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Comments about the soundtrack for Braveheart (James Horner)

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I agree
• Posted by: Dan Sartori   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, December 15, 2001, at 4:38 p.m.
• IP Address: ogg071-008.resnet.wisc.edu
• In Response to: Let me tell you of a little thing called style... (Sean Raduechel)

I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with Sean Raduechel's previous statement. As an orchestral trombonist and music major, I have performed and encountered a great variety of musical styles, many of which contain pieces with themes that are extremely similar, almost to the point of being unduly repetitive. Mahler's First Symphony, for example, consists of brass parts that sound incredibly similar to parts of the folk song "You're a Grand Old Flag". In addition, many spots in the piece bear a striking resemblance to the end of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. However, nobody would consider calling Mahler's First "plagiarism". A piece of music should be judged by its appropriateness to the audience and the artistic medium which it employs, not how similar it is to other pieces of music. In fact, repetition in music is often a good thing. Many composers, in their respect for their predecessors, purposely copy themes in tribute to them. Horner even copies another great composer of the modern day (John Williams)in the Enemy at the Gates soundtrack. The violin solo in this soundtrack is surpisingly reminiscent of the Schindler's List theme. I am not saying that it is musically acceptable to use a specific theme so much that it loses its meaning, but merely that if you listen to the Braveheart soundtrack as an individual score rather than trying to draw connections with other Horner scores, you will find that the music is perfectly fitted to the William Wallace story, and brings out the intense emotional content already evident in the storyline. The Celtic instruments contribute beautifully to the lushness of the score and sweep the listener back to 10th century Scotland. It is quite true that you can always tell a good soundtrack by how enjoyable it is when you listen to it independently of the movie backdrop, and the Braveheart soundtrack is the best soundtrack I have yet encountered in this respect. You can play it over and over and never tire of the 17th track; that's how deep the meaning gets. I repeatedly find it impossible to listen to "Freedom/The Execution/Bannockburn" and not be emotionally moved by the overwhelming sense of martyrdom evident in the tenderness of the music. It is nothing short of incredible. Braveheart is a classic example of the power of music and a must-buy for any soundtrack enthusiast.




Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • Let me tell you of a little thing called style!  (7299 views)
       Sean Raduechel - Tuesday, December 11, 2001, at 7:49 p.m.
    •      I agree  (8110 views)    We're Here
         Dan Sartori - Saturday, December 15, 2001, at 4:38 p.m.
      •    Re: I agree  (6307 views)
           Prasanth - Tuesday, June 27, 2006, at 11:03 a.m.
      •    Re: I agree *NM*  (6662 views)
           fahdley - Friday, September 9, 2005, at 10:44 p.m.


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