|2.||North Of The Wall||3:48|
|5.||The King’s Arrival||3:34|
|6.||Love In The Eyes||4:00|
|7.||A Raven From King’s Landing||1:16|
|9.||Things I Do For Love||1:52|
|10.||A Golden Crown||1:38|
|11.||Winter Is Coming||2:42|
|12.||A Bird Without Feathers||2:02|
|13.||Await The King’s Justice||2:00|
|14.||You’ll Be Queen One Day||1:36|
|15.||The Assassin’s Dagger||1:19|
|16.||To Vaes Dothrak||1:29|
|18.||Black Of Hair||1:40|
|19.||You Win Or You Die||1:57|
|20.||Small Pack Of Wolves||1:57|
|21.||Game Of Thrones||1:18|
|22.||Kill Them All||2:35|
|23.||The Pointy End||3:16|
|24.||Victory Does Not Make Us Conquerors||1:35|
|25.||When The Sun Rises In The West||2:40|
|26.||King Of The North||1:28|
|27.||The Night’s Watch||1:44|
|28.||Fire And Blood||4:30|
| ||66:00| Submit your review
This should have been an excellent album highlighting Herrmann's greatest achievements with Alfred Hitchcock, unfortunately it's a rather unsatisfying compilation that features a few noteworthy moments, but also its fair share of duff ones. Getting off onto a spectacularly bad foot is the Narrative for Orchestra that Herrmann assembled from his score to Psycho. The biggest problem is that it lacks any energy, indeed the prelude is played with no vibrancy at all and since the prelude relies quite a bit on the energy of performance as well as the dynamics to keep it interesting, this makes Herrmann's music sound about uninspired as one is likely to hear. The few slower sections, such as the City motifs come out better, but the murder music is if Norman Bates had chronic arthritis of the arms and all the menace of a piece of old cheese.
The highlight for Herrmann fans will undoubtedly be the suite from Marnie, so far only released as a bootleg, this is the most elusive of Herrmann's scores for Hitchcock (even his rejected Torn Cutain has received more releases than this). It is with some relief that I can say that to me, this music is played with all the vibrancy that I would expect and as such provides a fairly decent ten minute cross section of the score. The bold and dramatic opening to the exciting scherzo in the second half the music and playing are great and are a great asset to the album. North by Northwest's riveting Overture is given a fairly exciting rendition that is a hundred times clearer than the original album recording sounds today. The only thing I would say is the recording quality for this is perhaps a little too deadened in places and where there should be a little echo, all we hear is silence. I suppose that considering Herrmann's scores tended to be recorded with a very dry acoustic this makes it more faithful in style, but I would prefer just a little more warmth to my recordings.
Vertigo features the most important cues of the original score in a, believe it or not, slightly fast interpretation. This doesn't quite have the booming grandeur of Joel McNeely's recording and in comparison sounds a bit thin and unexciting and not to mention a fraction rushed in places. A couple of misplaced notes in the performance don't help matters. The Scene d'Amour is rather better and is paced at a more civilised tempo, although again the dry acoustic does nothing to enhance what should be a slightly more lush and rich atmosphere. The Portrait of Hitch from The Trouble with Harry is enjoyable and fun even though I can't help thinking that it sounds too much like slightly overwrought comedy music in places, particularly with that opening four note phrase and the use of mutes to emphasise the final note. Still a joyous interpretation of some of Herrmann's lighter music.
As Herrmann is conducting, we cannot rule out the merits of the somewhat different performances that he extracts from the London Philharmonic, but I can't say that there aren't better performances out there. Psycho in particular will have most people rushing for their videos just to hear if it really should be that slow and lethargic. The Phase 4 stereo isn't quite as upfront as some of the other compilations that Herrmann conducted, but not being a fan of a very deadened acoustic the recording style ultimately wouldn't have been my choice. Worth getting for the suite from Marnie, but if you own the others then probably you can give it a miss unless you're a Herrmann fanatic.
It seems a prerequisite with composers like Klaus Badelt, Steve Jablonsky, and Ramin Djawadi, to note that they are products of Hans Zimmer’s unimaginative (albeit, successful) factory that constantly stamps out movie composers. It’s a prerequisite for the simple reason that one can immediately imagine what the music will sound like - without having ever heard it. Such is the curse (or blessing, depending on who you ask) of composers like Djawadi.
That said, be prepared to both hate and enjoy this soundtrack. As was mentioned in the earlier review, there are fleeting moments of quality. The essential question to be asked, then, is whether the whole endeavor - 29 tracks lasting an admirable hour and five minutes - is worth it. Upon listening to “Main Title,” “Goodbye Brother,” and “The Kingsroad,” three of the first four tracks on the soundtrack, you might be inclined to say that this is a worthwhile soundtrack. After all, “Main Title” thrives at using stirring counter-melodies. “The Kingsroad” juxtaposes lyricism with power in a way that would make Hans Zimmer proud. “Goodbye Brother” is the most subdued of these three examples and easily this reviewer’s favorite track. The solo in the first half of the track atop swelling strings is stunningly beautiful and seemingly a more mature style of composing than the bombastic style that makes up the majority of the soundtrack.
By the fifth track, things start to go downhill and never really recover. “The King’s Arrival” is unmistakably similar to themes written for Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Throughout it and many of the other tracks, Djawadi’s use of handheld cymbals and ethnic drums, while no doubt a response to the medieval era Game of Thrones is set in, fails to convince the listener of the music’s authenticity to the medieval era and instead preoccupies the listener with thoughts of how similar it sounds to tracks like “The Might of Rome” from Zimmer’s Gladiator. The very frequent use of some kind of ethnic lute, too, serves as little more than a reminder of how similar it sounds to Gladiator, or even Atli Ovarsson’s The Eagle.
For most of the soundtrack, the composing elements used are nothing new and give the feeling of being uninspired; almost formulaic. There are, as I mentioned, a few fleeting bright spots. But they come early in the soundtrack, as if Djawadi’s heightened level of creativity could not be sustained past the first four tracks. Where is the creativity we heard in his soundtrack for Mr. Brooks or even Iron Man (to a certain extent)? Just because Game of Thrones is a historical war epic like Gladiator doesn’t mean the same must be true of the soundtrack.
GAME OF THRONES
Music Composed by
(Prison Break, Iron Man)
Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
It will stretch from the south where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all will play the Game of Thrones.
HBO’s latest epic series is based on George R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song Of Ice And Fire, where political and sexual intrigue abound as seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros.
Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man) composes a score of vast scope and grandeur.
GAME OF THRONES debuted to great ratings and critical acclaim on April 17, and has already been renewed for a second season.
Soundtracks from the collection: Series