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Ronin
(1998)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:
Elia Cmiral

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Nick Ingman

Co-Orchestrated by:
John Bell
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(September 22nd, 1998)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are attracted to both the edgy orchestrations of Elliot Goldenthal's thrillers and the slashing techno-inspired rhythms of Eric Serra's action.

Avoid it... if you expect the substantial chase music to adequately merge with the solemn title theme for duduk and strings, because Elia Cmiral's score never adequately blends the lines of its two distinct halves.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #902
WRITTEN 1/11/00, REVISED 4/10/08
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Ronin: (Elia Cmiral) Director John Frankenheimer's first universally praised triumph since his classic The Manchurian Candidate more than three decades earlier, Ronin is among the most impressive chase movies of the digital era. Filmed in a dreary France, the biting story of soul-wandering professional agents and tacticians from various Cold War origins resorting to one mercenary mission together is something of an excuse for a series of extraordinary car chases along the charged, personal lines of The French Connection. A stellar cast highlights both the five mercenaries and their shady employers, and their gritty performances of writer David Mamet's uncredited script for Ronin lacks a weak link. While composer Gary Chang was the usual provider of music for Frankenheimer's films, the Ronin assignment was reported to be in the hands of Christopher Young and then Jerry Goldsmith before the latter composer's last-minute departure from the project left Frankenheimer with little-known Swedish composer Elia Cmiral. In the ten years since Ronin, Cmiral has made a career skirting mainstream film scoring in Hollywood, with a series of B-rate projects rarely as compelling as his major opening venture. His certainly adequate and occasionally interesting score for Frankenheimer's project placed him on the map (his previous notable efforts coming from television). Expectations for his music for Ronin were non-existent, though Cmiral's composition is a striking combination of elements that do and don't make much sense. The concept behind the title is that of the Japanese samurai who failed to protect their lords from slaying, and who thus were outcasts and, like the warriors of this film, available for hire. Cmiral does make some token cultural references to the Japanese and East Asian culture in his music, mostly centered around the use of Taiko-like drums and sparse throat singing effects, both evident in the first minute of the opening "Ronin Theme" cue. The remainder of the ethnicity involves the performances of the title theme by a duduk, though the choice of the Armenian clarinet seems a bit awkward in this context.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
434 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.97 Stars
***** 73 5 Stars
**** 84 4 Stars
*** 112 3 Stars
** 89 2 Stars
* 76 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Richard (Anonymous) - May 3, 2009, at 7:41 a.m.
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Ronin
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 66:17
• 1. Ronin Theme (5:04)
• 2. Team Assembles (2:40)
• 3. A New Friendship (1:29)
• 4. The Case (1:26)
• 5. The Exchange (4:38)
• 6. The Getaway (1:07)
• 7. Thank You (1:52)
• 8. Metro (1:23)
• 9. Sam and Spencer (1:26)
• 10. Safehouse in Nice (1:00)
• 11. Carousel for Little Tamao (1:53)
• 12. Taking Photos (2:31)
• 13. Et Toi, Comment Ca Va? (1:28)
• 14. Passion (2:09)
• 15. This is the Day (5:59)
• 16. Sinister Gregor (2:31)
• 17. Arles (3:22)
• 18. Gunfight at the Amphitheater (3:27)
• 19. The Girl Sold Us Out (1:27)
• 20. You Can't Kill Me (1:48)
• 21. The Ronin Myth (2:55)
• 22. Wrong Way (3:55)
• 23. Sam Goes for the Case (3:07)
• 24. I Came for Seamus (1:19)
• 25. You Are a Dead Man (2:02)
• 26. Good Knowing You (4:13)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The album includes the following note about Cmiral from the director, John Frankenheimer:

    "Elia Cmiral has composed a simply marvellous score for my film, Ronin. He has an extrodinary talent - he not only can write wonderful suspense-building type music, but he also does exhilarating emotional themes."
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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Ronin are Copyright © 1998, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/11/00 and last updated 4/10/08.
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