Stewart


Genre blending can be a tricky business, even for the most skilled filmmakers. Movies with multiple personalities don’t usually receive universal critical acclaim. 2006’s exception to that rule was PAN'S LABYRINTH, a story best described as a gothic fairy tale.

The narrative centers on Ofelia, a young girl struggling to survive in war-torn Spain while also embarking on a quest into a literal world of fantasy. Though it may sound thematically similar to the Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe this is not. Appropriate only for adults, the film incorporates fantastical elements like fauns and fairies, as well as much blood, violence—and even torture. Truth be told, even the fantasy elements of the film are steeped in darkness. Both worlds Ofelia inhabits are sinister, coming together in an effective climax (though whether the ending is cathartic or not will largely depend on the emotional state of the viewer).

In his musical score to the film, Javier Navarrete has accomplished the difficult task of incorporating elements of fantasy, suspense, and horror. Instead of throwing everything into a disjointed, jumbled mess, Navarrete has managed to weave numerous musical genres into an enjoyable tapestry.

The first time I popped this album in my CD player, it was snowing outside. The music perfectly captured the feel of the moment, as gently falling snow blanketed the world outside. Hence, I have labeled this score “snowflake music.” (Brilliantly technical, no?)

The foundation of the score is a simple lullaby, to which we are introduced at the beginning of the album. In the first track, “Long, Long Time Ago” (and in only three other occasions on the CD), child vocalist Lua hums the theme, her innocent voice accompanied by piano, strings, and ethereal choir. It’s a surprisingly effective theme, especially considering it’s simple melodic progression. Throughout the score, it is utilized with varying orchestrations, tempos, and syncopations.

Though the theme itself hints at innocence, the context of the story is anything but. Consequently, most of the music carries serious—if not downright dark and sinister—tones. There is plenty of brooding underscore, crescendos of increasing tension, and growing suspense. Only in a couple instances, though, does Navarrete delve into pure atonality—once each in “A Book of Blood” (track 8) and “Pan and the Full Moon” (track 18). And except for the occasional beating of drums and one or two instances of a use of a snare, there is no blatant musical hint that this story takes place in the middle of a war.

Listening to the album, one might think it is longer than it actually is. The reason for this is the presence of several musical pauses—between tracks, yes, but also within each track and even sometimes in the middle of a cue. Don’t be surprised to glance up at the CD player and find yourself only on track 8 when you thought you were closer to track 15. It isn’t clear what purpose is served by these pauses, but thankfully they don’t detrimentally detract from the listening experience.

The “musical arc” of the score comes to an emotional cadence in “A Princess” (track 20), where we finally step out of the darkness and actually see a flicker of light. This is the final time we hear Lua humming the main theme, accompanied by the soothing presence of the choir. Then, as if caught up in emotion and unable to continue, Lua abruptly stops. The choir quietly takes over and finishes the track. It’s a nice touch—dramatic and poignant.

“Pan’s Labyrinth Lullaby” (track 21) ends the album with a mournful violin playing the main theme, accompanied by piano. It provides the perfect bookend to a solid dramatic musical score.
 

Rating: 7/10

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Long, Long Time Ago 2:11  *****
2 The Labyrinth 4:04  ***
3 Rose, Dragon 3:34  ***
4 The Fairy and the Labyrinth 3:33  ***
5 Three Trials 2:04  ***
6 The Moribund Tree and the Toad 7:08  **
7 Guerrilleros 2:05  **
8 A Book of Blood 3:47  ***
9 Mercedes Lullaby 1:35  ***
10 The Refuge 1:32  ****
11 Hot Human 5:52  ***
12 The River 2:48  ***
13 A Tale 1:52  ***
14 Deep Forest 5:45  **
15 Vals of the Mandrake 3:38  ***
16 The Funeral 2:42  ***
17 Mercedes 5:34  ***
18 Pan and the Full Moon 5:04  ***
19 Ofelia 2:16  ***
20 A Princess 3:59  *****
21 Pan's Labyrinth Lullaby 1:47  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 73 minutes  

 

 
   

 

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