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Friday, December 12, 2008


Cinema Symphony
Music by Andrew Pearce
MovieScore media MMS 08023
6 Tracks 67:59 mins

This is a special project for MovieScore Media in that it is the first non-soundtrack they have released. The composer of this new concert work, Andrew Pearce, has been involved in a number of the label's previous soundtrack releases as an orchestrator for Guy Farley. Here, he has written a large orchestral work, in four movements, which pays tribute to the Hollywood film score, performed wonderfully by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, under the baton of Jose Serebrier. In addition, the album also features Pearce's Elegy for Violin and Orchestra and Celtic Warrior: Prelude for Orchestra, both of which are also written in cinematic style.
The first movement of the Symphony, "Pastorale-Fanfare-Scherzo," gets off to a peaceful, yet broad start, with John Williams-like solo trumpet soaring over the orchestra. This in turn becomes a big, brassy and dramatic fanfare, which leads into some furious action writing, becoming lighter for a time, before proceeding in determined fashion, increasing in power, but then fading away to its conclusion.
Movement 2, "Lento Misterioso - Dreams," features a violin solo by Miriam Kramer early on, and does indeed have its moments of mystery, but is also hugely powerful at times and, at others, quite lyrical, before reaching its impressive climax.
The third movement, "Allegro-Cantabile-Presto," features much conflict, with Goldsmith-like ostinatos, but also some impressive, soaring brass writing, at times filled with awe and wonder; but the action writing soon returns, only to give way to a more lyrical passage, before a final orchestral onslaught brings the movement to a close.
The final movement, "Allegro Con Fuoco-Lento Sostenuto" is the lengthiest at more than 21 minutes and initially reprises the fanfare from the first movement, This gives way to some more furious conflict, then a somewhat mournful passage, with expressive horn and string writing arising from it, and leading to a bold, brassy crescendo, dying away to a quiet conclusion.
Elegy for Violin and Orchestra of course gives Ms Kramer her place in the sun. This 9-minute piece is really quite beautiful and expressive, and again reminds somewhat of John Williams, the famed composer having written several such pieces that have been included in his concert repertoire over the years.
The final work on this CD is the aforementioned Celtic Warrior: Prelude for Orchestra, which starts out quietly and expectantly, before developing into an heroic, stirring theme, which is probably my favourite piece on the album. After a big crescendo, there's a quiet moment of reflection to end.
Pick up a copy of this impressive work from your usual soundtrack retailer (Screen Archives and Intrada are recommended) or download from Film Music Downloads.

From Costa Communications:

“Best New Film Composer”

Austin Wintory scores

Captain Abu Raed

Winner of the Sundance World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic

Los Angeles, CA – Film composer Austin Wintory scores the award-winning feature film, Captain Abu Raed, from director Amin Matalqa. The film, Jordan’s first-ever entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign language film category, premiered in the U.S. at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Audience Award. In addition, it earned Wintory the title of “Best New Film Composer” at the first annual Hollywood Music Awards. In describing the score, Wintory said, “It's meant to feel like a fable that could be told by any culture on earth, and so the orchestra seemed the best route to accomplish that.”

For Captain Abu Raed, Austin Wintory wanted the score to have a universal appeal. He achieved that by balancing traditional Arabic instruments, such as kanun and tablas, with a rich orchestral palette and Western instruments like sleigh bells and castanets. He recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony and world-renowned vocalist Lisbeth Scott (Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia). In addition to earning the “Best New Film Composer” award, Wintory’s score has been recognized as an Oscar contender by the Los Angeles Times.

Austin Wintory’s love of film scores began at the age of ten in Denver, Colo., when he first listened to Jerry Goldsmith’s classic scores for Patton and A Patch of Blue. In high school, he taught himself to compose, orchestrate and conduct, before studying at both New York University and the University of Southern California. Wintory, at the young age of 26, has received accolades for his scores to feature films, short films and videogames, including fl0w, for which he received a BAFTA nomination. He has several upcoming film projects, including the comedy Knuckle Dragger, holiday film Make the Yuletide Gay and dark drama The Sunset Sky.

Captain Abu Raed tells the story of a lonely airport janitor (Nadim Sawalha) whose life changes after he finds a discarded captain’s hat at work and wears it home. When the poor neighborhood children assume he is a real pilot, he forms a friendship with them by weaving fictional stories about the world outside of Amman, Jordan, based on books he has read. As he attempts to make a difference in their lives, Abu Raed faces attacks from Murad (Hussein Al-Sous), a young boy who calls him a liar, and develops a relationship with Nour (Rana Sultan), a real female pilot with troubles of her own. Captain Abu Raed is a story of dreams, friendship, forgiveness, and sacrifice.


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