Promotional Release (HMCD 1000)
Release Date: 2000
Conducted by Hummie Mann
|1.||MainTitle / Reminiscing / Young P.R. & Charity||6:13|
|2.||Caroline is Born / Touring with Joice Heth||5:28|
|3.||Proving Turner Wrong / Back Home / The Scudder's Swindle and Purchase||4:28|
|4.||Discovering Tom Thumb / Touring Europe||6:34|
|5.||Letter to Charity / Frances Dies / Return from Europe||5:26|
|6.||Iranistan / Back to New York||3:15|
|7.||Disoriented Memories / A New Start / Paying off Debts Tour / Iranistan Burns||4:34|
|8.||Permission to Marry / Lecture Tour / Caroline's Baby Dies||3:30|
|9.||Barnum's Return / Loyalist Supporter / Alone||4:46|
|10.||Newspaper Article / Charity's Illness / Road Show / Charity Dies||5:23|
|11.||The Greatest Show on Earth||3:29|
|12.||New Life with Nancy / Public Office / Pauline Dies||4:03|
|13.||Barnum & Bailey Join Forces / P.T. Dies||3:48|
|Total Album Time:||60:57|
|by Dan Goldwasser
January 2, 2000
Being a fan of the Broadway classic "Barnum", and always enjoying a good circus, I tuned in to watch TNT's original movie, P.T. Barnum. Beau Bridges did a pretty good job playing Barnum, and the story was rather enjoyable. But what really stood out for me was the score, composed by Hummie Mann. His richly thematic and wonderfully textured score brought the film up to the next level, and I was a bit disappointed that there was no official CD release forthcoming. Mann did, however, release a promotional album through Intrada, making my wishes a reality.
Beginning right off the bat, "Main Title" contains a circus march that utilizes Mann's main theme for Barnum. This theme will show up in many different styles throughout the score, and it's the ability to create such a diverse and flexible theme that showcases Mann's talent. The love theme, featured in "Young P.T. & Charity" also makes quite a few appearances. The score overall has a very strong Americana edge to it, which is not surprising considering the subject matter.
There is plenty of energy to be found in this score beyond the dramatic cues. "The Scudder's Swindle and Purchase" is a rather upbeat rhythmic cue, and (probably one of the most exciting cues) "The Greatest Show On Earth" is an amazing example of writing a "classic" Sousa-style march. The orchestration is perfect, and Mann (and his collaborating orchestrators Ira Hearshen and Tim Huling should be commended for the excellent attention to detail that they put into this work. The last track on the album is a slightly schizophrenic cue. It starts out rather suspenseful, but then becomes a huge rousing fanfare (and includes "Battle Hymn of the Republic" - a very upbeat and inspirational piece) as "Barnum & Bailey Join Forces". However, it then takes a dive into the sad final moment as "P.T. Dies".
The album is a pleasure to listen to, and I am glad that Mann decided to create "suites" out of the cues instead of populating the disc with thirty-something tracks. It is nicely packaged, and includes some quotes from various publications, as well as an introductory paragraph by the film's director, Simon Wincer. You can get this album through Intrada, and I would strongly suggest that you do just that.
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