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Comments about the soundtrack for Braveheart (James Horner)
Let me tell you of a little thing called style!

Sean Raduechel
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(csradu469.uwsp.edu)


  Responses to this Comment:
Dan Sartori
Let me tell you of a little thing called style!   Tuesday, December 11, 2001 (7:49 p.m.) 

I cannot help but note a little flaw in the above review. The author tends to make a correlation between an artist's style and copying. He sights the fact that the end credit theme is similar to Casper, and assumes that to be copying. Copying, however, is taking something you specifically wrote for something else, giving it a few alterations, and trying to sell it as something else. Yes Horner is known for this, you only have to listen to Enemy at the Gates and Schindler's List at the same time to figure that out. But just because he uses similar instrumentation as another film does not mean that he is copying that film. The use of certain instrumentation repeatedly is what is commonly referred to as style. All composers have it. John Williams tends to be very opera-like, Hans Zimmer uses a lot of synchronizations and trumpets, as well as vocals, Thomas Newmann tends to use prefer strings and woodwinds, and James Horner tends to rely heavily on celtic instruments, vocals, and flowing string melodies.

A small note of caution, however. Braveheart is tied with Princess Mononoke as my all time favorite score. So I may be a little biased in my statements.

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Dan Sartori
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(ogg071-008.resnet.wisc.edu)

  In Response to:
Sean Raduechel

  Responses to this Comment:
fahdley
Prasanth
I agree   Saturday, December 15, 2001 (4:38 p.m.) 

I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with Sean Raduechel's previous statement. As an orchestral trombonist and music major, I have performed and encountered a great variety of musical styles, many of which contain pieces with themes that are extremely similar, almost to the point of being unduly repetitive. Mahler's First Symphony, for example, consists of brass parts that sound incredibly similar to parts of the folk song "You're a Grand Old Flag". In addition, many spots in the piece bear a striking resemblance to the end of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. However, nobody would consider calling Mahler's First "plagiarism". A piece of music should be judged by its appropriateness to the audience and the artistic medium which it employs, not how similar it is to other pieces of music. In fact, repetition in music is often a good thing. Many composers, in their respect for their predecessors, purposely copy themes in tribute to them. Horner even copies another great composer of the modern day (John Williams)in the Enemy at the Gates soundtrack. The violin solo in this soundtrack is surpisingly reminiscent of the Schindler's List theme. I am not saying that it is musically acceptable to use a specific theme so much that it loses its meaning, but merely that if you listen to the Braveheart soundtrack as an individual score rather than trying to draw connections with other Horner scores, you will find that the music is perfectly fitted to the William Wallace story, and brings out the intense emotional content already evident in the storyline. The Celtic instruments contribute beautifully to the lushness of the score and sweep the listener back to 10th century Scotland. It is quite true that you can always tell a good soundtrack by how enjoyable it is when you listen to it independently of the movie backdrop, and the Braveheart soundtrack is the best soundtrack I have yet encountered in this respect. You can play it over and over and never tire of the 17th track; that's how deep the meaning gets. I repeatedly find it impossible to listen to "Freedom/The Execution/Bannockburn" and not be emotionally moved by the overwhelming sense of martyrdom evident in the tenderness of the music. It is nothing short of incredible. Braveheart is a classic example of the power of music and a must-buy for any soundtrack enthusiast.

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fahdley
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(219.93.68.150)

  In Response to:
Dan Sartori
Re: I agree *NM*   Friday, September 9, 2005 (10:44 p.m.) 



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Prasanth
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(202-177-160-112.sify.net)

  In Response to:
Dan Sartori
Re: I agree   Tuesday, June 27, 2006 (11:03 a.m.) 

Mahler's First Symphony, for example, consists of
> brass parts that sound incredibly similar to parts of the folk song
> "You're a Grand Old Flag". In addition, many spots in the piece
> bear a striking resemblance to the end of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony.
> However, nobody would consider calling Mahler's First
> "plagiarism".

Um..hello.. "You're a grand old flag" was written by Cohen in 1906, while Mahler's first symphony was finished by 1888!!!:D Shostakovich's fifth symphony was finished by 1937!!!!!!>8D.It is true that Mahler was influenced by Beethoven , Bach, Wagner and Bruckner(to name a few!).But the comparisons are wrong, I'm afraid!!! True, Mahler and Cohen could have worked on the same folk tunes!Shostakovich was greatly influenced by Mahler's works.

If you want to make comparisons, get your facts right. I know that it is not big deal giving a reply to an article which is nearly five years old, but then, i noticed it only today! Atleast, future fans who browse through the articles will know what exactly is going on!



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