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Saturday, February 10, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Fountain

The Fountain
Music by Clint Mansell
Nonesuch 79901-2 (US)
10 Tracks 46:20 mins

One of the most memorable blends of vision and music were achieved by director Darrne Aronofsky and composer Clint Mansell for Requiem for a Dream. Mansell enlisted the services of the Kronos Quartet for that score and he again calls on them for his latest collaboration with Aronofsky on the fantasy The Fountain, a film starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, who play characters in three different time periods.
Mansell went away from his usual minimalistic style for Sahara, but he returns to the form for this score, also calling on the services of Glasgow band Mogwai, famed for their guitar heavy approach, and also utilising choir quite subtly here and there. I'll obviously reserve my judgment on the success of these collabrations upon the film itself, as I haven't seen it as yet, but it makes for a fine, if somewhat repetitive listening experience on album, but then this is to be expected if you are familiar with past Mansell works and if you also appreciate the film scores of the likes of Philip Glass.
It's difficult to choose my best tracks, as they often flow easily from one to another, but I found the linking cues "Holy Dread!" and "Tree of Life" quite powerful in their closing/opening intensity, and "Death is the Road to Awe" is by far the single most powerful rendering of Mansell's main thematic material. Although piano does feature alongside the guitars and string work throughout the score, the final track "Together We Will Live Forever" is quite out of character with what has gone before, not in terms of thematic material, as it doesn't stray far from the main theme, but in the fact that it purely features piano, which makes the ending of the album all the more impactful for it.
Requiem for a Dream will I suspect always be my favourite Aronofsky/Mansell collaboration, but The Fountain, based on the album alone, is not too far behind, and I am eager to see the film itself.


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