|1.||Boys Playing Airplanes||4:08|
|2.||Exploring The Forest||2:32|
|3.||The Train Ride To A New Home||3:30|
|4.||The Winds Gently Blow Through The Garden||5:52|
|5.||An Odd Discovery Beyond The Trees||2:48|
|6.||Dolls Are Not For Big Girls, Propaganda Is…||3:40|
|8.||Evening Supper - A Family Slowly Crumbles||7:48|
|10.||The Boys’ Plans, From Night To Day||2:35|
|11.||Strange New Clothes||9:50|
Intrada Special Collection presents: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Beautifully scored James Horner soundtrack premieres on CD! Haunting, ultimately stunning 2008 Mark Herman film from famous John Boyne bestseller tells story of two young boys sharing growing friendship albeit formidable fence made of steel poles with tightly meshed barbed wire stands between them. Adding to their challenge: this is 1944 Berlin.
Beautifully scored James Horner soundtrack premieres on CD! Haunting, ultimately stunning 2008 Mark Herman film from famous John Boyne bestseller tells story of two young boys sharing growing friendship albeit formidable fence made of steel poles with tightly meshed barbed wire stands between them. Adding to their challenge: this is 1944 Berlin.
One boy’s father is respected German commander, the other’s father is Jewish prisoner in camp where everyone wears “striped pajamas.” Neither boy yet understands why the camp’s population dwindles nor what the black smoke coming from concrete stacks means.
When the tale reaches its horrific denouement, audiences are in shock. Herman scripts, Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend star, James Horner scores. Musical challenge was significant: Provide deep feeling to the story, make it vaguely Germanic, yet keep it neutral, very simple, stark. Solo piano anchors, strings provide sensitive layer of weight, oboe offers tender support. Horner creates profound harmonic vocabulary for ultimately grim story: Major chords predominate.
Main theme is gently lyrical with abundance of major chords to accompany it while numerous important sequences put whole tone progressions in the spotlight. Not “sunny” sonorities by any means, these are major chords moving by steps both upwards, downwards, evoking rich emotional feeling.
Every idea works with innocence, discovery and emotion, all heading towards an inexorable climax: Here Horner sustains his shifting harmonies for nearly ten minutes with ever thickening string figures slowly building with increasing density and dissonance towards a shocking conclusion.
A masterful cue! Entire score then comes down to closing credit music, played on solo piano (after brief string introduction), made heartfelt when listeners note soloist is James Horner himself. Score recorded, mixed by Simon Rhodes at Eastwood Scoring Stage, Warner Bros. in March 2008.
Composer and engineer selected a generous 52 minutes of music (nearly the entire score) in 2008 and prepared a beautifully assembled album that never saw commercial CD release until this premiere Intrada presentation, courtesy Hollywood Records. Booklet art direction by Kay Marshall, notes by Frank K. DeWald. James Horner composes, orchestrates, conducts.
Intrada Special Collection presents: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. James Horner's gift, among many gifts, was his ability to find and focus on the most intimate and subtle emotions, bringing them to the forefront with his music. It mattered not whether he was scoring an epic like Titanic or an intimate drama like The Man Without a Face.
James Horner's gift, among many gifts, was his ability to find and focus on the most intimate and subtle emotions, bringing them to the forefront with his music. It mattered not whether he was scoring an epic like Titanic or an intimate drama like The Man Without a Face. The 2008 film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was of the latter type, a film where the interior life of the characters was the driving force of the drama. Horner purposely avoids drawing attention to the music by limiting his palette to the somber sounds of piano, strings, oboes, French horns, low-lying trumpet and occasional ambient sounds. No other percussion — but the piano is always in the spotlight. Harmonic color is important, with relatively little dissonance. As the composer described it, the score undergoes a transformation over the course of the film, having very little forward momentum to 'suddenly becoming panic.'
Horner, along with recording engineer Simon Rhodes, mixed and assembled a generous 52-minute album at the time of the film’s release, though it was never issued in physical form until this premiere Intrada CD. Recorded at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, this album covers almost all the score and features several lengthy tracks comprising multiple cues, as was customary for the composer.
The 2008 film adaptation tells the story of eight-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield), a boy growing up in 1944 Berlin until his soldier father, Ralf (David Thewlis), receives a promotion and moves the family out of the city. Unhappy to leave his friends, Bruno does not adjust well to the change and feels imprisoned by the old, fortress-like house. One day, disobeying his parents, he escapes over the wall and goes exploring. He comes upon a fenced-off compound that he had already noticed through his window (until his parents covered the view). He sees a boy sitting on the other side of the fence and they begin an awkward friendship. Meanwhile, Bruno’s mother, Elsa (Vera Farmiga), slowly starts to understand— to her horror—the true nature of her husband’s new assignment. It all leads to a painful, tragic conclusion.
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