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Saturday, April 10, 2010


Music by Zacarias M. de la Riva
MovieScore Media MMS10003
21 Tracks 50:57 mins

MovieScore Media's last de la Riva release, Imago Mortis, was recently nominated for an IFMCA Award and now, from the same label, comes the composer's latest for Spanish drama/thriller Hierro. Performed by the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, de la Riva's score blends dissonant avant garde music, ala Penderecki, with more conventional action and suspense, inspired by the likes of Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann; together with fragments of melodic and classically influenced pieces, often featuring piano .
The album opens relaxingly with piano, choir and orchestra, but the mood is soon brought to a shattering halt, with tragic strings closing the "Titles." The first of the Penderecki-influenced tracks follows, "Car Accident" and there is more of this harsh, dissonant writing in "Hallucination."
"Diego Disappears" is the first of the Goldsmith/Herrmann influenced cues, commencing with Goldsmithian suspense, before taking off with Herrmannesque action and a typically Goldsmithian ostinato, leading to a surprisingly peaceful choral ending. "Mateo Burgos and the Greenhouse" offers more Herrmannesque action and suspense, as does "The Hospital."
"Headquarters" starts as a somewhat classically styled cello, piano and strings affair (reprised in "Running"), before ending quite sadly on the flute. "Bathroom" offers a relaxing piano solo, whilst "The Island" features foreboding strings; the mood continuing into "The Teacher," where a mysterious female voice leads to a violent conclusion. There's plenty more mysterious writing in the likes of "Wohnwagen;" the opening of "German Woman," (though the latter ends with some exciting action); "In the Car;" and "Hide and Seek."
"Diego" briefly offers an oasis of beauty with its opening piano and choir, but the moment is soon squashed. And "Wake Up and Remember" suffers the same fate, though ends passionately.
"Requiem for a Caravan" promises to be one of the more impressive pieces, a big, classically-styled pieces for strings and choir, but just fails to develop fully.
The penultimate track, "Farewell" offers a real feeling of redemption, with a heavenly choral leading to another reprise of the "Headquarters" theme again. Solo piano ends the cue and continues into the final track, "H20," where it meanders nicely to a close.
A mixed bag this then, with plenty of pretty uninteresting mysterious writing and not enough action. However, the influence of Goldsmith and Herrmann provides some nostalgia, and there are some nice fragments of melody, but these are seldom sustained, so ultimately fail to satisfy.
Go to for samples, a trailer for the film, and details as to how to obtain your copy of the score on CD or as a digital download.


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