The Last Of The Mohicans Soundtrack
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The score for Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans is one of the most acclaimed works of modern film music. Composed by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman, these 16 tracks wonderfully convey the scope and majesty of the Academy Award winning film. Features "I Will Find You" by Clannad.
This is a production rife with odd pairings: English actor Daniel Day-Lewis joining up with the Mohawks; James Fenimore Cooper adapted by Michael Mann; disparate composers Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman teaming up. This last pairing seems a suspicious attempt to endow the score of this modern film adaptation of a junior high school literary evergreen with both a golden age of Hollywood dramatic bent (Jones) and a '90s-slick guitar-muzak veneer (Edelman). A strange amalgam that doesn't quite work. --Jerry McCulley
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The main theme, upon which the rest of the score builds and carries, is beautifully dissected and reworked for pieces again and again with differing feelings to each piece offered without growing stale or repetitive in its various layouts for soloists, chamber orchestras or orchestra, tying all the pieces together in what I would call a rhapsody, something many great classical composers drew beautifully. Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a perfect example and, in turn, John Barry's Somewhere In Time score was truly what I would call a 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini' as Rachmaninoff's 18th variation from that Paganini piece was the theme upon which Barry scored the Somewhere in Time sountrack and that 18th variation was not only an inspiration but actually a piece in that score, I recommend this rerecording of Somewhere In Time by John Debney. But I digress...
The main theme is here somewhat melancholy yet still uplifting, brooding yet sentimental, tragic and morose yet somehow vividly bright. The use of Native American folksong as inspiration was perfect (sadly, though this makes perfect sense, most film composers choose to "create" scores using heavily influenced or directly quoted works from classical composers) and leaves me wondering why so many films have scores that simply don't have any connection with the music. Perhaps the most surprising fact about this gorgeous work is that it was composed by a man from South Africa, but perhaps that is why this score was not tainted by European music of the period in which the movie takes place, in a growing United States, and for that I am very grateful as this is in my top three of great soundtracks (I have less than ten that I would put on the same level as true classical music).
At any rate, my point here is that this soundtrack has done what so few filmscores cannot do and that is to compose something that is, dare I type it, original, original music being rare as every piece of music is truly influenced by some form of music. Yet, against all odds, this soundtrack stands above the rest in its glorious minimalism and unique sound.
I love it!