June 15th, 2007

Kambei (The Seven Samurai)

Kambei the Badass

While I was as surprised as anybody at how different the Henry Brandt conducted 2001 original sessions were from the Jerry Goldsmith recording, I nevertheless found myself defending the Goldsmith recording from its detractors. In reviewing the score for my upcoming Alex North epic compilation, however, I found that it is most likely that my justifications can be chalked up to simple familiarity. While there are clear technical limitations on the Brandt recording (especially in "The Dawn of Man"), the performance and music is very different... and much, much more North-esque. Some of the moments that people were pointing to as being omitted from the Goldsmith recording I don't think were part of the written score, but rather changes made to the music on the recording stage. An extra phrase here, an alteration there, all build up to being a very different track than its analogue on the Goldsmith recording. I have decided that despite the monaural sound, any selections from 2001 I would include on the North epic compilation would, indeed, come from the unused original soundtrack recording.

The North epic compilation at the moment consists of music from Cleopatra, Spartacus, The Shoes of the Fisherman, The Agony and the Ecstasy and 2001. There are other scores that could have been considered - Cheyenne Autumn is something I'd save for a Western compilation someday - but I want to make sure I hit everything I should. I'm wracking my brain for any other epics... which leads to the question of Dragonslayer. Should it be included with the others, which, aside from 2001, are all historical in nature? It is certainly an epic score, but does the film itself count as an epic?

If I was to make a purely musical decision, it would be to include music from Dragonslayer. Many threads from 2001 characterize both that score and Shoes of the Fisherman, and I feel that the scores would fit well together and with the others. 2001, despite its genre, clearly is, but whether Dragonslayer counts as an epic or not is another story.

Any thoughts?



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