|2.||Double Divide|| |
|3.||The Whisperers|| |
|5.||There Was Snow (Opening)|| |
|6.||Hooking On|| |
|8.||Pilgrim's Progress|| |
|9.||Runaway Meadow|| |
|11.||Voice of God|| |
|12.||The Rhythm of The Horse|| |
|13.||Rancher's Wife|| |
|15.||Simple Truths|| |
|16.||Hereford Cross|| |
|18.||Awkward Talk|| |
|19.||Your Misfortune (None of My Own)|| |
|22.||The Very Act of Being|| |
|24.||Lacy J|| |
|25.||Creek House|| |
|26.||The Vast Continent|| |
|27.||Percheron Stallion|| |
|28.||End Title|| | Submit your review
As a director, Robert Redford has made some decent films and The Horse Whisperer was well received and popular, due to its lovely scenery and engaging performances. The mixture of romance, recovery and riding makes it the ideal chick flick for the horsey crowd. Many directors don't seem to have a good grasp of music for films, often being incredibly fussy for no good reason and it is well known that John Barry's score for The Horse Whisperer was thrown out (and it's alleged that Redford didn't like Randy Newman's now famous theme for The Natural, in which he starred - shows what he knows about music really) and Thomas Newman was brought in as a last minute replacement. Nobody seems to be quite sure if Barry's concert album, The Beyondness of Things is actually from his rejected score, but given the timing, it seems a reasonable assumption. In retrospect, Thomas Newman seems an ideal choice for the project and while his score has its moments, the album is too uneven to be truly satisfying.
The bulk of The Horse Whisperer falls fairly squarely into the category of fairly 'normal' Newman scores, with little in the way of outlandish instrumentation (even though a fair few unorthodox instruments are listed in the packaging) and some very tuneful moments. Angus opens the album strongly with acoustic guitar and a mid-west, folksy fiddle tune that bounces along engagingly. The guitar backed material is reprised on a couple of occasions, notably Hereford Cross where some resonant horn chords intrude from time to time, matching the folksy with broader ideas for the expansive and stunningly beautiful Montana countryside. The score's centrepiece, however, is the lively, but more sombre The Rhythm of the Horse, which features the score's most prominent theme, where Newman mixes the guitar with the rest of the orchestra to memorable effect and the material is reprised for the End Title.
There are other short motifs that recur throughout, notably a subtle Copland inspired idea introduced in Double Divide, but a lot of the rest is eerie sustained notes, either on high strings or synthetic tones. Despite being very atmospheric, they do tend to get a little dull after a while and become the score's weak spots. Newman adds one of his trademark piano solos to some of the tracks, but even these are a little unexciting. I've rarely felt a Thomas Newman album was too long, but in this case, The Horse Whisperer is outstays its welcome by a good quarter of an hour. Most of the sustained, but musically uninteresting tracks could have been dropped and the whole thing would be that bit more appealing. However, as it stands, an album worth acquiring for the scattering of fine moments, many of which are as memorable and as good as anything else by Newman.
I can't decide wether I like this score very much, or if I just like it. What I don't like is the more folkish parts of the music, it sounds a little too much like country music sometimes, and... well... that's not my favourite kind of music. What I do like is the more soft, quiet parts with piano and other solo instruments. They're very beautiful and relaxing listening to. I also like the sweeping strings - there should have been more of those, I think. After all the movie takes place in Montana. I kind of missed that Legends of the Fall sound (which also took place in Montana).
Highlights are "Montana" (I haven't seen the film, but I have been told that when we first see Montana, the screen gets wider and this wonderful lush, sweeping music is heard), "The Rythm of the Horse" (which has a wonderful floating and light theme played by woodwinds, and later by the whole orchestra, supported by guitars and percussion.) and "Grace" (a soft cue played by piano, supported by strings and woodwinds).
The music of this soundtrack was used in: Deux Frères
Other releases of The Horse Whisperer (1998):