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A Simple Twist of Fate
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Cliff Eidelman

Orchestrated by:
Mark McKenzie

Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
September 13th, 1994

Also See:
Now and Then
One True Thing
Untamed Heart

Audio Clips:
1. A Simple Twist of Fate (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

4. Prelude to Tanny's Fate (0:28):
WMA (182K)  MP3 (224K)
Real Audio (139K)

9. A New Life (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

11. Transcending (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (235K)
Real Audio (146K)

Regular U.S. release.


A Simple Twist of Fate
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Buy it... if you are an avid collector of Cliff Eidelman's typically understated character drama scores of the 1990's, for this work is a standard entry in that collection.

Avoid it... if you expect the usual, lush character theme from Eidelman for a film like this to receive a satisfyingly full, ensemble performance.

A Simple Twist of Fate: (Cliff Eidelman) It has been said many times that George Eliot's 1861 story of "Silas Marner" is deserving of a great Hollywood adaptation, whether literal or not. Steve Martin's own written and produced version in 1994 was widely considered a failure, mostly due to a clunky and manipulative script, and his lead acting performance suffered from his attempt to insert his trademark sense of self-deprecating humor into the role. The tear-jerking atmosphere of A Simple Twist of Fate would mark a continuation of composer Cliff Eidelman's string of character dramas that defined the bulk of his career in the 1990's, coming a year after his score for Untamed Heart was partially replaced in the film. The heartwarming story of A Simple Twist of Fate was a suitable project for Eidelman, who was in the process of fine-tuning his ability to score these films of personal journey with emotional depth. Because the subject matter stands on a serious and introspective level (more comparable in many ways to One True Thing than Now and Then), A Simple Twist of Fate contains longer passages of more ominous tones than most of Eidelman's other scores of the period. The wide range of emphasis in the performances by different sections of the orchestra makes A Simple Twist of Fate a more diverse effort for Eidelman, and portions of this score (especially in the less conventional woodwind uses) would later influence his rejected score for The Picture Bride the following year. Along the same lines as Untamed Heart, Eidelman concentrates on infusing his music with the mysterious tones of vocal arrangements spanning this score. For the more philosophical moments of pondering, female and/or children's wordless vocals add a touch of greater being (or mystical wonderment, if that description suits you better) to a rounded, but medium-sized orchestral group. The album's mix doesn't provide these vocals with much elegance, but rather gives them a somewhat grating edge that occasionally betrays the beauty of the underlying thematic performances.

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The most defining aspect of A Simple Twist of Fate is its loyal title theme for Martin's reclusive character, affectionately returning continuously throughout the album. The theme is warm and simple, built for strings and woodwinds, but it is somewhat discomforting in that it never experiences a fully matured performance for the entire ensemble. Even in the suite arranged for the album, the most robust performance of the title theme is immediately preceded by a frightful period of nightmarish waves of brass and low woodwind dissonance (and this happens with the chorus in the finale track as well). Both "Floating on Air" and "New Life" supply the longest pleasant performances of the title theme and function as a better thematic representation than Eidelman's standard suite at the start. Eidelman also exhibits his talents by performing his own solo piano rendition of the title theme at the end of the album. The score for A Simple Twist of Fate is not necessarily highlighted by its theme, however. The music's mannerisms in extending the almost religious qualities of the film's story create an aura about this score that is slightly unnerving in its portrayal of the uncertainty of fate. There are droning sequences of fear mixed into a few key moments of the score, throwing the entire listening experience off the typical pleasant track that Eidelman's albums from this era usually follow. The adaptation of a traditional piece (the second of which is incorrectly labeled with a longer time on the album's packaging, adding three non-existent minutes), as well as the repeated offering of music from the opening suite and Eidelman's solo at the end causes there to be less than twenty minutes of actual original material in the film available on the product. Because of this very short length, the recommendation with this album is the same as that for Untamed Heart; if you are a collector of Eidelman's softer works, then A Simple Twist of Fate will be an enjoyable supplement to that collection. In fact, this score has historically been quite popular with many such fans. Otherwise, it fails to muster the same amount of excitement or interest that floats many of Eidelman's more popular works. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Cliff Eidelman reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.29 (in 17 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.15 (in 7,905 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.14 Stars
Smart Average: 3.13 Stars*
***** 54 
**** 58 
*** 57 
** 38 
* 46 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.

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 Track Listings: Total Time: 28:03

• 1. A Simple Twist of Fate (5:07)
• 2. Matilda's Fantasy (1:27)
• 3. The Bracelet (1:25)
• 4. Prelude to Tanny's Fate (3:04)
• 5. Floating on Air (1:58)
• 6. Red is the Rose* (1:38)
• 7. Okay You're Free (1:50)
• 8. Into the Light (3:09)
• 9. A New Life (3:06)
• 10. Red is the Rose - Reprise* (0:42)
• 11. Transcending (2:25)
• 12. Michael's Theme - piano solo performed by Cliff Eidelman (2:07)

* traditional, arranged by Cliff Eidelman

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from A Simple Twist of Fate are Copyright © 2001, Varèse Sarabande. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/4/01 and last updated 2/11/08. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2001-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.