Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Private Fears in Public Places
Music by Mark Snow
BSX Records BSXCD 8839 (US)
23 Tracks 49:54 mins

I was staggered, but delighted to receive a big box of CDs from BSX Records recently. It contained all their latest releases, Private Fears in Public Places by Mark Snow; A Raisin in the Sun by Mervyn Warren and Scenes of the Crime/A Child's Game by Christopher Young; plus a number from their recent back catalogue, including Without a Clue by Henry Mancini, Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter by Laurie Johnson, An Unfinished Life, again by Christopher Young, Cinemusic by Chuck Cirino, and a couple of William Ross scores. In addition, there are numerous exclusives, like Howard Blake's The Duellists/Riddle of the Sands, Joel Goldsmith's Stargate: the Ark of Truth and The Incredible Hulk by Joe Harnell; all available from the Buysoundtrax website. I shall be reviewing them all in the days to come, but start today with the very latest BSX release, Mark Snow's score for the award-winning Alain Resnais film Private Fears in Public Places, or Coeurs, as it was originally known. Indeed, not only did Resnais win the award for best director at the Venice Film Festival, but Snow's score also received recognition in the form of a Cesar Award nomination.
Back in November 2006, the composer's publicists, Costa Communications, kindly made me aware of his work on the film and also sent me an advance CD featuring selections from the score. This is what I had to say: " the disc opens with Snow's main theme, which is tinged with loneliness to start with, but develops into a pleasant, flowing piece for piano, orchestra (live or sampled, I find it difficult to tell) and synths. The subsequent score is very much in Snow's familiar style, with some sensitive, intimate scoring, as well as more flowing pieces and almost dreamlike moments, coupled with more threatening, percussive pieces. It all leaves one begging for more."
Well, more we have, with this release, nearly 30 minutes' worth, and my question regarding the live orchestra (or not) is answered in the accompanying booklet, with the notes by Randall D. Larson (and quotes by the composer himself) revealing that the score was totally realised in Snow's studio in Connecticut, performing keyboards himself and utlising samples.
It is so rare to have any of Mark Snow's music on CD that I am sure his many fans will snap up a copy of this limited edition release of just 1000 units. If you haven't yet, what are you waiting for? Go to to order. Their excellent e-mailed newsletter not only keeps you up to date with all the latest soundtrack releases, obtainable from their site, but also carries news of offers, and the splendid Soundtrax column by Randall D. Larson, where you can read reviews and news of all the latest releases, as well as interviews with composers. Neal Acree is the latest interviewee, but archived are chats with the likes of Bill Conti, Mark Isham, George S. Clinton, Bear McCreary, Brian Tyler, and of course Mark Snow.


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