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Pursuit of Quarry

Goldsmith (film composer)
The idea of making a compilation built around hunting music was one that had been kicking around for a while, but only really became solidified with the Varèse Sarabande release of John Corigliano's Revolution, with its energetic fox hunt sequence. A few months ago I asked for suggestions from the good folks over at the Film Score Monthly Message Board, which turned out to be a great move, because through those recommendations I discovered several scores and delved deeper into my own collection.

I do not hunt, nor am I inclined to do so, but just the concept brings to mind images both primitive and refined, from the pageantry of a fox hunt to the primal fear of being hunted, culminating in the savagery of the kill itself. This compilation spans a wide variety of eras, styles, attitudes and contexts of hunting, and it is that variety which keep it from ever getting bogged down despite the length of the album. They all have one thing in common, however: energy: a hunt is defined as a verb meaning "to chase for killing," and so the stakes for at least one party in each of the sequences included is survival. As a result, this album has a momentum that rolls you straight to the finale without looking back.

This is the first disc to be completed in the new year (although work began on it late in 2009), and my first new mixed compilation (as opposed to a revision of a previous disc) since Excelsior!, made almost two years ago. While I have spent quite a bit of time tweaking the master once I had assembled it, the general structure of the album was in place once I started to sift through potential inclusions. The selection process was rather quick mostly because it is easy to spot the word "hunt" in cue titles. This actually created something of an issue when it came to labeling tracks, as at one point (purely by coincidence), four cues in a row were called "The Hunt." Rather than change all the track titles to something else, I instead decided to emphasize the film title instead. In another break with personal tradition, this disc makes extensive use of music that I had already included on other compilations, although I think the nature of this mix justifies the duplications.

The cover art was another fiat accompli. This painting was in my friend Raz's computer room, where many a late summer night was spent with Tim and/or John listening to Men Without Hats. It was unthinkable to me that I would make a compilation about hunting and not use this image. The compositing for the final artwork was mostly done in Photoshop rather than Pagemaker.



18 Tracks • 79:03


1. FRANZ WAXMAN: Untamed (1965)
Fox Hunt (1:35) Orchestra Conducted by Franz Waxman

2. JOHN BARRY: Dances With Wolves (1990)
The Buffalo Hunt — Album Version (2:41) Orchestra Conducted by John Barry

3. JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Final Conflict (1981)
The Hunt (3:57) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Lionel Newman

4. TREVOR JONES: The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Main Title and Elk Hunt (3:23) Orchestra Conducted by Daniel Allen Carlin

5. MIKLÓS RÓZSA: Knights of the Round Table (1954)
Scherzo: Hawks In Flight (1:16) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Charles Gerhardt

6. LAURENCE ROSENTHAL: The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976)
The Buffalo Hunt (4:36) Orchestra Conducted by Laurence Rosenthal

7. ALAN SILVESTRI: Predator (1986)
Preparations (9:21) Orchestra Conducted by Alan Silvestri

8. BERNARD HERRMANN: On Dangerous Ground (1951)
The Death Hunt (2:22) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Charles Gerhardt

9. MIKLÓS RÓZSA: Diane (1956)
Royal Hunt and Wild Boar (3:44) Orchestra Conducted by Miklós Rózsa

10. JOHN CORIGLIANO: Revolution (1985)
Foxhunt (6:02) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Harry Rabinowitz

11. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Planet of the Apes (1968)
The Hunt (5:03) Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

12. DANNY ELFMAN: Planet of the Apes (2001)
The Hunt (4:52) Orchestra Conducted by Artie Kane

13. BERNARD HERRMANN: Marnie (1964)
The Hunt (5:37) Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen

14. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
The Hunt (3:24) Orchestra Conducted by John Williams

15. MAX STEINER: The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
The Chase (4:42) Moscow Symphony Orchestra Conducted by William Stromberg

16. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Lionheart (1987)
Forest Hunt (7:43) Hungarian State Opera Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

