Soundtracks are a lot more than movie music...

...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
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

In the meantime, did you vote before reading this - well get out there!!!


Don't forget to check out previous soundtrack recommendations by
visiting the

Next Recommendation:  TBA
Inspiration for Election '08: Fingers Crossed
that the promise of these melodies and
words ring true!