...or so I'm ready to argue as a 30 year devotee of this sorely under appreciated genre. So, in an effort to do my part, each week I'll be making recommendations of soundtracks current and vintage, make a fuss over long awaited soundtrack scores finally getting a well deserved release, and in general, make some noise about this often overlooked category. Beyond my long experience as a listener and as a pianist and songwriter, both of which I've put to use in writing a quarterly soundtrack column for the Chicago Tribune, I can only offer my recommendations. You'll discern my taste soon enough and upfront I'd like to make it clear that I'll focus most heavily on SCORE soundtracks. In the end, all criticism is subjective but if I can point a listener toward a little heard soundtrack or strongly advise you to either ORDER IMMEDIATELY or SKIP ALTOGETHER, all the better.
This is not a soundtrack recommendation but to celebrate Election '08 I thought I'd suggest a something with the historical sweep and fervor that a lot of folks, including myself are feeling today. Nothing will help elevate that feeling better than Portraits of Freedom: Music of Aaron Copland and Roy Harris. It's a stupendous recording by the Seattle Symphony and Chorus that includes James Earl Jones' narrating (as only he can) Copland's famous Lincoln Portrait. The collection also includes Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," his "Outdoor Overture" and "Canticle of Freedom." Copland did compose several memorable film scores and won the Oscar for his gorgeous music for The Heiress. Roy Harris, who is also represented on this recording with the little known but stellar "American Creed" is another of my favorite 20th century composers, albeit one isn't nearly as well known today as Copland. But once you've finished giving this beautiful CD your full attention, I urge you to seek out THIS hard to find but well worth the search collection of some of Harris' other works. The "Concerto for Piano & Strings" included on this Bay Cities recording is sensational.
In the meantime, did you vote before reading this - well get out there!!!