17. JOHN BARRY: Dances With Wolves (1990)
The Buffalo Hunt — Film Version (4:29) Orchestra Conducted by John Barry

18. HENRY MANCINI: The White Dawn (1974)
Arctic Whale Hunt (4:04) London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Henry Mancini





  1. FRANZ WAXMAN: Untamed (1965)
    Fox Hunt (1:35) Orchestra Conducted by Franz Waxman

    I decided that, instead of opening this album with an aural assault to instead open it with a prologue, in this case a horn call, itself inextricably linked in the Western world to the act of hunting, and horns will figure heavily in the following eighty minutes. This heraldic passage is heard as Paul (Tyrone Power) rebuffs Katje (Susan Hayward) as a fox hunt occurs in the distance; the cue acts almost as source music.


  2. JOHN BARRY: Dances With Wolves (1990)
    The Buffalo Hunt — Album Version (2:41) Orchestra Conducted by John Barry

    This track begins the album proper, a euphoric piece heard during an iconic moment as the Lakota tribe finds a herd of buffalo and John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) takes part in the hunt. This is the version that appeared on the original soundtrack album, and features a spirited rendition of the John Dunbar theme. Costner later requested Barry take a more conventional Western approach; the film version will be heard as part of this album's endgame (track 17).


  3. JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Final Conflict (1981)
    The Hunt (3:57) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Lionel Newman

    This is the first of several Goldsmith cues that I used on this compilation (sadly, The List of Adrian Messenger is not available yet). Reportedly, this piece was described by the director Graham Baker as the greatest piece of equestrian music he had ever heard on his DVD commentary and it is easy to hear why. A motif unique in the score for the fox hunt itself plays in opposition to main theme for Damien (Sam Niell) as he is attacked by several priests during the pursuit. This is the first of the pieces used on this compilation that I have used previously, in this case on my Omen compilation The Face of the AntiChrist.


  4. TREVOR JONES: The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
    Main Title and Elk Hunt (3:23) Orchestra Conducted by Daniel Allen Carlin

    The idea of presenting these two cues as one track as they appear in the film was another one of the impetuses behind creating this album. Jones' powerful main theme for this film has had a long life since, but it has never sounded more immediate than in its original form (which is why I didn't use the otherwise excellent Joel McNeely recording). The "Elk Hunt" cue takes this theme and injects a thundering momentum to it as Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), Chingachgook (Russell Means) and Uncas (Eric Schweig) pursue and eventually bring down a deer. I used my old Fox laserdisc (a cut-out that was among the first three lasers I had ever purchased) of this movie out to ensure that the crossfade between the two tracks, which are separate on the album, would match exactly what is heard in the film. This is the only composite track on the album, and an index marker is placed at the transition point.


  5. MIKLÓS RÓZSA: Knights of the Round Table (1954)
    Scherzo: Hawks In Flight (1:16) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Charles Gerhardt

    Lancelot (Robert Taylor) takes a party out hawking, which gives him a chance to have Guinevere (Ava Gardner) to himself for a little short period. Rózsa's score follows the pursuit of the knight's bird of its prey, the sprightly orchestrations describing the majestic beauty of the avian hunters.


  6. LAURENCE ROSENTHAL: The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976)
    The Buffalo Hunt (4:36) Orchestra Conducted by Laurence Rosenthal

    The Yellow Hand locate and attack a herd of Buffalo. Rosenthal's themes for Morgan (Richard Harris) and the Native Americans are heard in a majestic setting. The percussive second portion of this track covers an attack on the Yellow Hand women; rather than cut such moments in the selected cues, I allowed them to play out to give the album more variety.


  7. ALAN SILVESTRI: Predator (1986)
    Preparations (9:21) Orchestra Conducted by Alan Silvestri

    This track was another "no brainer" for me despite its voluminous length and the different tone that it represents from most of what's on this album. John McTiernan's film definitely presents a different perspective on the hunt itself. This cue is from a sequence toward the end of the film, in which Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) finally feels he can gain a decent advantage over the predator (Kevin Peter Hall). As he booby traps a grotto he plans to lure the alien to, the creature itself is making trophies of those members of Dutch's team it had just killed. Silvestri builds up tension with uneasy strings and a determined version of his main Predator theme.


