Intrada (Special Collection Volume 14)
Year Released: 1990 / 2004
Conducted by Bruce Broughton
The Hollywood Studio Symphony
|1.||Theme from "Narrow Margin"||2:32|
|5.||Siege from Above||1:45|
|9.||Into the Station||2:11|
|10.||No Carol for Wooton||3:34|
|18.||Wooton, Then Nelson||2:54|
|19.||Nelson, Then Katherine||3:30|
|20.||It's That Man||0:40|
|22.||Chopper Chase [Alternate]||2:42|
|23.||Hide and Seek||0:40|
|28.||End Credits [Original Version]||3:02|
|Total Album Time:||60:02|
|by Brian McVickar
October 15, 2004
Bruce Broughton's best film scores are most often from science fiction, fantasy and family films; music filled with strong melody and drive. However, he is quite capable of succeeding in all movie genres, when provided the opportunity. In 1990 the film Narrow Margin gave Broughton a chance to delve into the contemporary thriller genre, with Gene Hackman playing a deputy district attorney protecting a woman witness to a murder.
The "Theme from Narrow Margin" sets a tone of dark hued suspense, with ominous piano and bells supported by clarinets and heavy strings. This uneasiness continues into both the "Main Title" and "The Hit", with the same arpeggiated piano figure moving into sustained, dissonant strings pads. The subsequent three tracks, "The Cabin", "Siege From Above" and "Chopper Chase", successfully explore Broughton's exciting action licks, utilizing a Goldsmith-ian ostinato approach in the strings with trombones, low end piano and snares adding extra punch. It is a bit of a forerunner of Broughton's action material heard in The Shadow Conspiracy. There is not significant thematic development connected to the overall score, but the tracks have their internal consistency and focus and deliver engaging orchestral fury.
The dangerous, moody atmosphere returns in "The Boarding" and "New Passengers", the thematic material from the main theme is recapitulated, building in tension, and then some more appealingly mysterious woodwind and string work in "Into the Station". An uneasy cello ostinato begins "No Carol for Wooten", accented by piano and strings, which then leads to more dark hued suspense scoring. Not terribly melodic, more an exercise in color and tone. The tension finally breaks in "The Sleeper", when the action bursts forth briefly, plus an atonal outburst in "Stalled Success", and then it takes center stage again halfway through "Narrow Escapes" with its riveting, stabbing trombone lines which would be revisited in The Shadow Conspiracy.
More memorable action is heard in the oddly titled "Fat Refuge", which has some rapid fire brass work, in "Wooten, The Nelson", which has a great pulse propelled by horns and percussion and finally climaxing in "Nelson, Then Katherine". Any fan who enjoyed the hard edged orchestral music Broughton wrote for Tombstone and Lost In Space should really get a kick of this facet of Narrow Margin, which makes for a nice companion score. This is the main reason to seek this one out. The album is capped off by a series of bonus and alternate tracks, such as "Chopper Chase" – half the length of the cue heard in the film, but still equally powerful if a but more streamlined in its mix of piano, upper woodwinds and pounding brass. The additional cues mainly represent the mood, suspense and tension stingers of previous tracks on the album, plus an alternate "End Credits" which is a bit more developed thematically from the main material than the film version. In all, a solid listen, but mainly for Broughton fans.
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