Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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"Oh yes! A bolt of lightning into a huge copper conductor. I thought you lived at a school?"

I had originally compiled a mix titled The Uncanny X-Men three years ago. While I had access to Kamen's complete score and most of Ottman's (as well as their respective albums), when I put the original disc together I only had the soundtrack album of Powell's contribution. In the interim, I have procured the complete version of X-Men: The Last Stand, and I felt that some of my final choices would have been different if I had it at the time.

When I first completed that disc, I was reasonably satisfied with it (it was one of the best sounding discs I had assembled), but over the intervening years, there have been little pieces here and there that have bothered me. I felt that I really skewed the presentation of Michael Kamen's X-Men material toward Magneto at the expense of other interesting aspects of that score. I wanted to re-edit most of the selections from John Ottman's X2. I wanted to introduce John Powell's Phoenix theme from X-Men: The Last Stand earlier on the album. I wanted to improve upon edits that were the best I could do three years ago but that I can do much more smoothly now. I wanted the finale to be a bit more measured. Most importantly, however, I wanted to avoid the feeling that I got from the original that I was basically trying to smush a lot of good parts together. This disc, while it has most of the same basic material as the other one did, was designed in a much more linear manner, and so it flows better than the older one.

This disc is dedicated to the memory of Michael Kamen (1948 — 2003).



30 Tracks • 81:31
  1. X2 (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:12

  2. X1 (X-Men — Kamen) 0:31

  3. X3 (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 0:42

  4. DEATH CAMP (X-Men — Kamen) 2:54

  5. CEREBRO (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:21

  6. JEAN’S CALL (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:23

  7. SNEAKY MYSTIQUE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:50

  8. THE ABDUCTION (X-Men — Kamen) 3:34

  9. MAGNETO’S OLD TRICKS (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:18

  10. THE CONVOY (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 3:00

  11. LOGAN AND JEAN (X-Men — Kamen) 1:14

  12. MISSION TO BOSTON (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:58

  13. SKATING ON THE POND (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:34

  14. MUTANT SCHOOL (X-Men — Kamen) 1:25

  15. ANGEL’S CURE (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 1:43

  16. THE DRAKE HOUSE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 2:45

  17. TRUE POWER (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 1:43

  18. FINDING ROGUE (X-Men — Kamen) 2:48

  19. THE CAMP (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 2:35

  20. PHOENIX UNLEASHED (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 4:12

  21. ESCAPE FROM ALKALI (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 4:54

  22. LIBERTY ISLAND (X-Men — Kamen) 2:41

  23. THE FUNERAL (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:37

  24. GOODBYE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 4:10

  25. HOLDING THE LINE (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 9:37

  26. LOGAN AND ROGUE (X-Men — Kamen) 2:00

  27. A NEW WORLD (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 3:11

  28. CHECKMATE (X-Men — Kamen) 0:42

  29. THE LAST STAND (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:02

  30. THE LAKE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 7:39


X-MEN (2000)
Composed and Conducted by
MICHAEL KAMEN
Orchestrated by ROBERT ELHAI and BRAD WARNAAR
Performed by the LOS ANGELES ALL STARS ORCHESTRA
Featuring STEVE ERDODY on 'cello
Sampling and Programming by JAMES BRETT and MICHAEL PRICE
Electronic Percussion by KLAUS BADELT
Produced by MICHAEL KAMEN, STEPHEN McLAUGHLIN and CHRISTOPHER BROOKS
Engineered by STEPHEN McLAUGHLIN and JOEL IWITAKI


X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003)
Composed by
JOHN OTTMAN
Orchestrated by DAMON INTRABARTOLO, JOHN OTTMAN, FRANK MACCHIA,
RICK GIOVINAZZO, CHRISTOPHER TIN and PIERRE ANDRÉ
Choral Arrangements by DEBORAH LURIE
Orchestra and Choir Conducted by DAMON INTRABARTOLO
Produced and Engineered by CASEY STONE


X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (2006)
Composed and Produced by
JOHN POWELL
Arranged and Programmed by JOHN POWELL, JOHN ASHTON THOMAS and JAMES McKEE SMITH
Orchestrated by BRAD DECHTER, BRUCE FOWLER, RANDY KERBER, JOHN ASHTON THOMAS, SUZETTE MORIARTY,
RICK GIOVANNAZZO, KEVIN KLIESCH, CONRAD POPE, WALT FOWLER and KEN KLUGER
Performed by the HOLLYWOOD STUDIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ARTIE KANE
Choir Conducted by EDIE LEHMANN BODDICKER
Engineered by SHAWN MURPHY and DAN LERNER

All Tracks Recorded at NEWMAN STUDIOS, Twentieth Century Fox

Text from X-Men: The Last Stand from the Requiem Mass:
LATIN

Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
Quando Judex est venturus,
Dies irae, dies illa.

