After more than four decades, stunning Billy Goldenberg soundtrack for landmark 1971 Steven Spielberg film finally sees release on CD!
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After more than four decades, stunning Billy Goldenberg soundtrack for landmark 1971 Steven Spielberg film finally sees release on CD! Film with Dennis Weaver had remarkable success both in TV, theatrical incarnations. Weaver makes business trip, heads back along semi-deserted open highway. Terror strikes early when he passes large truck. Soon car, truck engage in nerve-shattering, ever-escalating duel. Sensational film launched feature-length directing career for Spielberg, gave Goldenberg opportunity to create one of the most experimental scores then attempted for television. Aggressive, atonal, intense! While much of score was dropped from finished film, Intrada CD presents entire work with full-length cues as Goldenberg originally composed and conducted them. Then-unusually complex recording process involved 35mm three-channel stereo layer for basic orchestra, then additional three-channels for keyboards, percussion, yet three more for bells, organ, guitar, sometimes still more for extra layer of synth effects. Happily, every multi-track layer from every roll appears, maintained in pristine condition in Universal vaults. Various layers were synched in complex multi-track mixing process, resulting in vibrant stereo mix of Goldenberg's score. In many portions, complex atonal string ideas lay on top of pulsating rhythms with dissonant effects weaving into, out of fabric. Striking! For lengthy sequence at small diner, Goldenberg opts for unaccompanied strings, slowly shifting about in decidedly tonal manner, creating uneasy suspense as Weaver studies various patrons, silently looking for driver of truck. Here, scoring engineers opted to record strings on single layer with almost no contrast in dynamics, style, allowing for machine-like timbre from what are typically more emotional instruments. While highlights abound, end title to score ("The Duel") is particularly noteworthy. After all dust settles, Goldenberg opts for incredibly stark - and profound - use of just two tones from synth and waterphone, then reduces further to solitary synth that plays, repeats, slowly fades to silence to accompany memorable closing shot, allowing actual credits to roll sans music at all. Lonely, haunting finish to revved-up ideas that preceded it. Wow! Four flavorful country instrumentals scored by Goldenberg appear as extras, heard only in brief fragments in film but allowed to play here in full. Unused alternate version of ending is also included. Flipper cover art from designer Joe Sikoryak, generous array of stills, informative liner notes from writer Jeff Bond complete exciting package. Billy Goldenberg conducts. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remains!