Mark McKenzie surprised many, including me, with his sweeping, Irish influenced score for the TV film Durango in the beginning of 1999. The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, from 1997, is equally grand and lush and when listening to this score it is hard to understand why Mark McKenzie isn't talked about more in the film music community.
One of the composers greatest gift seems to be his talent to create memorable themes. One of the things that made Durango such a wonderful score was its excellent thematic material. Garcia Lorca has its fair share of memorable themes to build on, as well. The absolute highlight is Lorca's theme, first heard in the opening cue. It's a lyrical, incredibly beautiful theme. Both epic, romantic and tragic at the same time. McKenzie writes in the liner notes that "this music came from my heart and soul and I hope that it speaks to yours in some meaningful way." You bet.
Although mostly sweeping, with a big orchestral sound, the score has a great deal of suspense and action music, as well. It is always melodic - McKenzie almost never abandones the different themes - and very powerful, energetic and, most of all, entertaining. To illustrate death in the score, McKenzie makes use of Manolo Segura's flamenco singing, combined with desperate sounding strings. This gives the music a somewhat eerie and uneasy sound, which probably is exactly what McKenzie was trying to achieve. Very effective, but at the same time also very disturbing.
The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca is an incredibly beautiful, dramatic score, although I would have to rank Durango a teeny weeny bit higher. The release, by Intrada, who also released Durango is long, over 55 minutes, and the liner notes are good, with a small note by the composer, something I always find very interesting to read.