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Comments about the soundtrack for Enemy at the Gates (James Horner)

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Re: Schindler's? No. History? Yes!
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• Posted by: Jonathan Broxton   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2001, at 9:20 a.m.
• IP Address: ghost.shef.ac.uk
• In Response to: Schindler's? No. History? Yes! (Brendan Anderson)

As one of Horner's most ardent fans, and having heard every single one of Horner's released scores to date, I can categorically tell you that Horner's EATG theme is NOT based on Schindler's List OR a Jewish folk song. It's a reworking of his own "Heritage of the Wolf" theme from Balto, which was itself originally derived from a piece by Mahler (I forget which one).

The connotations here are to do with Russia, not Judaism... in Balto, the main character was a Russian husky dog/wolf thing, and Horner seemingly felt that the style of writing he used to depict the wolf's heritage would also be the correct way to depict the Russian beauty Tania in EATG (it is her "theme" that's causing all the controversy".

Hope this makes sense.

Jonathan

> Just wanted to clear up/put to rest the whole "Horner using part of
> Schindler's list" thing. Williams at one point after writing
> Schindler's list said the theme was largely based on an old Jewish folk
> tune...how much or how little it's "based" I don't know, BUT
> this does bring up an interesting point then. All three main characters in
> Enemy at the Gates are Jewish. Now, if you were James Horner, you needed a
> quiet theme for your main characters, the quiet theme is supposed to
> represent the charcters' personal feelings and struggles, AND the
> characters are all Jewish, wouldn't you think it would be a good idea to
> pick a theme that was 1)based on a Jewish folk tune, and 2)was (because of
> Schinlder's) recognized by almost everyone in the world as having
> "Jewish" connotations?

> This is not a "rip-off"...this was a well informed and smart
> decision on the composer's part.

> -Brendan



Movie Music UK



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