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Is Horner's Legends of the Fall a mediocre score that's over-reliant on its main theme?


Jurassic Shark
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Is Horner's Legends of the Fall a mediocre score that's over-reliant on its main theme?  

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  1. 1. Is Horner's Legends of the Fall a mediocre score that's over-reliant on its main theme?



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I'm the first to admit that it's impossible mush in boldest Barry strokes and compositionally rather simple, but the main theme (i. e. the firs track) is probably Horner's best theme or at least up in the Top Three. I's a perfect tune (the fiddle tune is also great and i even like the Cocoon-like singalong theme).

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I'm afraid my old Sony Ericsson phone only had photo capability at that time. I'd have taken a snap, but two-handed play would have become one-handed play. So basically just the chords. Actually, that's essentially all this theme is.

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2 hours ago, Edmilson said:

It's not a "one theme only" score (I think you're referring to the Ludlows' theme), and I don't think Horner ever wrote a score like this. 

 

Legends it's a far more varied, complex and emotionally intelligent score that people give credit for, and one of the best (THE very best) in his career in my opinion.

 

Jean-Baptiste Martin from James Horner Film Music made an excellent analysys of the themes, when they appear on the movie and what is their function. To this day it's one of the best film music analysys I've ever seen, and a lesson on understanding the power a great score can have on a movie:

 

http://jameshorner-filmmusic.com/legends-of-the-fall-an-analysis-of-the-themes/

 

This!

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It's just too much of the theme in the first half of the OST, without really introducing any variation when it's played the nth time. That a theme is repeated a lot verbatim is something that usually annoys me. Listening to it is a bit like listening to the force theme in the later parts of TLJ OST, just much worse.

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2 hours ago, Edmilson said:

It's not a "one theme only" score (I think you're referring to the Ludlows' theme), and I don't think Horner ever wrote a score like this. 

 

Legends it's a far more varied, complex and emotionally intelligent score that people give credit for, and one of the best (THE very best) in his career in my opinion.

 

Jean-Baptiste Martin from James Horner Film Music made an excellent analysys of the themes, when they appear on the movie and what is their function. To this day it's one of the best film music analysys I've ever seen, and a lesson on understanding the power a great score can have on a movie:

 

http://jameshorner-filmmusic.com/legends-of-the-fall-an-analysis-of-the-themes/

 

Great analysis. Thanks!

 

This should be the standard of the thematic analysis I agree. So thorough. Though I think might be too tedious for more complex and intricate scores.

 

The theme they call B – Legends Of The Fall is the best of the lot. This is the one that really soars, like Horner's best themes. I get the same soaring feeling from it that I get from the Braveheart love theme.

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1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

It's just too much of the theme in the first half of the OST, without really introducing any variation when it's played the nth time. That a theme is repeated a lot verbatim is something that usually annoys me. Listening to it is a bit like listening to the force theme in the later parts of TLJ OST, just much worse.

 

You must really hate John Barry then.

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It's a 40 minute score, there just isn't that much opportunity for the kind of repetition Horner was infamous for. But why this is such a pressing matter i don't know. Just skip the cues.

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I had a girlfriend back in 1994 and i remember i refused to see Legends with her, so she went with her friend while i went to 'Shawshank Redemption' and when we both came out she told me how stupid i was because i missed greatest score and she usually never registered the music. I got the cd for her (of which i dutifully made myself copy, of course) and got that look from the cashier when he glanced at that impossible Brad Pitt face with the waving blond mane.

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On 1/6/2020 at 11:58 PM, Richard Penna said:

I just checked and I have two tracks: The Wedding and Wild Horses. This is clearly a score I've found long and drawn out in the past.

 

How come you only have two tracks? Did you download just two tracks from iTunes or something?

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  • 1 year later...

I haven't heard the expansion yet but, while this is a score I hold dear and consider a highlight of the 90s, it's not one I listen to very often. I don't often listen to it in its entirety either; I just have a few highlight cues spattered within various compilations.

 

I agree, it does have a Barry-esque approach; the main theme is extremely prevalent which lessens its impact.

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I haven't revisited Legends of the Fall or Braveheart since they came out. Legends was OK, Braveheart is a well made movie that I don't like.

 

But I will always remember the blurb in Film Score Monthly (possibly the first issue I bought?): Nominated for this year's "Feels Like Drowning" award, Legends of the Fall. Maybe unfair but 25 years later I'm still laughing.

 

Like I said, maybe I'll think better of it. But it was almost Horner's John Barry "HOW LUSH CAN WE MAKE IT?" phase.

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6 hours ago, Tallguy said:

Like I said, maybe I'll think better of it. But it was almost Horner's John Barry "HOW LUSH CAN WE MAKE IT?" phase.

 

It was heavily temped with Lonesome Dove and Dances with Wolves, both of which you hear very clearly. Though Horner tried to outdo them, of course.

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9 hours ago, publicist said:

It was heavily temped with Lonesome Dove and Dances with Wolves, both of which you hear very clearly. Though Horner tried to outdo them, of course.

 

That's funny. I had no idea. I'm only passingly familiar with DWW and not at all with Lonesome Dove.

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