Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jane Komarov
Tan Dun's score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a work of great emotion and originality. A distinguished composer of operatic and symphonic music, Dun has crafted a diverse musical world not often found in martial arts movies. But then again, Ang Lee's film is no ordinary kung fu action flick. Sure, there are plenty of fight sequences, choreographed by Yuen Wo-ping The Matrix, but the action is intertwined with a story of tradition, honor, and ultimately love. Dun's music combines Western harmonies and instrumentation -- featuring exquisitely performed cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma -- with traditional Eastern instruments such as the rawap, tar drums, and erhu. This mix ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jane Komarov
Tan Dun's score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a work of great emotion and originality. A distinguished composer of operatic and symphonic music, Dun has crafted a diverse musical world not often found in martial arts movies. But then again, Ang Lee's film is no ordinary kung fu action flick. Sure, there are plenty of fight sequences, choreographed by Yuen Wo-ping The Matrix, but the action is intertwined with a story of tradition, honor, and ultimately love. Dun's music combines Western harmonies and instrumentation -- featuring exquisitely performed cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma -- with traditional Eastern instruments such as the rawap, tar drums, and erhu. This mix of East and West, old and new, vividly paints the film's atmosphere and the emotional state of its characters. "To the South" revels in sounds of nature and space, giving way to a rhythmic duet between Chinese flute and percussion. The tracks "Sorrow" and "Farewell" will haunt the listener's memory long after the end credits roll. The soundtrack ends with the film's theme song, "A Love Before Time," sung on two separate tracks in English and Mandarin by international star CoCo Lee. It's an enjoyable conclusion, although it does come as a surprise to have the captivating spell of the 13 preceding tracks broken by Dun's venture into pop.
All Music Guide - Evan Cater
Though it was made in Taiwan, set in China and written in Mandarin, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is something of a cultural hybrid. The film was the brainchild of a Taiwanese director (Ang Lee) with an impressive Hollywood resume that includes Sense and Sensibility and The Ice Storm. The screenplay was adapted from a Chinese novel by two Asians and an American and it featured international movie star Chow Yun Fat. Stylistically, the movie drew as much from Hollywood romantic epics as it did from Chinese martial arts dramas. The challenge for the film's composer, Tan Dun, was to score the film with music that would represent its multi-cultural origins and multi-faceted influences. His solution was to blend sweeping Western orchestral music with traditional Chinese instruments like rawap, tar drums and Chinese erhu while using another internationally renowned Asian, cellist Yo Yo Ma, as a sort of bridge between the two styles. Dun's strategy works beautifully in the film; striking perfectly the delicate balance between the exotic and the familiar -- exactly what is required by a script that paints a romanticized fantasy version of ancient China grounded in universal emotional experience. The romantic themes ("The Eternal Vow," "Farewell") are stirring without being manipulative and memorable without being repetitive. Even more impressive are the musical pieces for the film's graceful combat scenes. Unlike most American action films, Crouching Tiger does not swamp the audience in discordant suspense music. And though the warriors do fly across their battlefields like stones skipping lightly across a pond, Dun does not attempt an E.T.-like soaring score. Instead, the action scenes are accompanied by vibrant Chinese rhythms, mercifully abandoning melody altogether. The only false moment on the soundtrack is the grating end credit pop ballad "A Love Before Time," which is performed by Asian American singer CoCo Lee. The song is a transparent attempt to mimic Celine Dion's megahit closer for Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On," and it is an infuriatingly commercial conclusion to a gloriously original film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/14/2000
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998934726
  • Catalog Number: 89347

