Review: Les Miserables
3 / 5 Stars
Some moments are reminiscent of THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and STARSHIP TROOPERS, with the dramatic chords and the flips from major to minor. Other times we are presented with soft harps, strings and guitars - overall very pleasing.
It is difficult to imagine that Poledouris was not in some subtle way influenced by the musical "Les Miserables". In fact, at some points in the score I felt as though a transition to "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" was about to occur. The score evoked the same emotions I felt while listening to the musical, without actually using any of those themes. However, the beginning of Suite 4 ("The Barricades") does sound strikingly similar to the theme for the barricades from the musical.
The score is thematically based (or so it would seem): Jean Valjean has a theme, as does his nemesis Javert. A love theme for Cosette and Marius also pops in every now and then. Most of these themes, especially the romantic ones, contain undertones of sadness. Given that this is, after all, a tragic story, these dark orchestrations work quite well.
This CD runs about 49 minutes long, and is spread out over four "suites". In actuality, there are only 4 tracks, where there should have been 18 tracks - there are even noticeable breaks where should have been track breaks. However, there is still plenty of music to keep the average Poledouris fan satisfied. Now if only we would get more than just 30 minutes from the 90 that exist for STARSHIP TROOPERS.