Tuba mirum spargens sonum,
Per sepulchra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum,
Mors stupebit et natura,
Cum resurget creatura,
Judicanti responsura.
ENGLISH

This day, this day of wrath,
Shall consume the World in ashes,
When the judge shall come,
This day, this day of wrath.

The trumpet, scattering its awful sound,
Across the graves of all lands,
Summons all before the throne,
Death and nature shall be stunned,
When mankind arises,
To render account before the judge.


  1. X2 (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:12
    As usual, I try to open my compilations with an overture of sorts. In an idea carried over from the original edit, I combined three strident versions of each composer's primary X-Men theme, starting with John Ottman's X2. This particular track combines the mysterioso elements from the film's main title and the album's "Suite from X2" to elongate the lead-in. The theme in its full heroic form is from the tail end of "We're Here To Stay," which closed the album with an alternate arrangement of the main title theme.

  2. X1 (X-Men — Kamen) 0:31
    This propulsive quotation of Michael Kamen's string-heavy, mounting theme is culled from the movie's end title, as the main title presented his material for Cerebro (heard in track "Finding Rogue," track 18). This leads directly into…

  3. X3 (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 0:42
    …this version of John Powell's driving theme (the brass ostinato is a sly reference to John Williams' genre-defining score for Superman), which was his original take on the film's main title montage. While I had access to the actual film version of the main title, I decided to stick with the version from "Bathroom Titles" on the soundtrack CD because I felt it made a more satisfying opening and blended better with the previous track.

  4. DEATH CAMP (X-Men — Kamen) 2:54
    A forbidding piano figure (not heard in the film in the scene, but heard during this cue's reprisal in the end credits suite) opens this dark evocation of a Nazi concentration camp. Wrenching strings are heard as young Eric Lensherr is separated from his family; in his struggle to rejoin them, he is revealed to have some effect on metal. Nascent elements of Kamen's music for Magneto is heard as the music crescendos.

  5. CEREBRO (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:21
    From pure horror we now segue to this serene piece reflecting the benevolence of Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Professor X explains to Logan (Hugh Jackman) that while using Cerebro, he is connected to every mind on the planet, which is illustrated by one of the film's most breathtaking effects.

  6. JEAN’S CALL (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:23
    This track introduces Powell's arabesque Phoenix material and consists of two cues. The halting statements of the theme are from "Remembering Jean" (which does not appear on the album), which was written as Scott Summers (James Marsden) mourns for Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). The duration is the rhapsodic "Whirlpool of Love," as Alkali Lake reveals quite a surprise to the grief-stricken Cyclops. This is a marked departure from the structure of the original disc, where I didn't introduce the Phoenix material until the second half of the album. I specifically wanted to spread that theme out a bit more on this version.

  7. SNEAKY MYSTIQUE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:50
    Woodwinds and percussion introduce a sequence in which Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), disguised first as Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison), then as Yuriko "Lady Deathstrike" Oyama (Kelly Hu), infiltrates the private offices of William Stryker (Brian Cox). The first 18 seconds or so of this track were recorded after the rest of it to score a shot added later in the film's editing process than the original cue, and so do not appear on the original soundtrack album. Mystique's theme is slinky confection for harp, strings and acapella women's voices; the 'cello line contains a sly nod to Kamen's theme for the same character in the previous film…

  8. THE ABDUCTION (X-Men — Kamen) 3:34
    …which was a wavering line for electric 'cello and electronics heard as Mystique assaults the real Senator Kelly in "Helicopter Hijack," which then cuts loose with the slashing strings and horns of Kamen's theme for Magneto (Sir Ian McKellan). When the Senator comes to, he is in "Magneto's Lair," where he is subjected to an experiment designed to turn him into a mutant, in which various elements of Magneto's theme and the main X-Men theme collide with one another. Icy synthesizer sounds are then heard as the Senator begins evidencing the changes, which leads to another full-bore presentation of Magneto's theme. The album track "Magneto's Lair" had most of the elements of this assembly but in a different order and with some different (and very strange) edits. This track covers much of the same material but is organized in a manner more consistent with its appearance in the film, but also edited to flow a bit more smoothly than the raw score (and to be more concise than the track "The Mutation of Senator Kelly" which was my initial attempt at this suite idea for the original version of this compilation). This is the first part of a three-track Magneto suite in which I explore how each composer handled the iconic character.

