House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Daggers

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Shigeru Umebayashi's score for Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers is a study in simplicity, featuring a few understated but hypnotic themes that are repeated with different arrangements of traditional Chinese and Western instruments. Considering that Umebayashi also wrote the music for Wong Kar Wai's

Overview

Shigeru Umebayashi's score for Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers is a study in simplicity, featuring a few understated but hypnotic themes that are repeated with different arrangements of traditional Chinese and Western instruments. Considering that Umebayashi also wrote the music for Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love, it's understandable that this score's romantic moments are among the standouts. The "Lovers" theme has a pure, yearning melody that works as well in a stripped-down arrangement as it does in the more lavish "Lovers (Flower Garden)" and "Lovers (Mei and Jin)." Soprano Kathleen Battle's version of the song is more overtly Western-sounding but still retains the melody's almost unearthly beauty. The score's bittersweet romance is balanced out by a few percussion-driven tracks that score the film's action sequences, but even pieces like "Battle in the Forest" and "No Way Out" are more melodic than might be expected. Gentle drama and restraint are the watchwords for most of the score, particularly on "Bamboo Forest," "Taking Her Hand," "Ambush in Ten Directions (Shi Mian Mai Fu)," and "The House of Flying Daggers" itself. The score's subtlety helps give House of Flying Daggers its own identity and, in the long run, makes the music more compelling than more bombastic music would be.

Editorial Reviews

Classic FM Magazine - Anna Britten
This has more cut-and-thrust than a bagful of samurai swords.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/30/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969356128
catalogNumber:
93561
Rank:
38819

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Aki Takahashi   Ocarina
Kathleen Battle   Soprano,Soprano (Vocal)
Bob Zung   Saxophone
Jia Peng Fang   Erhu
Zhang Xuanlian   Yang Chin
Zhou Yu   Pipa
Ikuo Kakehashi   Percussion
Dai Ya   Dizi
Jiang Ting   Pipa
Kouichiro Tashiro   Guitar
Hitoshi Konno   Violin
Arigat Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Xu Bin   Pipa
Shu Fang   Pipa
Song Hongfei   Pipa
Tomoko Kanda   Vocals,Voices
Xue Ke   Erhu
Deng Le   Pipa
Shota Mochizuki   Bamboo Flute
Li Qi   Pipa
Wang Qi   Pipa
Wang Qiao   Pipa
Gao Ruiyun   Pipa
Wang Shuai   Percussion
Bi Xiaodi   Piano
Takehiko Yamada   Piano
Duan Yan   Pipa
Zhang Ziyi   Vocals
Zou Yu   Pipa
Zhang Xue   Yang Chin

Technical Credits

Tadashi Yabe   Programming
Shigeru Umebayashi   Composer,Producer,Score
Detchapat Arttasan   Art Direction
Sachiko Miyano   Orchestration
Tsutomu Satomi   Sound Coordinator
Li Yuesong   Engineer
Tadashi Yatabe   Programming

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie's action sequences were amazing (namely those of Zhang Ziyi's). The end, seemed to express themes that many Westerners have yet to grasp. Yet the love story that evolves between Jin and Xiao Mei, more than anything, is what the viewer never forgets. This awesome soundtrack, at least for me, is highly successful at keeping that affair's influence and power, aflame in the memory. This is achieved by skilled variations on a theme that recur throughout the main melodies of the soundtrack. And after having watched and understood and appreciated the movie for its artistic achievements, the music becomes utterly moving each time it is heard. It continuously reawakens the power of the love story within the heart. I definitely recommend this soundtrack (as well as the movie) if you are of the intellect to appreciate it with an open mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've just discovered the movie, and the music. I play it all the time along with "Memoirs of a Geisha". John Williams and Shigeru Umebayashi evoke a time that is past with their ethereal music. The Tang Dynasty comes alive with the bamboo flute and ehru. The love song "Lovers" played throughout the CD and the final version sung by Kathleen Battle makes me cry all the time. I don't understand why the music, especially the title song was not played more commercially or nominated for an award. I feel bad that I had not discovered the CD or the movie until November 2005 (long after the movie and CD were out)but I'm glad that i've found them both now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music will stay in your memory long after the first note. The "Lovers" theme had me crying every time I listened to it. The blending of full orchestra and chinese flute and ehru was superb. As I listenened to the CD I could picture in my mind every part of the movie. I would recommend this CD for the romantic in every one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An unsophisticated soundtrack for an overblown movie that had the audience laughing in derision when I saw it. Also, the scenes of animal cruelty (to horses) were offensive and unnecessary, and this aesthetic pervades both movie and soundtrack.