  8. BERNARD HERRMANN: On Dangerous Ground (1951)
    The Death Hunt (2:22) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Charles Gerhardt

    Herrmann's trademark unusual orchestrations (in this case and augmented brass and percussion section) create a frantic backdrop for the pursuit of Danny (Sumner Williams) by the psychotic Brent (Ward Bond). This recording opened up Gerhardt's album of Herrmann scores, where Christopher Palmer noted that the antiphonal groups of horns "bay and yelp like dogs in mad pursuit of their prey."


  9. MIKLÓS RÓZSA: Diane (1956)
    Royal Hunt and Wild Boar (3:44) Orchestra Conducted by Miklós Rózsa

    To the noble calls of a French horn, Prince Henri (Roger Moore) and Count Montgomery (Sean McClory) set off on a hunt. The music erupts into a spirited march based upon Rózsa's theme for the King (Pedro Armendáriz). The harsher passage details an attack on Henri by an angry porcine beast, followed by a choral passage as the characters reflect upon how these events fall in line with the prophecy heard earlier in the film. This is Rózsa's original version of these cues rather than the shorter film versions; an index marker appears at the transition point from one cue to the other.


  10. JOHN CORIGLIANO: Revolution (1985)
    Foxhunt (6:02) National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Harry Rabinowitz

    Fur trapper Tom Dobb (Al Pacino) is induced by several British officers force him to take the place of a fox in a hunt. The piece is built around a jaunty horn call not too dissimilar from those heard in the other fox hunt sequences, but Corigilano's "War Lament" appears to reflect Tom's desperation as things get rather dicey for him. As previously mentioned, the release of the Revolution score with this cue on it — a primary example of Corigliano's ability to play several levels of the drama in a scene at once — was one of the primary reasons for the existence of this album as a whole.


  11. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Planet of the Apes (1968)
    The Hunt (5:03) Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

    Goldsmith's Planet of the Apes score is a much-lauded example of the composer's ability to perfectly encapsulate the bizarre. The opening of this track, a sequence relying heavily on woodwinds, is in the language that had previously had characterized the score, albeit with a frantic, repeating piano figure (performed by Goldsmith's piano instructor Jacob Gimpel) heard as a group of unidentified beings attack the tribe of humans found by Taylor (Charlton Heston), Landon (Robert Gunner) and Dodge (Jeff Burton). A ram's horn announces who and what the attackers are: mounted gorillas with shotguns. Goldsmith and orchestrator Arthur Morton create a melange of textures featuring, as Jeff Bond says in the liner notes for the Varèse Sarabande CD, "the bizarre hooting of the Brazilian cuika, an instrument used to recreate the hysterical vocalizations of apes." Amazingly, everything heard on this track was achieved completely acoustically, with no electronics whatsoever. Even though I had included this cue on my Planet of the Apes compilation No Escape, I knew it would have to be a centerpiece of this disc as well. This piece was, surprisingly, not included on the original soundtrack LP, and would first appear on the 1992 Intrada re-issue.


  12. DANNY ELFMAN: Planet of the Apes (2001)
    The Hunt (4:52) Orchestra Conducted by Artie Kane

    To his credit, for the analogous sequence in Tim Burton's remake, Elfman decided not to use Goldsmith's approach at all (which was followed by every incarnation of the original franchise), but instead developed many of the sounds in his own repertoire in order to create a "primitive" sound in his own distinctive style. A battery of percussion and electronic effects are heard augmenting Elfman's surging main theme. That this track appears adjacent to its direct antecedent was actually something of an accident; I was moving tracks around on the timeline just to get them out of the way while I worked on a different part of the album when these two fell together in what I felt was an appealing manner (although this event was instrumental in my decision to slightly alter the copy for the track listing and CD-Text information).


