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RANSOM (1975)

 

Music composed, conducted and produced by Jerry Goldsmith.

11 Tracks (Playing Time = 34:04)

Performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Orchestrations by Arthur Morton. Executive Producer: Luc Van de Ven. CD release produced for Prometheus Records by Ford A. Thaxton. Audio Restoration and CD Mastering by James Nelson. Liner Notes by Paul Tonks.

Prometheus Records PCD 160

Rating: ***1/2

 

This CD is one of those Goldsmith's scores that at first seems not to be that much but then it continues to expand until it becomes an enjoyable whole made up of its various parts.

This is mainly due to a strong Main Theme (track 1, 2:43) which is heard in various transformations. One example is the second track, "Standard Issue" (1:51), a jazzy take on the Main Theme that shimmers in its icy coolness. Another example is the longest cue, "Sky Chaser" (track 6, 5:42),with the Main Theme stated while underneath is a rapidly undulating rhythmic pulse. It's the most effective track on the CD.

There are also other lesser action cues. One of these is "Course of Action" (track 7, 2:59) which has a brittle combination of brass, strings and timpani underscoring the action. In keeping with Goldsmith's composing style, there's also the percussive piano employed as well.

Paul Tonk's refeshingly honest notes mention that most of the music is meant to underscore the main character of Nils Tahlvik (Sean Connery). Tonk also writes that "the only character given identificable musical voice is the military. Snare drums are used sparingly to follow their movements." For example, "Just Sit Tight" (track 8, 2:39), which employs a heavily accented theme accented by a repeated rhythmic snare drum pattern.

The final track for the End Credits (2:38) provides a grand restatement of the Main Theme and brings this soundtrack to a satisfying conclusion.

Sound quality isn't the greatest but the CD is still clean and clear.

The CD booklet is printed in black & white and is sensibly designed so the well written notes can be read easily.

Even though this is a short soundtrack CD, Goldsmith's music is effectively employed throughout.

RANSOM may not be a top drawer Goldsmith score but it's still worth adding this soundtrack CD to your film music collection.

A very good production overall.

 

--Roger Hall, 8 March 2006

For more information see

www.soundtrackmag.com


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