Hart's War [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Hart's War [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

by Rachel Portman
     
 

In 1997, Rachel Portman (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) became the first female composer to win an Academy Award, for her score for Emma. She maintains her standard of excellence with her lushly orchestrated score for director Gregory Hoblit's Hart's War, a…  See more details below

Overview

In 1997, Rachel Portman (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) became the first female composer to win an Academy Award, for her score for Emma. She maintains her standard of excellence with her lushly orchestrated score for director Gregory Hoblit's Hart's War, a WWII drama set in a German POW camp. Portman's classical background (as a child she played piano, violin, and organ and began composing at 15) is reflected in the richly textured layers of instrumentation. Take, for example, the richly nuanced scene played out in "Scott's Macon, Georgia Story/Train Yard Strafing and Bombing": The score's gentle theme is softly carried here by a piano and bowed upright bass. Gradually, a shimmering mass of strings, ominously punctuated by a kettle drum, leads into an increasingly grand and tension-filled movement, reaches a climax, and slowly fades back into the original melody. This kind of resonant and even haunting introspectiveness is rare in action-film music, but it is found everywhere in Portman's score. In short, there's a lot of heart in this War.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
"Hart's War is not a war story," writes director Gregory Hoblit at the start of his liner notes to the film's soundtrack album, taking head-on the double takes most movie music fans are likely to do upon learning that the picture was scored by Rachel Portman. Portman, the Oscar-winning composer of Emma, also wrote music for Chocolat and The Cider House Rules, but she isn't the kind of writer one would think of immediately for a film starring Bruce Willis and set in a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp. But then, says, Hoblit, the picture "is not a World War II prisoner of war escape movie, either." What sort of movie is it? It's "fundamentally about captured American soldiers finding grace, dignity, and honor in the face of extremely difficult and deadly circumstances." Portman's score certainly responds to this interpretation. Its sweeping orchestral music sometimes conveys anxiety, such as in a cue called "Train Yard Strafing and Bombing," but never connotes a real sense of violence. It is lush, sad, and romantic, much more like Emma than it is like, say, Franz Waxman's score for Stalag 17 or Elmer Bernstein's for The Great Escape. It suggests that whatever viewers may expect based on the advertisements and trailers for the film, they are likely to find something else when they go to the theater.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/12/2002
Label:
Decca U.S.
UPC:
0044001688621
catalogNumber:
016886

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