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The Mask of Zorro (Soundtrack) by James Horner

Tracksounds Rating = 9/10

The Mask of Zorro (Soundtrack) by James Horner

Composed by James Horner
Performed by The London Symphony Orchestra
Released by Sony Classical on July 7, 1998

Track Title Time Rating The Mark of Horner
by Christopher Coleman

James Horner certainly came out of the 1997 Academy awards feeling pretty peachy.   His score and title song for Titanic earned him well deserved and overdue Oscars.  What does one do for an encore?  Certainly, his next release, Deep Impact, didn't have the same umph as Titanic, but Mr. Horner wasn't about to take the Oscar-slide into medocrity.  His very next work would return him to the romantic-adventure genre.  It is here that James Horner continues to make his unforgettable mark.

The Mask of Zorro is a score that has all of the elements film music fans have come to expect from Horner (for Horner fans that is great news…for the  Horner-appreciatively-challenged, it’s bad news!)

For this score, Horner implements a long missed instrument, the shakuhachi, played masterfully by Kazu Matsui. Many will remember this instrument from   Willow, Legends of the Fall, and A Far Off Place. This instrument is one of the reasons these are among my favorite Horner scores. Now, Zorro has been added to that list.  

The start of the CD grabs your attention with a quick strike of the Spanish guitar and a blast of bass.  The shakuhachi gains increasing volume until Horner throws in something new, Flamenco dancers!  Everytime these Flamenco dancers "appear" (and that is in nearly every action cue) my attention is enjoyably grabbed!  Horner pays homage to the Zorro flicks of old with the heroic trumpet and sweeping strings as well.  Great action cues are not the only listenable cuts in this movie.  Horner rounds out the score with some very tender and beautiful moments as he did in Braveheart.  In accomplishing this, he employs the innocence of the flute on several tracks. The Confession (Track 7) is probably the prettiest of the lot...and probably my favorite of the CD.

This is Horner’s most heroic piece since The Rocketeer. It is filled with bright and crisp sounding action/suspense sequences reminiscent of Apollo 13  and  Deep Impact. Even though there are the trademark Horner sounds, there is still a freshness to each action cue.  This trait alone places it far above his other 1997 comet-crashing release.  

There are other similarities to the Willow score aside from the shakuhachi.  The villianous theme, a short burst four notes from the brass section, is identical to that of Willow.  While this will irritate the dickens out of some film music fans, I find it works for this film equally.

The final track is yet another pop tune, composed by Horner with the lyrics written by his Academy Award winning partner, Will Jennings. It is quite a catchy little tune and will is filling the FM airwaves. If you could stand to hear something different from My Heart Will Go On, raise your hand!…Wow! That’s a lot of hands.

Having finally been recognized by his peers in being awarded two Oscars, James Horner did not ease up when it came to scoring The Mask of Zorro.  Instead, he returned to some of his trademark sounds and dazzled the movie audience with an elegant stroke of his baton and an adventurous thrust of some of his most heroic stuff in years.   I believe this score will become a favorite of film music enthusiasts, especially Horner fans, in 1998.  

1

The Plaza of Execution

8:28

****
2

Elena and Esperanza

8:20

****
3

The Ride

3:25

***
4 Elena's Truth 4:11 **
5

The Fencing Lesson

5:29

****
6

Tornado in the Barracks

5:12

**
7

The Confession

3:43

*****
8

Zorro's Theme

5:05

****
9

The Mine (Montero's Vision)

3:00

***
10

Stealing the Map

6:30

****
11

"Leave No Witnesses..."

13:21

**
12

Diego's Goodbye

5:31

****
13

I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You (performed by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena)+

4:41

****
  Total PlayingTime 77:16    

Category

Score

 

Film Continuity

10  
Themes and Composition 9  

Originality

7  

CD Length

9  

Track Order

9  

Performance

9  

Final Score

9  
         

Other reviews:

Now, one cannot say that James Horner's approach is particularly unique - flamenco for Zorro is more than a cliche, it's an institution. But, on the other hand, this is something James Horner has never done, and boy, how often can we say that about this composer?" -

Mikael Carlsson
- Moviescore Online

James Horner
Composer 
James Horner

The Mask of Zorro (Soundtrack) by James Horner
This must be James Horner's first proper action outing in a long while, in fact the last pure action score by Horner I can think of is possibly The Rocketeer and that was about decade ago.

Andreas Lindahl - The James Horner Web Site

Purchase this CD at

The Mask of Zorro (Soundtrack) by James Horner

 

All artwork from The Mask of Zorro is exclusive property of Sony Classical (c) 1998.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.

 

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