Serenada Schizophrana D1 Sheet Poster available at Moviegoods.com

 

 

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Serenada Schizophrana by Danny Elfman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serenada Schizophrana (Soundtrack) by Danny Elfman

Serenada Schizophrana
Composed by Danny Elfman
Sony Classical Records

Rating: 8/10

Buy Serenada Schizophrana by Danny Elfman  from Amazon.com

 

Listen to this soundclip of SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANAI. Pianos (530 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANAII. Blue Strings (499 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANAIII. A Brass Thing (388 kb)

 

“Elfman's effort here echoes instances of his past film music work - a measure here, a variation there, but the six movements he has composed for this concert seems infused with something more. Something that grabs the ear and doesn't let go until the conclusion of the eighth track.”

Elfman's Music for a Splitting Mind
Review by Christopher Coleman


It is usually a pleasure to see what a mainstay of film music does when given the opportunity to write music outside the constraints of the typical Hollywood film. Probably the most recognized composer to do so has been John Williams...and this may be due, in large part, because he is simply the most recognizable film music composer around. Not to be forgotten are Lee Holdridge and the late Michael Kamen who have had similar opportunities in the not- too-distant-past. Now another A-list composer has been added to their ranks.

Composer Danny Elfman is also a fairly recognizable name. Whether it because of his association with the group Oingo Boingo or his film music association with director Tim Burton, his name isn't completely obscure to the general public. Even if it was, his music certainly isn't. How many kids recognize the Batman theme (from the 90s) or the new millenium Spiderman theme? How many tubers realize that one of TV's most popular television shows, Desperate Housewives, or one of its longest running, The Simpsons, is starting as the first few notes of Elfman's title theme begin to play? Danny Elfman has certainly carved out for himself a place in Hollywood...but as a symphonic concert composer?

To answer my own question. "Yes." This too has now been added to his impressive resume with his release of SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANA. Elfman was commissioned the American Composers Orchestra to write music specifically for concert performance. Danny Elfman has developed a compositional style that remains unique in a industry that jumps on and off trends faster than MTV. Being freed from the limits of feature film scoring, the prospect of such a project certainly had fans curious as to how far Elfman would launch himself.

As it turns out SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANA is one of Elfman's most interesting releases in a number of years. While his film music is at least adequate for the given film, and occasionally gets some soundtrack fans stirred up, his music, even with its uniqueness, has only rarely excited me. However SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANA changes that...as I find myself refreshingly stirred.

Elfman's effort here echoes instances of his past film music work - a measure here, a variation there, but the six movements he has composed for this concert seems infused with something more. Something that grabs the ear and doesn't let go until the conclusion of the eighth track. SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANA begins with a rousing piece called "Piano" but the seven minute piece goes far beyond the efforts of that lone instrument. The track builds into a full-force, orchestral onslaught of woodwinds, then timpani, then brass and strings evoking memories of said Spiderman, eventually moving into realms usually associated with John Williams or even Bernard Herrmann. This instance isn't the last time one will think of the great Bernard Herrmann while listening to this CD either. Just wait until track 4, The Quadruped Patrol. It simply great stuff. With Herrmann in mind still, things turn slightly darker, slightly more menacing in "Blue Strings" - an over ten minute piece of languishing strings and deep brass.

It's difficult to keep comparing Elfman's work here to the work of others, but it is only meant as high praise. As in other tracks, "A Brass Thing" is at its onset, highly evocative of some of John Williams work from the 70's (think Jawas or March of the Villains). Elfman doesn't leave it there however. He adds an interesting snare, tapping out a bit of a tango, before the piece moves into a brief jazz section alternating with some classic Elfman dramatic quirkiness (of the Men in Black variety). The piece ends quite melodically with harp and flute...sorry again, Mr. Elfman, but I'm thinking of Princess Leia. It's high praise...really.

Finishing out this CD experience, comes the lively vocal, "I Forget," the chromatic, "Bells and Whistles," a reprise of track 4 in "End Tag" and the introspective "Improv for Alto Sax." While these conclusing tracks are intriguing and quite listenable, the bulk of the music's best moments reside within the first five tracks.

Danny Elfman's SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANA is a surprisingly entertaining work. Those entrenched in the realms of classical music will be able to appreciate Elfman's complexity while his devoted fans will find this a pleasing release which sits nicely along side his best film score efforts.
 

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 I. Pianos 7:00  ****
2 II. Blue Strings 10:08  ****
3 III. A Brass Thing 7:55  ****
4 IV. The Quadruped Patrol 2:55  ****
5 V. "I Forget" 6:23  ****
6 VI. Bells and Whistles 8:07  ***
7 End Tag 0:51  ***
8 Improv for Alto Sax 2:06  ***
       

 

   

 

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