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (3:23)
  2. 2 Eternal Vow (3:01)
  3. 3 Wedding Interrupted (2:16)
  4. 4 Night Fight (3:10)
  5. 5 Silk Road (3:08)
  6. 6 To the South (2:21)
  7. 7 Through the Bamboo Forest (4:23)
  8. 8 Encounter (2:40)
  9. 9 Desert Capriccio (4:33)
  10. 10 In the Old Temple (3:46)
  11. 11 Yearning of the Sword (3:34)
  12. 12 Sorrow (4:02)
  13. 13 Farewell (2:25)
  14. 14 A Love Before Time (English Version) - CoCo Lee (3:44)
  15. 15 A Love Before Time (Mandarin Version) - CoCo Lee (3:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tan Dun Conductor
Yo-Yo Ma Cello
Jorge Calandrelli Conductor, Keyboards, Musician
Julio Hernandez Electric Bass
Wendy Pedersen Background Vocals
Archie Pena Percussion
Dan Warner Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Tommy Anthony Background Vocals
CoCo Lee Vocals
David Cossin Percussion
Chen Xie Yang Conductor
Alimjan Tursun Rawap
Technical Credits
Tan Dun Composer, Producer
Jorge Calandrelli Arranger, Programming, Producer
Richard King Engineer
Dave Reitzas Engineer
Lisa Sparagano Art Direction
Javier Garza Engineer
Ken Fredette Art Direction
Alfred Figueroa Engineer
Freddy Piñero Jr. Engineer
Lu Xiao Xing Engineer
Steven Epstein Producer
Laraine Perri Executive Producer
Xu Gou Qin Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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(3)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Digital emotion, if such a thing exists,,,

    This is simply the most profound album I've ever heard. I heard Yo Yo Ma in concert on his Silk Road tour and was so impressed by this under-sung cellist that I bought this album 'blind' just to hear him play. Pour a glass of good shiraz, turn off the cell phone, and spend an hour gazing into your own soul.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely Phenomenal

    Incredible. I have never been a big classical fan, but this album changed that. It fit the the scenes in the movie very well. But what I liked the most was the blending between the traditional chinese instruments and the orchestral instruments. For example, the ''singing'' sound of the erhu mixes well with the deep sound of the cello, as the rawap does. Also, the two flutes blend well with the music, the dizi high, and the bawu low. The deep sound of the drums are great. This blend of music creates a haunting, yet wonderful effect on you, especially, the last song. I recommend highly that you buy this album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nothing weeps like the cello

    There's an old saying, ''Nothing weeps like the cello.'' Before the cello can express it's bittersweet sound, it must know the song it is to play. Tan Dun captures the ineffable emotions of pain, sorrow, love, etc. on this soundtrack where words could never have been able to express.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Soundtrack w/ one exception

    The east meets west combination is great and the soundtrack is very balanced. I only have one complaint and that is CoCo Lee. She tries too hard to make the English version of ''A Love Before Time'' sound too R&B-ish and her Mandarin version is even worse. Her prounouciations make her a dead giveaway as an ABC (American Born Chinese). A better choice for the Mandarin singer would have been A-Mei (a Taiwanese pop star), Faye Wong (Hong Kong pop star; she did the song ''Eyes on Me'' for Final Fantasy 7) or Kelly Chen (another Hong Kong pop star). I am sure there can be a better singer for the English version of this song also, maybe someone like Sarah McLaughlin would give it a more dreamy feel instead of making it sound like cheesy pop. I'd love to give the eastern musicians a lot of credit, the erhu (chinese violin?) is particularly moving and YoYo Ma has no equal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    exquisite

    Sit quietly and listen. You will be spellbound.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    this soundtrack soars

    This soundtrack covers the wide range of this Academy-Award nominated film. From the frantic drum-beats of the first chase to the mellow, somber finale, it brings back the movie and all its emotions and characters. The pop track included is a beautiful love song with poetic lyrics and a short, haunting snippet from the cello, played by none other than Yo-Yo Ma. This movie's music stood out like the music in The Last of the Mohicans and Schindler's List.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Captures the Film magnificently

    From the gentle, tranquil opening to the images of dark, furtive figures leaping across rooftops to the encounter in the desert this CD captures the high points of this magnificent film. The western orchestra integrated with the traditional Chinese instruments made for a delightful cinematic experience. And to top it off, the film's theme song as rendered by one of Asia's newest pop stars in both English and Mandarin. Truly a CD that will provide many hours of unforgetable memories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A cultural Masterpiece

    This soundtrack is phenominal with the rhythms as well as the final 2 cuts off the album. I think this soundtrack is well written and wonderfully crafted. I highly reccommend it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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