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The Master of Ballantrae
(1984)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:

Performed by:
The Sinfonia of London

Produced by:
Ford A. Thaxton
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Prometheus Records
(November, 1998)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Limited Belgian release of 1,500 copies, available only through the label or soundtrack specialty outlets.
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AWARDS
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you are an avid collector of either Bruce Broughton's works or the swashbuckling genre, for the intended audience of this album is extremely specific.

Avoid it... if you require both clarity in sound and depth in the size of the performance, both of which are severely lacking in this recording.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,368
WRITTEN 12/10/98, REVISED 9/28/08
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Broughton
Broughton
The Master of Ballantrae: (Bruce Broughton) A 1984 remake of the disappointing 1953 Errol Flynn swashbuckler, The Master of Ballantrae, which aired on the CBS network in America, was a lavish production of 150 minutes in length and starred Michael York and Timothy Dalton in leading roles. The plot of the film merges all the usual elements of a sea faring adventure of piracy and treasure, laced with a side story of a pair of brothers fighting over their Scottish homestead. Already known in the television scoring arena for his work on the massive series The Blue and the Grey, composer Bruce Broughton was well suited for the assignment. Although the budget for the project as whole was quite large, Broughton only received enough money from the producers to write a score for an unbelievably restricting 36 musicians. In an age when orchestral music for the small screen was starting to make a comeback, this circumstance was surprising, and Broughton was forced to strip the Sinfonia of London down to its bare parts, including only six brass players. In the face of such adversity, Broughton still managed, somehow, to provide a score that has moments of large swashbuckling action and dramatic depth for the period-style romance element secondary in the plot. To do this, Broughton inserted as much melody as possible into the score as a method of counterbalancing the lack of power and carry the music in the film. The score revolves around two major themes. The first is an excellent, flighty affair for the titles of the film and vista shots of the sailing vessels. It leaps and bounds with all the energy that a tale on the high seas requires. The opening few tracks, including "Main Title" and "Setting Out," have magnificent performances of this idea with all the enthusiasm that the restrained ensemble can muster. Broughton adds a touch of Scottish and Irish flavor to the score with the help of some bagpipe accompaniment and distinctly Scottish rhythms that dance lightly under portions of the thematic material. The second theme is much softer and includes lead performances by a harpsichord and flute. The score functions a bit better during these less ambitious moments, because the lack of an adequate number of players isn't as obvious.



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VIEWER RATINGS
268 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.07 Stars
***** 50 5 Stars
**** 56 4 Stars
*** 65 3 Stars
** 58 2 Stars
* 39 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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High sea music
Snaky - August 15, 2013, at 5:00 a.m.
1 comment  (432 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 49:19
• 1. Main Title (2:40)
• 2. Off to Fight (0:41)
• 3. Rowan Tree (1:28)
• 4. Setting Out (2:36)
• 5. The Battle at Sea (Part 1) (6:15)
• 6. The Battle at Sea (Part 2) (1:24)
• 7. Adirondacks (3:56)
• 8. The Letter (1:02)
• 9. James' Return (2:34)
• 10. James Closes In (2:32)
• 11. Courting Alison (1:19)
• 12. Trouble Sleeping/Dead Man Gone (4:23)
• 13. The Devil's Diary (1:08)
• 14. Closing In (2:49)
• 15. Colonial Minuet (2:04)
• 16. Dreams of the Dead (0:53)
• 17. James' Death (7:19)
• 18. The Legacy and Finale (3:32)
• 19. Teaser (1:04)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes detailed notes about both the score and film.
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 The Master of Ballantrae are Copyright © 1998, Prometheus Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/10/98 and last updated 9/28/08.
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