Premiere release of dynamic, intense Maurice Jarre soundtrack for epic sci-fi tale of sun flare-up threatening all life on Earth, efforts to detonate an anti-matter bomb on sun's surface in response. Charlton Heston leads, with support from Tim Matheson, Peter Boyle, Jack Palance. Produced by Richard Edlund, financed by Japan publishing house Gakken alongside NHK Enterprises, less than successful project finds Richard A. Sarafian withdrawing credit as director after post-production tampering, assigning credit to familiar Director's Guild pseudonym "Alan Smithee". Score by Jarre also gets considerable tampering with during post-production, dropping cues, repeating others, moving them about, severely trunctating Jarre's strong musical architecture. (Some sequences were even re-scored by Michael Boddicker.) Intrada CD presents all of Jarre's cues intact. Many of them were composed with key structure, motivic material designed to flow from one sequence to the next, allowing for lengthy sequences with strong musical continuity. Orchestration is unique: Brass, percussion plus electronics get spotlight, with electronic valve instrument (EVI) creating very striking solo color. Hot, blazing, exciting! Highlights are many but somber, elegiac "Meek's Demise" stands out with solo cello over orchestra adding intense level of emotion. Capturing the biggest applause is magnificent finale to the action ("Alex Sees The Light") with pulse-quickening Orff-like chorus added to massive orchestra. Stirring "End Credits" brings everything to powerhouse finish! Intrada CD presents score from original digital two-track stereo session mixes. Jim Lochner offers insights to production, music, Joe Sikoryak wraps everything in handsome packaging. Maurice Jarre conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remain!
Jarre scored this troubled science fiction
tale for orchestra and electronics, and,
towards the finale, included a chorus in
the grand manner of Carl Orff (“Alex Sees The
Light”). He created an array of cues both brief
and lengthy, which were subsequently edited,
moved about, tailored as the needs of the picture
changed and in some cases simply dropped
completely. His entire opening music went unused,
many of his striking orchestral passages
were cut and numerous sequences ended up
being re-scored by Michael Boddicker. (This album contains only the music composed by Maurice Jarre.) While the composer
was writing for the film during postproduction, it ran thirteen reels, considerably
longer than the final 111-minute picture that played in theaters. And if all of these
postproduction challenges were not enough for Jarre, the final dubbing of music
in relationship to the sound effects and dialog was literally so low that in several
cases it became little more than an imperceptible whisper in the background.
Yet for all these production difficulties, the resulting music was bold, evocative,
reflective, imposing, at times brassy, at other times percussive, frequently blazing and ultimately powerful. Jarre
even found some opportunities to include
solo work for cello and his signature
EVI (electronic valve instrument) to
weave his personal vernacular into the
tapestry. The EVI can be heard playing in
both the mid-range of the trumpet and
the lower range of the baritone or euphonium.
The lone sequence of music that
received a commanding position was the
“End Credits” roll, with Jarre getting the
spotlight over any songs or other typical
nineties conventions. Yet, I would be
remiss if I didn’t mention that even this
generous six-minute piece, as epic as the
composer wrote it, was still tampered
with. Edits were probably needed to
match timing changes within the credit
roll itself. Happily, this magnificent sequence
is presented here on the CD as it
was originally recorded by the composer.
This premiere release of the score is
presented from the two-track stereo
session mixes of the print takes made by
Shawn Murphy and preserved on two DATs. While the audio is crisp and clean
for the most part, really astute listeners may hear some very low-level noises in
two sequences, possibly due to a faulty cable. While they are almost unnoticeable
and don’t interfere with the music per se, we are noting their presence as an
imperfection in the digital masters.
We were fortunate to have all of the session slates on the masters, allowing
us to identify and follow the sequence Jarre had originally intended for the film.
In keeping with the composer’s practice of building longer musical pieces out of
his smaller cues, we are presenting this score with musical architecture in mind
as opposed to strictly mimicking the edited film versions.
So handle that shiny silver disc in your hands with care. There’s a crisis
on earth and you’ll be heading straight into the blistering heat of the sun!
Insert the CD in your playback device and let Maurice Jarre fight the battle
to save our planet with his vivid music while you sit back and enjoy the heat.
Composed and Conducted by Maurice Jarre. Recorded on May 28-31, and June 1, 1990, at Sony Pictures Scoring Stage, Culver City, California.