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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The Oscar nominations are in and, not surprisingly, Golden Globe winner Dario Marianelli makes the list with his Atonement score. The other nominees are Alberto Iglesias for The Kite Runner, James Newton Howard for Michael Clayton, Mark Isham for In the Valley of Elah, Michael Giacchino for Ratatouille and Marco Beltrami for 3:10 To Yuma. Perhaps one 0r two surprises there and it just remains to be seen whether one of these fine gents will actually get to collect his trophy at the Awards Ceremony, or whether, like the Golden Globes, industrial action causes the cancellation of the usually glittering proceedings.

Klute/All The Presidents Men
Music by Michael Small/Music by David Shire
Film Score Monthly Vol.10 No.16 (US)
53 Tracks 78:57 mins

If you are lucky you may have a copy of the bootleg recording of Michael Small's score for the 1971 thriller Klute, which has been doing the rounds in one form or another for years. This recording was of pretty inferior quality, but better than nothing. Now, at last, FSM has done us all a favour by issuing the complete stereo score for the film, with ten more tracks than on the bootleg.
I had a friend once who swore the Klute score was the greatest thing since sliced bread and, whilst I couldn't quite see the appeal, I have to admit that the melancholy trumpet love theme is something of a classic of its time. It heads off the album in a stand-along arrangement, and appears a few more times during the course of the score before rounding things off in the "End Title." The remainder of the score mixes source music with Small's eerie, avant garde chamber sounds, representing the killer stalking the Jane Fonda character. It was an approach unheard of at the time and very effective, but doesn't make for the greatest listening experience away from the film. Nevertheless, it's great to have a proper recording of Small's groundbreaking music.
Allied to Klute on this disc, we have David Shire's music for 1976's All The President's Men, which comes in at barely 30 minutes, and so makes for good filler material. Shire, like Small has often been an underrated composer, but has written some terrific music over the years, particularly in the '70s. The score for All The President's Men doesn't get going until 30 minutes into the film and is often understated, giving an underlying pulse to Woodward's and Bernstein's often necessarily shadowy investigations. It largely consists of the one, often low-key, but persistent theme for French horns, which propels the plot along to a more forceful closing rendition in the "Finale and End Title." Many of the cues are quite brief, but flow well together on the album. Some of the score was not used in the final cut of the film, and is heard here for the first time.
As usual, a colourful illustrated booklet accompanies the CD, with Kyle Renick's notes on the films and their scores, as well as the always valuable cue-by-cue guide. Go to for more information, samples and to purchase your copy.


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