  9. MAGNETO’S OLD TRICKS (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:18
    Surging brass and choir give Magneto a grandiose air as he savagely murders his jailer (Ty Olsson). The brass is joined by scratchy strings as they reach for Straussian heights while he destroys his jail cell and dispatches the rest of the guards to make good his escape.

  10. THE CONVOY (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 3:00
    One of Powell's tasks in composing his score for X-Men: The Last Stand was to reconcile the diverse sound the two previous composers had on the series. His approach to Magneto is a good example of this, melding the epic brass-based quality of Ottmans with the slashing, string-heavy sound of Kamen theme to create a theme that is new but consistent with both. This track is a suite starting with a quote from "The Church of Magneto," but then segues to an action-packed version of the theme for Magneto's rescue of Mystique in "Jailbreak." This cue did not appear on the soundtrack album, but ironically, one can hear music in this track that does not appear in the movie as Mystique's transformation in the film — heard here as a section for electronics and aleatory strings — has a section of "The Battle of the Cure" (heard as part of "Holding the Line," track 25) over this moment. The track closes with a reprise of Magneto's theme from "Raven Is My Slave Name."

  11. LOGAN AND JEAN (X-Men — Kamen) 1:14
    This is a more intimate version of a rapturous theme that is heard earlier in the film as "Logan and Rogue" (track 26). I chose to use this more spare arrangement for piano and 'cello to introduce the theme, structurally using it to follow the Jean and Logan thread on the album.

  12. MISSION TO BOSTON (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 1:58
    This track opens with the beginning of "Sneaky Mystique" as Storm and Jean take off to track the Mutant responsible for an attack on the White House. Ottman represents the X-Jet with an eight-note ostinato underneath his main X-Men theme; this will return in "The Drake House" (track 16). We then segue to "Meeting Nightcrawler" as the mysterious assassin is revealed to be the kindly Kurt Wagner (Alan Cumming), but the music takes on an ominous tone when he describes his ordeal. This cue did not appear on the original soundtrack album. Both of these elements appeared but separately on the original version of this compilation; the transition from "Logan and Jean" to the opening of "Sneaky Mystique" was preserved from that edition.

  13. SKATING ON THE POND (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:34
    A delicate harp figure leads into a tender presentation of Powell's "mutant empowerment" theme as Bobby Drake (Shawn Ashmore) takes Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) out to the pond so that she can skate again. The original soundtrack album only contains about half of this cue, which here continues to include the decision of Rogue (Anna Paquin) to prevent her relationship with Bobby to be jeopardized. This is the introduction on this album of the more introspective version of Powell's X-Men theme, which will be further explored later.

  14. MUTANT SCHOOL (X-Men — Kamen) 1:25
    Icy strings lead into a glittering evocation of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters as Professor X shows Logan around the X-Mansion. The textures created by bells, strings and woodwinds are not too dissimilar to music from the score that many consider to be Kamen's magnum opus, What Dreams May Come two years earlier. This new addition to the compilation came from a desire to showcase more of Kamen's score in this version.

  15. ANGEL’S CURE (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 1:43
    Opening with the minimalist motif for the cure heard on harp and woodwinds, we are then treated to a (literally) soaring rendition of Powell's "mutant empowerment" theme as Angel (Ben Foster) refuses to accept the cure offered by his father (Michael Murphy). This is a different edit of this track from what appeared on my original compilation.


  16. THE DRAKE HOUSE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 2:45
    Forced to flee the X-Mansion when it comes under attack by Stryker's forces, Logan, Rogue, Bobby and Pyro (Aaron Stanford) take refuge in the household of Bobby's family. Pyro's motif is heard as he jealously looks at the family photos in "Harmless Kiss." A magical passage is heard as Bobby demonstrates his talent for his parents (Jill Teed and Alf Humphreys) in "What Bobby Can Do," which takes a turn for the dark when Bobby's brother Ronny (James Kirk) is angered by this situation and calls the police. Pyro's motif returns as the frustrated mutant lashes out at the police in "Playing With Fire," which concludes with the arrival of Jean and Storm and the motif associated with the X-Jet as introduced in "Mission To Boston" (track 12)

  17. TRUE POWER (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 1:43
    A muted choir sings the Phoenix theme in "Jean and Logan," which then proceeds to the intensity of "Dark Phoenix Awakes." Although this appears as two track on the album, it is in fact one cue in the movie. The title was gleaned from the chapter title on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film.

