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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Album Cover Art
2008 Hollywood
2018 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Orchestrated, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Co-Produced by:
Simon Rhodes
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Hollywood Records
(November 4th, 2008)

Intrada Records
(April 16th, 2018)
Availability Icon
The 2008 album was a digital download release only, available for under $10. CD versions of those contents existed as an awards promo and fetched prices upwards of $100. The 2018 Intrada album is limited to an unknown number of copies and retailed at soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate James Horner's ability to capture the sense of innocence and curiosity in natural settings with lovely rhythmic progressions for piano, synthetic choir, and other elements of minimal volume.

Avoid it... if you are deterred by the fact that this score makes use of only Horner's previously established techniques and instrumentation, no matter their rearrangement into an effectively impactful package.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 2/1/09, REVISED 5/29/18
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: (James Horner) A British production from Walt Disney's United Kingdom division, BBC Films, and Miramax, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a strongly praised adaptation of the depressing John Boyle novel that was publicly termed "unfilmable." Director Mark Herman makes little attempt to hide the mostly British origins of the cast, allowing their natural accents to speak towards issues of class and history that often inhabit many of the country's best arthouse productions. The tale of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is as harrowing as you expect it to be, telling a Holocaust story from the perspective of a young German boy whose father is transferred to a job as a warden at a concentration camp during World War II. He befriends a Jewish boy through the barb wire of the camp, and it is through their innocent eyes that the majority of the tale unfolds. The film contains an unrealistic, horrific conclusion, though Herman's ability to maintain the environment of a child's perception through even these events is the primary attraction to an otherwise bleak plot. Veteran composer James Horner, himself Jewish, reportedly lobbied the director for this assignment, ultimately receiving it and placing much personal effort into its recording, including serving as his own orchestrator and performer. The score represented a return by Horner to a genre and quality of film that could have earned him Academy Award consideration, and although neither he nor the film received the awards recognition that was speculated upon release, the quality of his writing indicates that perhaps some greater promotion by Miramax could have earned him better odds. Horner's music for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is minimal in volume and scope for most of its running time, saving its only orchestral performances of full volume for the scenes of realization at the story's conclusion. The work is saturated with Horner's easily identifiable styles of writing and orchestration, utilizing techniques that will be familiar to many film score collectors. While potentially troublesome, this fact is compensated for by the composer's ability to once again adapt that sound into a slightly new form, using the same building blocks to shape a remarkably powerful score. There is a sense of gravity to the music of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas that rarely develops from such minimal volumes. Like James Newton Howard's Defiance, this score captures the intricacies of war and its effects on individual perceptions without overstating the environment.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.31 Stars
***** 88 5 Stars
**** 92 4 Stars
*** 77 3 Stars
** 58 2 Stars
* 48 1 Stars
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David Lounsberry - March 6, 2009, at 7:59 p.m.
1 comment  (1969 views)
A Very Nice Review Christian
Craig Richard Lysy - February 11, 2009, at 12:16 p.m.
1 comment  (1730 views)
Alternate review of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at Movie Music UK
Jonathan Broxton - February 10, 2009, at 9:30 p.m.
1 comment  (1800 views)
I cannot believe this copy paste score ...   Expand >>
kharol - February 10, 2009, at 2:18 p.m.
10 comments  (7058 views)
Newest: December 13, 2009, at 1:23 a.m. by
Edmund Meinerts

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
All Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 52:22
• 1. Boys Playing Airplanes (4:13)
• 2. Exploring the Forest (2:36)
• 3. The Train Ride to a New Home (3:37)
• 4. The Winds Gently Blows Through the Garden (5:57)
• 5. An Odd Discovery Beyond the Trees (2:51)
• 6. Dolls Are Not for Big Girls, Propaganda Is... (3:43)
• 7. Black Smoke (1:43)
• 8. Evening Supper - A Family Slowly Crumbles (7:53)
• 9. The Funeral (1:54)
• 10. The Boy's Plans, From Night to Day (2:36)
• 11. Strange New Clothes (9:53)
• 12. Remembrance, Remembrance (5:31)

Notes Icon
There exists no packaging for the 2008 release. That of the 2018 Intrada product includes extensive information about the score and film.
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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas are Copyright © 2008, 2018, Hollywood Records, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/1/09 and last updated 5/29/18.
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