Showing posts with label John Barry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Barry. Show all posts

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Forgotten Music Thursday: John Barry - Themependium (2007)

With a career spanning over 5 decades, John Barry has made a name for himself as one of the most in demand film score composers-- perhaps only second to John Williams. 

Included in this exceptional box set are not only Barry's more well known works for the Bond films (including the signature theme) but also material from his Oscar winning scores for Born Free, Out of Africa, The Lion In Winter, & Dances With Wolves. 

The set is rounded out by a handful of some of Barry's lesser known works including TV themes and material from his scores for Raise the Titanic (easily the best part of this Golden Razzie winner of a bomb), Somewhere In Time (the hauntingly beautiful theme that yanks on the heartstrings and some might argue is more memorable than the film) not to mention material from Day of the Locusts, Body Heat, Frances, Peggy Sue Got Married and many more.  For fans of film scores this is a must have as Barry's  scores were so brilliant they at times were even superior to the films he was scoring (Raise the Titanic and Frances are cases in point).

While it could be argued that much of the material on this box set is well known (the Bond themes in particular) much of it is not.  And pulled from the context of the movies and shows the music is taken from, much of the "forgotten" and even some of the more well known gems are what stand out the most as they are strong enough to stand on their own even without the films they are from as a frame of reference. 

There's a distinct and haunting beauty to much of Barry's work.  Considering the length, scope, and breadth of Barry's career a single CD collection would not do him justice.  This box set is an excellent place to start delving into Barry's extensive body of work and could conceivably inspire the listener to delve deeper into some of the full scores that are merely hinted at in this set.

Related Links
John Barry (wikipedia)
John Barry - The Man With the Midas Touch

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

John Barry - Somewhere In Time OST (1980)

A truly great score can transcend the film it was written for. There are some exemplary film score composers whose music became so tied to the movie that the mere mention of the movie conjured the score in the mind's ear-- John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Ennio Morricone, and John Barry are all masters of the craft.

After Barry's stirring score to the Australian film, Walkabout, he was asked to provide a score for this film adaptation of the Richard Mathieson novel, Bid Time Return. In interviews Barry has said that his father had just died when he'd been asked to score this film and he drew largely on his emotion from the loss of his father when he composed this score. And in his feelings of loss for his father, Barry truly did capture the loss and loneliness of the characters.

This wrinkle in time romance was a box-office flop that has developed a large cult popularity in its subsequent cable, video, and DVD release. Perhaps the largest part of the film's latter day success has been Barry's stirring score which is at times both haunting and poignant. In his score, John Barry ever so perfectly captured the tragic yearning of Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) and Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). He gave what would otherwise have been a mediocre film the level of emotional depth it needed to make it convincing.

In his music, Barry made you feel Richard's longing for Elise McKenna as he tried to figure out how to get from his time-- 1980, to hers-- 1912. It wasn't just Jane Seymour's radiant beauty it was Barry's haunting score which captured that instant when Richard first lays eyes on the portrait of Elise in a museum at the Grand Hotel. Barry made the viewer feel Richard's longing with every aching note.

From start to finish this score is as much a character in the film as Richard Collier, Elise McKenna, and William Fawcett Robinson (played expertly by Christopher Plummer). And if ever there was a performer in the film deserving of accolades and awards it is John Barry's stirring score.