Milan Records (73138-35978-2)
Release Date: 2001
Conducted by Maurice Jarre
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
|6.||General Stroop in the Ghetto||7:36|
|7.||I Am Lucky||3:50|
|8.||Out of the Sewers||6:35|
|Total Album Time:||45:18|
|by Dan Goldwasser
December 26, 2001
For director Jon Avnet's television miniseries about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during World War II, he needed a powerful score from someone who could supplement the tension and drama inherent in Uprising. Lawrence of Arabia composer Maurice Jarre stepped smoothly into those shoes, and the resulting score is thematic, filled with tension and drama.
Beginning with "Uprising", a percussive pounding is accompanied by thematic glimpses, and the orchestra slowly builds up to a pronouncement of the main theme: a very militaristic brass statement, filled with triads. Softer dramatic underscore using elements of the main theme can be heard in the next few tracks ("Tosia", "Resistance", "Deportation", "Feathers"), and some nice secondary themes make an appearance in there as well. But it's not highly engaging material, and it isn't until we get to "General Stroop in the Ghetto" that we finally get to hear an exciting large-scale rendition of the main theme. That is followed by soft choral elements, and more dramatic underscore.
One of the secondary themes, a rather Jewish melody, is heard clearly in "I Am Lucky", but it ends with an ominous interruption from the main theme. "Jewish Honour" seems to be, for the most part, a reprise of "Uprising", and it is a nice solid way to cap off the album. I can't help but feel as though this were really less than half of a score. Running only about 45-minutes, the mini-series itself ran 210-minutes long. That would leave off a lot of underscore, and I'm sure there was more "meat" to it than what was presented here. There were also a few times where I thought I might have been listening to Top Secret, but that could probably be explained away by calling it "Jarre's composing style".
Overall, this is a reasonably enjoyable album. The main theme is very prominent and well stated, and the secondary themes make their necessary appearances. But the drawn-out underscore cues in the first half of the album seemed to drag a bit, and I found myself becoming impatient for the more interesting material. In the end, it's a toss-up.
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Released: July 2, 2012
Released: January 8, 2002