Soundtrack Information

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

Super Tracks Music (STCD 501)

Release Date: 1995

Conducted by John Morris

Performed by
The London Studio Symphony Orchestra

Format: CD

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Track Listing

1. Opening Theme 2:39
2. Sentenced 1:39
3. Helster And Dimmesdale 1:52
4. Chillingworth 3:02
5. A Meeting On The Beach 3:15
6. The Minister's Vigil 3:30
7. The Lovers 2:06
8. The Comet 2:43
9. A Soul Full Of Sorrow 1:10
10. The Scarlet Letter 1:46
11. The Marketplace 2:03
12. Chillingworth's Revenge 4:40
13. Dimmesdale's Confession 1:48
14. The Conclusion 4:54
  Total Album Time: 37:07

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Review: Scarlet Letter, The

by James Barry May 10, 2003
4 / 5 Stars

Where are you, John Morris? Where have you gone with your thematic accessibility? Your knack for simple but effective harmonies? Your wonderfully reserved orchestration? Please, come back—and bring with you whatever muse was at your side when you scored The Scarlet Letter. The fact that this the score to this '70s mini-series has grown on me so is all the more remarkable in that I don't really care for the source material. I found Hawthorne's novel over-rated, and have yet to see a film adaptation which transcends it. Good film music, however, has the ability to stand quite well on it's own—even if it was written for utter dreck. Morris' score transcends the program for which it was written in a manner at once delicate and powerful.

The score keeps the same somber, melancholy feel throughout—both in the main theme (first heard in track 1) and the love theme ("Hester and Dimmesdale"). It is the type of score which serves as a hybrid between several forms—minimalist techniques, heavy romanticism, calm, reserved impressionism. It all lends to that type of score whose themes one could hum, but does not, instead choosing to play them over and over again in their mind and on the stereo. It creates a mood and carries it throughout an entire album, without growing tedious, and this is something altogether unique for film (or in this case, television) music. Again, I implore the powers that be to give us back John Morris before it is too late!

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