Saturday, December 5, 2015

Les Miserables..1998 Film Version Original by Basil Poledouris

Basil Poledouris' musical rendition for Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is, quite simply, epic. From the prison quarries to Paris, from the struggle between mercy and justice (Val Jean and Javert), to tenderness and battle (Cosette and the ABC Club), Poledouris has captured it all. The main theme evokes images not only the policeman on the hunt, but the students on the barricade - in one spectacular brass arrangement. A particular favourite is the beginning of track three, where the simplicity of Val Jean and Cosette's relationship (in a delicate flute) is suddenly contrasted with the bustle of the Parisian streets (in bubbling woodwinds and strings).

Poledouris has outdone himself with this composition. His music evokes the crystal style of Ennio Morricone and the cinematic majesty of John Williams. It reflects a conversion from light to dark and completes the painting that is the film. In his composition we hear the brooding of Javert's soul, the love and compassion of Valjean. True to the literary work, both the score and the film focus their attention on the conflict between the redeemed Valjean and the obsessed Javert. The score is insightful on a personal level, allowing the listener the realization that darkness exists in all of us, but that darkness is merely the absense of light, the light of human compassion and love. Superb on a technical level, creatively beautiful, this score makes a fine addition to any personal music library, classical or otherwise.

1. Suite 1, Valjean's Journey: Theme From Les Miserables/The Bishop/Javert/The Quarry
2. Suite 2, Vigau: Javert Suspects/Caring For Fantine/Valjean's Confession/The Death Of Fantine...
3. Suite 3, Paris: Valjean & Cosette/The Wall/Outside/Marius & Cosette/Valjean Remembers
4. Suite 4, The Barricades: Funeral Attack/Valjean Saves Marius/Farewell/Javert's Suicide

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