  18. FINDING ROGUE (X-Men — Kamen) 2:48
    Rogue is missing; Xavier uses Cerebro to locate her to the same minimalist theme that opens the film (this track is also called "Cerebro"). Dire strings underscore Logan's horrified realization that Magneto's target is not himself, but Rogue in a segment from "Train." Culled from "Magneto Stand-Off" (portions of which also appeared on my original disc) is another bold statement of Magneto's theme; a textural passage with the signature sound for Mystique is heard as she arrives with the Senator's helicopter, then leads to a forbidding reprise of his theme as the Brotherhood of Mutants are extracted.

  19. THE CAMP (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 2:35
    This cue, originally titled "Jean and Logan" (the name was changed to prevent confusion with "Logan and Jean," track 11), did not appear on the soundtrack album and features a long form arrangement for piano and strings of Ottman's theme for Jean. After a brief reprise of Nightcrawler's theme, the track takes an unabashedly romantic turn, which is spoiled by the return of Mystique's slinky theme as introduced in "Sneaky Mystique" (track 7) as Logan realizes that someone is not who they seem.

  20. PHOENIX UNLEASHED (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 4:12
    In one of the standout musical moments of X-Men: The Last Stand, both Xavier and Magneto converge upon Jean Grey's childhood home and inadvertently set off the fury of the Dark Phoenix. A quiet sequence for acappella choir percussion opens the track, but it doesn't stay quiet for long. Brass and percussion soon take over and lead to a cacophonous sequence as fighting breaks out between the X-Men and the Brotherhood. The Phoenix theme then takes over and is given a powerful reading as Jean loses control and the Dark Phoenix lashes out at Xavier in fury. Once again, the album divided a single cue into several smaller tracks; here "Entering the House," "Dark Phoenix's Tragedy" and "Farewell To X." This sequence appeared on my original compilation in a very slightly shorter form as "Phoenix and Xavier." The finale of this track features a section of text from the Requiem Mass (see above).

  21. ESCAPE FROM ALKALI (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 4:54
    The ominous opening of this track, heard as Stryker instructs his son Jason (Michael Reid MacKay) to coax Xavier into killing all of the mutants on earth, is one of this author's favorite parts of X2, both the film and score. This an excerpt from "It's Time" that appeared isolated on my original assembly, while some of the material that follows was heard in "Escape From Alkali Dam" on my original compilation. This is followed by "Reconfiguration" (which appeared as the second part of "Magneto's Old Tricks" on the soundtrack album), which features more bold brass music for Magneto as well as a more introspective version as he proves as willing to use Xavier as Stryker did. A two note off-key piano motif represents Mutant 143 while a bold version of the main X-Men theme is heard as Stryker escapes the compound. Pyro's motif returns, this time given a militaristic spin as he chooses to join the Brotherhood in an excerpt from "Getting Out Alive," but we then back up a bit to present the sorrowful passage for solo female vocal "Death Strikes Deathstryke." The track concludes with variations on the X-Jet material from "Rogue Earns Her Wings."

  22. LIBERTY ISLAND (X-Men — Kamen) 2:41
    The tragic theme related to the Holocaust introduced in "Death Camp" (track 4) is reprised as Magneto explains to Rogue how after the horrors of his past he fled to the United States, only to find this "Land of Tolerance" was home to bigotry and hatred as well. A forbidding reading of Magneto's theme is heard in "Over the Wall;" the segue from "Land of Tolerance" to "Over the Wall" was one that I liked very much from the "Liberty Island" suite on my original album. New to this version is a segment of "Museum Fight" featuring the courageous arrangement of Kamen's main X-Men theme (neglected on my original) as Storm brings down the pain (and a pretty terrible pun) down upon Toad (Ray Park). I incorporated a small section of "The Statue of Liberty" to give this piece a clean finale; the 'cello line there is one of the most trademark Kamen sounds.

  23. THE FUNERAL (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:37
    Although this piece opens with the themes for Magneto and "mutant empowerment," it is dominated by an emotional reading of Powell's main X-Men theme. This lush, powerful version at times seems to evoke the sweeping melodies of John Barry, and is a testament to the versatility of the theme. This track originally appeared much earlier on the former disc; I felt that it needed to be later in the sequence to earn these emotions; the extended version of "Skating On the Pond" allowed me to introduce this setting of the theme and save this track for a moment when the listener was more invested.

