|1.||Legends of the Fall||4:17|
|3.||Off to War||5:55|
|4.||To the Boys...||2:49|
|6.||Alfred Moves to Helena||3:01|
|7.||Farewell/Descent Into Madness||8:13|
|8.||The Changing Seasons, Wild Horses, Tristan's Return||5:11|
|10.||Isabel's Murder, Recollections of Samuel||3:58|
|13.||Alfred, Tristan, The Colonel, The Legend...||15:09|
| ||75:15| Submit your review
With the film taking place in Montana, James Horner's epic score for Edward Zwick's Legends of the Fall really captures the beautiful nature - the huge mountains and the vast plains. Horner's orchestrations focus on the strings, and this, together with the huge orchestral sound, creates a very lush, sweeping and romantic sound. In fact Legends of the Fall contains some of the most beautiful music Horner has ever written. There are, however, some more dramatic parts, as well. "Samuel's Death", for instance, is a long cue, with excellent writing for brass. The cue has an incredible drive and energy, and gets more and more dramatic and reaches its heartbreaking and powerful climax when Samuel is shot and dies in his brothers arms.
Legends of the Fall is thematicly very rich, and is one of the few scores by Horner which makes use of leitmotifs, which means that many of the major charachters all have been assigned unique themes or motifs, which show up in the music when the person is on screen and so on. As many of the persons in the film are related - the story revolves around one family, the Ludlows - Horner chooses to make their themes somewhat similar, when it comes to harmony and style. Jointly for all themes in this score are their beautiful and sweeping sound.
The cue "The Ludlows" is the best demonstration of the different themes in the score. It opens with a piano rendition of the song "Twilight and Mist" - in the song sunged by Samuel (this theme is later used to symbolize him) - performed by Horner, before it moves into lush, and simply wonderful, orchestral renditions of the themes for the members of the Ludlow family.
Horner uses the desolate and wild sound of the Shakuhachi to portray, or symbolize, the more wild side of Tristan, Brad Pitt's charachter. The best example of its usage is the cue "Revenge". It's rather similiar to the track with the same title in Horner's score for Braveheart - shakuhachi, synths and percussion. As well as the haunting voice of Maggie Boyle. Very atmosperhic and eerie. Horner also makes use of the fiddle, performed by Jay Ungar, in some parts of the score.
All together Legends of the Fall is a wonderful score. The fact that the music is performed by the splendid London Symphony Orchestra add to the finishing touch, of course. And that the CD is long - around 75 minutes - just makes it more worth the money. The only negative I can think of is that the score can be a little depressing at times. This music is not exactly written for a story with a happy ending. But even so, this is a gorgeous score by James Horner.
Although containing much that is reminiscent of other Horner scores, this is a fine work and certainly stands up with the best of the past few years. Much of it has a very 'homely' and warm feel to it with his typical lush string sound, made even better by the LSO's excellent performance. The central theme is a noble one that is reminiscent of the theme later used by David Arnold in his Independence Day score, but this is a much more tender theme in this context. It occurs mainly at the beginning and end and doesn't crop up much during the middle of the score, this gives the score a kind of book ended feel to it. The other theme, which is used much more often is reminiscent of the Cocoon theme and is very emotive. There are other less well defined themes that represent the characters in the story using the Leit Motif approach to deliniate each member of the family musically. This works well and although I haven't seen the film, recognising each theme would put that character to mind after having seen the film. There is action in Off to War with the now familiar sakuhatchis topping off the orchestral mix, although it is never overbearing, which is a relief as Horner, I feel, does tend to get carried away when using it to the point of it being very intrusive. Revenge is almost identical to a similarly titled track in Braveheart with synthesised choir and drums giving it a very eerie feel that is most effective in both films. Ending with a suite that contains all of the major themes, this disc comes to a very satisfying conclusion that is worthy of the rest of the score. For all those who like Glory and Horner's more mature works in general, this is one you won't want to pass up.