Hero

Hero

5.0 1
by Tan Dun
     
 

Tan Dun's Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon blended traditional Eastern styles and instruments with Western orchestral techniques to underscore brilliantly the romance and fantastical effects of Ang Lee's film. Bolstered by the expressive cello of See more details below

Overview

Tan Dun's Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon blended traditional Eastern styles and instruments with Western orchestral techniques to underscore brilliantly the romance and fantastical effects of Ang Lee's film. Bolstered by the expressive cello of Yo-Yo Ma, the soundtrack proved nearly as popular with listeners as the movie itself. The Chinese-born Dun returns to his winning formula on Hero, a similar martial-arts epic set in the distant time of the Qin Dynasty and directed by Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou), mixing Eastern and Western elements to create another hauntingly beautiful film score. The atmospheric "Overture" begins with the earthy tones of a violin fitted with silk strings, played by the great Itzhak Perlman, as pointed exclamations from low brass and a distant chorus and orchestra provide unsettling accompaniment. Perlman takes the lead again in the lyrical main theme "For the World," now on traditional violin; vaguely suggestive of moments from Holst's The Planets, the expressive melody establishes a sense of agelessness with modal tonality. Japanese Kodo drums and guttural, throaty chanting add to the elemental feeling of the music on "Warriors," while a sweet-toned female voice tugs at the heartstrings with the gentle melody of "Gone with the Leaves." (The lovely voice belongs to You Yan, a Chinese woman who worked part-time cleaning Dun's New York office; a chance audition led to her fairytale-like appearance on the soundtrack.) Further tracks build on these elements to fashion a sonically and emotionally rich score, a worthy successor to Crouching Tiger. And although Dun's concert music may appeal primarily to adventurous new-music fans (try the off-the-wall Water Passion after St. Matthew), his colorful and often strikingly beautiful film music ranks Dun as one of today's most creative and accessible composers for the big screen.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
For Yimou Zhang' s epic Asian adventure Hero, award-winning composer Tan Dun elegantly blends the traditions of his Chinese homeland with the cinematic flair of the American Western. For his score for the award-winning soundtrack to Ang Lee's crossover hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Dun built the work around the talents of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, resulting in a rich and meditative fusion of classical and Asian folk. On Hero, Dun finds his muse in Israeli violin legend Itzhak Perlman, a versatile artist in his own right who played the role of John Williams' muse on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Schindler's List. Perlman's themes are strikingly similar to those in CTHD, which would be disappointing if it weren't for the thunderous male voice choir and the primal war cries of the Kodo Drummers that surround them. This is Dun at his most Morricone, and it lends an air of excitement and grandiosity that was lacking from the latter film. Like the film, Hero's score resembles an old-fashioned Hollywood epic, and its players respond to Dun's simplistic melodies with ferocity, tenderness, and stamina, but it has enough of an original voice to rise above the more predictable constrictions of its genre.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
Hero requires high-caliber music that captures the film's ancient Chinese milieu and shrewdly fulfills the singular needs of a film that's out to blur genres. In other words, this is an assignment for Tan Dun.... The score turns the film into a pageantlike series of hot, MTV-like variations on a heroic theme.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/24/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998772625
catalogNumber:
87726
Rank:
66802

Tracks

  1. Hero: Overture  - Itzhak Perlman
  2. For the World - Theme Music  - Itzhak Perlman
  3. Warriors  - Itzhak Perlman
  4. Gone with Leaves  - Itzhak Perlman
  5. Longing  - Itzhak Perlman
  6. At Emperor's Palace  - Itzhak Perlman
  7. In the Chess Court  - Itzhak Perlman
  8. Love in Distance  - Itzhak Perlman
  9. Spirit Fight  - Itzhak Perlman
  10. Swift Sword  - Itzhak Perlman
  11. Farewell, Hero  - Itzhak Perlman
  12. Sorrow in Desert  - Itzhak Perlman
  13. Home  - Itzhak Perlman
  14. Above Water  - Itzhak Perlman
  15. Snow  - Itzhak Perlman
  16. Yearning for the Peace  - Itzhak Perlman

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tan Dun   Primary Artist,Violin,Conductor
Itzhak Perlman   Violin
Kodo   Ensemble
Liu Li   Lute,Guoqin
You Yan   Soprano,Soprano (Vocal)
China Philharmonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Ancient Rao Ensemble of Changsha Museum   Ensemble
China Philharmonic Chorus   Choir, Chorus
You Yan   Soprano (Vocal)
Central Philharmonic Chorus of China   Ensemble
KODO Drummers of Japan   Ensemble
Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China   Ensemble
Ancient Rao Ensemble of Changsha Museum   Ensemble

Technical Credits

Richard King   Score,Scoring Engineer
Takuro Susaki   Engineer
Grace Row   Producer
Tan Dun   Composer,Producer
Takeshi Hara   Engineer
Detchapat Arttasan   Art Direction
Patrick Kwok   Studio Supervisor
Minjohn Lin   Engineer
Summer Shen   Engineer
Tod Tarhan   Artwork
Wang Li Te   Studio Coordinator
Tod Tarham   Artwork
Jane Huang   Production Plan
Grace Kristopher Row   Producer

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