  24. GOODBYE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 4:10
    I included this track as part of "Escape From Alkali Dam" on my original assembly, but I decided to break up the two events to make the album flow better. Tension and beauty collide in this track as Jean Grey sacrifices herself to save her friends, and so hers is the primary thematic element heard here. I briefly toyed with the idea of moving the pastoral section at the conclusion to after "Holding the Line," but I found that it didn't work there, nor did I need it as I had already moved "Logan and Rogue" there.

  25. HOLDING THE LINE (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 9:37
    The conclusion of X-Men: The Last Stand features a truly epic Battle Royale between the Brotherhood and the X-Men at Alcatraz Island, encompassed in the album tracks "Attack On Alcatraz," "Massacre" and "The Battle of the Cure" (again, a single cue, merely separated by track marks on the CD) It is therefore fitting that the conflict would be scored with the themes for Magneto and the X-Men (in several supercharged renditions) playing against one another, leading to a dramatic moment when Logan, Storm and Beast (Kelsey Grammer) administer the cure to Magneto. Unfortunately, Jean takes exception to this turn of events and the Phoenix theme — again featuring a choir singing text from the Requiem Mass (see above) — is heard sounding downright apocalyptic in "Phoenix Rises." The opening of "The Last Stand" was incorporated at the end to complete this musical sequence. On my original compilation, I had created a track called "The Last Stand" that consisted of an edit very similar to this, but also including the material heard in "A New World" (track 27).

  26. LOGAN AND ROGUE (X-Men — Kamen) 2:00
    This cue is a standout moment of Michael Kamen's all-too short career, a masterpiece of beauty and texture heard as Logan grieves over Rogue… but the young mutant's powers are still in effect, and she is revived by Logan's healing factor. This track appeared much earlier on the original assembly, but I moved for two reasons: like "The Funeral," it was something that really needed to be earned, and I wanted to have a more positive catharsis after the tragic conclusion of the previous sequence; the much more hopeful "Logan Holds Rogue" becomes the emotional conclusion to the album. This version incorporates the choral samples that appear in the film mix but not on the album; I was even able to make a smoother 'outro' for them than that which appears in the film.

  27. A NEW WORLD (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 3:11
    A hopeful version of Powell's main X-Men theme plays out as Charles Xavier's dream of harmony between humans and mutants becomes a reality. The "mutant empowerment" theme is presented in its most powerful form as Angel glides over Golden Gate Park, revealing a sullen Eric Lensherr, who, no longer gifted with god-like powers, is merely an old man. His theme is briefly quoted as he is seen is sitting at a chessboard, a game he would often play with Xavier, looking at the metal pieces…

  28. CHECKMATE (X-Men — Kamen) 0:42
    Now we segue to one of those chess games as depicted at the end of X-Men, an introspective piano phrase reflecting the one that opened "Death Camp" (track 4) that does not appear in the film but is at the very tail end of "Logan and Rogue" on the album. Kamen's X-Men theme is then reprised one last time (not heard on the album) as Xavier leaves Magneto in his plastic cell in a mounting arrangement leading into the film's end title…

  29. THE LAST STAND (X-Men: The Last Stand — Powell) 2:02
    …but instead we transition into the end title for the third film, featuring the main X-Men theme in heroic mode, brief quotations of the "mutant empowerment" and Magneto themes, as well as the cure motif and concludes with a bold statement of the Phoenix theme. The segue from the previous track to this one was something I replicated from the original assembly, although I did give a little breathing room to the transition from this track to the next.

  30. THE LAKE (X2: X-Men United — Ottman) 7:39
    A warm guitar heard as Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is re-opened. Jean's theme is then given a rapturous reading as, in a nod to the finale of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Famke Janssen recites Patrick Stewart's opening narration from the first film and a vague, bird-like shape is seen under the water in "The Lake," and the music likewise is an homage to James Horner's contribution to that film. This leads into the film's end titles, which on the album is presented as "Suite from X2," while the source I had for "The Lake" concluded with the same quotation of the main title theme from at the end of "We're Here To Stay" (heard on this album as part of "X2," track 1), and so I had to re-create the edit that appeared in the film myself (although I did not replicate the insertions of cues to the film version to pad the suite out to the full length of the credits). The suite presents concert arrangements of the main X-Men theme, Jean's theme, the motives for Pyro and Stryker and then concludes with a defiant reading of the main X-Men theme, which gives the album a slam-bang closing.

Tags: film music, john ottman, john powell, michael kamen, my mixes, science fiction, x-men
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