Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Music from the Motion Picture]

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Music from the Motion Picture]

4.5 11
by Iva Davies
     
 

In an age when such tales of adventure and derring-do are often consigned to science fiction, Peter Weir's Master and Commander, based on two of the widely read Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian, brings high-seas exploits from the age of sail vividly back to the big screen. And the original score -- by the trio of Ira Davies, Christopher Gordon, and…  See more details below

Overview

In an age when such tales of adventure and derring-do are often consigned to science fiction, Peter Weir's Master and Commander, based on two of the widely read Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian, brings high-seas exploits from the age of sail vividly back to the big screen. And the original score -- by the trio of Ira Davies, Christopher Gordon, and Richard Tognetti -- masterfully sets a suspenseful mood, enhancing the film's epic grip with brooding music full of heart-thumping percussion, dark brass chords, and pulsating strings. "The Far Side of the World," "Into the Fog," and "Smoke N' Oakum," feature such ominous statements from the orchestra. But lighter tones are also struck: Bright violins dance with Mozartean grace on "Violin Concerto No. 3" and ply traditional reels on "The Cuckold Comes out of the Amery" and a medley of folk tunes, calling to mind the merrier moments of life at sea during the Napoleonic wars. Other enlivening classical compositions by Corelli, Boccherini, and Bach (played by cello master Yo-Yo Ma) break up the foreboding intensity of the original music. Further tracks --"The Galapagos" and "The Phasmid" -- evoke an air of mystery with eerie scratching on the violins, a plaintive cello melody, and dissonant string chords, while pounding drums, hauntingly coupled with a distant fife, give "The Battle" a breathless immediacy. Master and Commander may look back to old-time tales of swashbuckling heroism, but the vivid and dramatic score gives this film a dark grandeur that is thoroughly modern.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Master and Commander, based on the hugely successful literary series by Patrick O' Brian, chronicles the adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey of The Royal British Navy. Musically speaking, the seafaring genre hasn't lived up to its expectations in a long, long time. For a world saturated with lore, shanties, and melodies inspired by the ocean, Hollywood remains unresponsive, uninspired, and bereft of the combination to Davy Jones' locker. One would expect a bombastic, heroic, and unforgettable motif to assist our protagonist in his exploits, but composers Iva Davies and Christopher Gordon provide nothing of the sort. The original portion of the score succeeds in riding wave upon wave of tension, but swashbuckling tales of the sea require a memorable tune, not just a storm of Taiko drums and washed-out strings. The composers fare better on a recurring folk medley, lovingly rendered by master violinist Richard Tognetti -- fans of the novels on which the film is based know full well that Lucky Jack is a fiddle-slinging-bard of a captain -- that captures the true spirit of being miles away from home with your mates and fending off ghostly freighters. The remainder of the soundtrack yields a tad more bounty, utilizing famous classical pieces from Mozart, Bach, and Boccherini to great effect, bailing out the brackish water intent on keeping this ship permanently docked.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2003
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028947539827
catalogNumber:
000157402
Rank:
9836

Tracks

  1. The Far Side of the World
  2. Into the Fog
  3. 3rd movement (as used in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of  - Richard Tognetti
  4. The Cuckold Comes Out of the Amery
  5. Smoke N'Oakum
  6. [Excerpt]  -  New Queen's Hall Orchestra
  7. Adagio (as used in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the W
  8. The Doldrums
  9. Prelude (as used in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the  - Yo-Yo Ma
  10. The Galapagos
  11. Folk Medley: O'Sullivan's March; The Cuckold Comes Out of the Amery; Mo  - Eric Riegler
  12. The Phasmid
  13. The Battle
  14. String Quintet (Quintettino) for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in C major  - Richard Tognetti
  15. Full Circle

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Iva Davies   Primary Artist
Yo-Yo Ma   Cello
Jim Walker   Jew's Harp
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Phil Ayling   Human Whistle
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Michael Fisher   Percussion
Simon Oswell   Viola
Eric Rigler   uillean pipes
Timothy Landauer   Cello
Barry Wordsworth   Conductor
Christopher Gordon   Conductor
Jim Walker   Jew's Harp
Emma-Jane Murphy   Cello
New Queen's Hall Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Richard Tognetti   Violin,Conductor
Eric Riegler   uillean pipes
Richard Erdoes   Cello
George Innes   Dialogue

Technical Credits

Luigi Boccherini   Composer
Arcangelo Corelli   Composer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart   Composer
Ralph Vaughan Williams   Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach   Composer
Iva Davies   Composer,Producer,Digital Programming,Sample Programming
Richard E. Grant   Auricle Programming
John Kurlander   Engineer,Engineering
John Richards   Engineer,Engineering
John Rodd   Engineer,Engineering
Bill Talbott   Engineer
Tom Steel   Stage Manager
Kathy Nelson   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Jeffrey A. Greenberg   Studio Manager
Ira Davis   Arranger,Producer,Digital Synthesizer,Sample Programming
Traditional   Composer
Christopher Gordon   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Orchestration
Damon Tedesco   Stage Manager
Paul Chessell   Art Direction
Simon Leadley   Engineer,Score Producer,Engineering
Richard Tognetti   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Orchestration
Bobby Fernandez   Engineer,Engineering
Richard Grant   Auricle Programming

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Music from the Motion Picture] 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The soundtrack is fun, and the classical bits are nice, but the sea chanties are missing! Would it have been that much more of an effort to include the 3 additional tracks?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Me, being a movie freak I own many soundtracks, many of the few that are good. When I listened to this I was so involved and it brought this Soundtrack to life, as though I am ready watching the film itself. It's not just the music but the songs from Concertos from Bach and the fiddle music was fantastic.I definity cant wait for it to come out, I'm sure to buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In his entire life, Mozart only bowed to one composer as being greater, and this was Luigi Boccherini. The undisputed champ of 18thC chamber music, the exerpt of his quintet, Summer Nights in Madrid, is the highlight of the entire disc and worth the purchase. I own it and have enjoyed listening to the newly composed cuts for their atmospheric qualities which intensify with night driving. Somehow tho, even the bit of the sublime Bach cello sonata by the incomparable YoYo Ma pales in comparison to the Boccherini. [Boy it would be cool if Yo Yo Ma did his own set of Boccherini quintets!] Somehow, when the disc is programmed this cut ends up last- TWICE. Start with this and then hunt down the rest of the quintets. You and Mozart can listen in awe of the master.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this after seeing (and really liking) the movie - it's a combination of the beautiful, deeply percussive, background pieces and very well selected classical pieces (Boccherini, Mozart, Bach) that are played in quiet interludes by characters Stephen and Jack in the movie. Each piece stands alone, it's not like many epic soundstracks that are only the background pieces and end up falling flat without the visuals. And even the background pieces (esp. The Battle) conjure up the visuals quite well - my mother guessed the scene associated with The Battle without ever seeing the movie. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing the film, I was drawn to its entrancing music. For an action/drama, music like this is not often heard, and works most effectively in "Master & Commander". This is one of those rare soundtracks where the ENTIRE soundtrack is remarkable, rather than just a part of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How meserizing the music to this wonderful film. The pieces are perfect and awesome. I had to buy this at all costs! Hollywood, viewers really enjoy fine music to accompany their films...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This soundtrack is one of my favorite cd's. Though some of the original scores can get long and boring, the violin and classical pieces are rousing and incredibly entertaining. I highly recommedn it to violin and strings lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This soundtrack was awesome! I stayed up and listened throught it twice! Yo-yo Ma was great as always and there was a very delicate balance in the score. I reccommend it to all musically atuned minds.
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