  13. BERNARD HERRMANN: Marnie (1964)
    The Hunt (5:37) Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen

    We return to the equestrian sounds for the dramatic sequence in Alfred Hitchcock's film in which the title character (Tippi Hedren) at first participates in a fox hunt but is then traumatized by the results. Marnie's theme appears in fragmented form for her inner turmoil, which is then finally heard in a more calm, pastoral setting to conclude the track. My first assembly used the Joel McNeely recording, but I found the sonics just didn't have the punch required to give the music any sense of immediacy. After exploring my alternatives, I elected to use Salonen's passionate recording.


  14. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
    The Hunt (3:24) Orchestra Conducted by John Williams

    This explosive piece of brass and percussion was previously featured on my Jurassic Park compilation Nature Finds a Way. I believe the cue is for a sequence in the film in which a group of people attempt to round up a group of dinosaur specimens. The beginning of this track as it appears on the album seems to have a partial fade-in which I always found somewhat odd; I have compensated for that anomaly, although I did allow the track to fade-out as it does on the original album.


  15. MAX STEINER: The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
    The Chase (4:42) Moscow Symphony Orchestra Conducted by William Stromberg

    One couldn't possibly compile a program of hunting music without alluding to Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper's production of Richard Cornell's classic tale. Steiner's bold score for this sequence in which Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks) sets his dogs on Rainsford (Joel McCrae) and Eve (Fay Wray) is a volatile mixture of his thematic material for the score built around relentless rhythms and the hunter's call. This cue was so agitated that one can hear the toll it takes on the players on the film's soundtrack! John Morgan's reconstruction for full orchestra marshals forces much more massive than Steiner had.


  16. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Lionheart (1987)
    Forest Hunt (7:43) Hungarian State Opera Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

    Goldsmith's final score for Franklin J. Schaffner is a cornucopia of bold themes and motives. This lengthy cue is led by the insistent motif for the Dark Prince (Gabriel Byrne) and eventually becomes an exploration of that for Robert (Eric Stoltz), but most of the major themes in the film appear, each one advancing the tone to a different place. The track finishes off with a magical statement of Robert's theme This track was on my short-list for Jerry Goldsmith Scores the Middle Ages, and was only omitted because I couldn't bear to cut it despite its length. It works perfectly here as the conclusion to the main body of this album.


  17. JOHN BARRY: Dances With Wolves (1990)
    The Buffalo Hunt — Film Version (4:29) Orchestra Conducted by John Barry

    Barry's original take on this sequence appears earlier on this album (track 2), here the film version appears to announce the album's endgame. This version of the cue (which includes the "Spotting the Herd" lead-in that was not joined on the original album track) was written to emphasize the action rather than Dunbar's participation in the event, but features one of the composer's most exciting Western themes. This track previously appeared on my compilation Excelsior!.


  18. HENRY MANCINI: The White Dawn (1974)
    Arctic Whale Hunt (4:04) London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Henry Mancini

    This track was another primary reason for the creation of this disc. Philip Kaufman's film about three shipwrecked whalers (Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms and Louis Gossett, Jr.) who live among the Inuit people is a glib answer to such sanitized Hollywood accounts of which Dances With Wolves represents the apotheosis. Mancini (who referred to the movie as "a film composer's dream") responded to Michael Chapman's breathtaking Arctic vistas and crafted a beautiful score that runs about an hour and desperately needs to be released. This cue is taken from the twelve-minute symphonic suite Mancini recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, and once again features heraldic horns, followed by a beautiful rendition of Mancini's main theme for the film. The horns return and this time are joined by the strings to build to a ecstatic sequence concluding the album with a jubilant fanfare from the celebrated London Symphony brass section. This was one of the few cases where I did some sound work to the original tracks, as the sustain on the final crescendo seems to fold back into mono on the original recording; I took the sustain and gave it some spread and ambiance so as to make it more sonically pleasing.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
ehowton
Jan. 15th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
Just finished reading through the liner notes, and as usual, sounds fabulous. Thrilling, really. Quite comprehensive too - The Herrmann cues sound like the funnest of the bunch, and I love the bookend Barry pieces, but your opening Waxman track sounds like pure, unadulterated genius.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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