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Chicago Hope
(1994)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Performed, and Produced by:
Jeff Rona

Theme Composed by:
Mark Isham
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Sonic Images Records
(October 30th, 1997)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
The theme was nominated for an Emmy Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... no matter your affinity for the show, because Jeff Rona's music for the series is among the most elegantly relaxing underscore for any television concept in the digital era.

Avoid it... if you prefer your scores to raise your blood pressure rather than vice versa, and a tasteful mix of sensitive solos over an ambient synthetic bed will only involuntarily put you to sleep.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #180
WRITTEN 2/20/98, REVISED 2/19/08
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Isham
Isham
Chicago Hope: (Jeff Rona/Mark Isham) The most thriving genre on television in the 1990's seemed to be the medical drama, and while Chicago Hope never achieved the fame that E.R. did, the David E. Kelley show produced 141 episodes from 1994 to 2000. Like many of its rivals, Chicago Hope was a rotating door for cast members, with only a couple of characters consistent through the entire run and a long list of famous guest stars making briefs stops in the timeline. The melodrama of a hospital setting never seemed to cease inspiring more controversial explorations of moral character, as well as the usual soap opera elements that accompany any such show. The scripts often pushed the boundaries of censorship, though surprisingly little protest erupted when episodes showed female nudity or used obscene language. It would be America's first HDTV show as well. The music for Chicago Hope featured a title theme by film score veteran Mark Isham, though the underscores for the series were handled by three composers over its run. Jeff Rona, who was perhaps best known for his association with Hans Zimmer at the time, provided the scores for episodes from 1994 to 1998, while Peter Bernstein and Roger Neill would handle the duties for one season each in 1999 and 2000. In 1997, the Sonic Images soundtrack specialty label released selections of Rona's music from the first three seasons, as well as the two variations of Mark Isham's title theme as of the album's pressing. No other music from the series has been released on album in the decade since. The original version of Isham's main theme is more urgent and gritty, containing the expected trumpet solos for an Isham recording in this genre. The second recording, opening the album, is far more consistent with the style of Rona's underscores, toning back the pace and washing the theme with soothing electronic vocal effects. With the Isham contributions only amounting to two minutes, that leaves roughly 50 minutes of extremely consistent material from Rona. While this represents the vast minority of the music he wrote for Chicago Hope, it adequately surveys both important cues in the first three seasons, as well as an intelligent balance between the stories' various emotions.



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VIEWER RATINGS
590 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.38 Stars
***** 141 5 Stars
**** 171 4 Stars
*** 123 3 Stars
** 87 2 Stars
* 68 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 54:21
• 1. Chicago Hope Main Title (0:52)
• 2. McNeil Bets It All (2:18)
• 3. New Hope (3:28)
• 4. Bonding (2:57)
• 5. The Boxer (2:13)
• 6. A Lifetime of Love (2:08)
• 7. One Last Sunrise (2:08)
• 8. We Need Help in Here (2:50)
• 9. The Choice to Die (2:53)
• 10. A Delicate Operation (1:53)
• 11. The Author's Last Words (2:27)
• 12. Deep Convictions (2:11)
• 13. Why Do You Box? (2:04)
• 14. Just a Boy (3:11)
• 15. Kate's Comfort (3:15)
• 16. Pablo and Flory (1:14)
• 17. The Best Choice (1:35)
• 18. Loyal and Real (2:10)
• 19. Not a Clue (2:24)
• 20. Resolutions and Conflicts (3:41)
• 21. Joy to the World (2:51)
• 22. A Gift of Life (1:14)
• 23. Be Happy For Me (1:31)
• 24. Chicago Hope - Original Main Title (0:52)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains short notes from Rona and one of the show's actors about the music.

Principal musicians:
    Trumpet: Mark Isham, Craig Hara
    Guitars: Peter Maunu
    Soprano Sax: Bob Shepard
    Oboe, English Horn: Marni Huffum, Leslie Reed
    Cello: David Low, John Walz, Martin Tillman
    Keyboards, flutes and whistles: Jeff Rona
    Piano solo on "New Hope": P.J. Hanke
Copyright © 1998-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Chicago Hope are Copyright © 1997, Sonic Images Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/20/98 and last updated 2/19/08.
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