Pan’s Labyrinth/Navarrete

December 23, 2006

 

Guillermo “Hellboy” Del Toro directed and wrote the screenplay for this golden globe nominated film in the best foreign language category. It is set for a US release at the end of December 2006. Taking place in the post-Civil War 1944 Spain it tells a story of the civil war strife along with a fantasy tale of fairies and magical lands. The success in the US will likely be limited in that it will appear with subtitles so look toward seeing it at the arthouses as opposed to the multiplex complexes.

Navarrete, who this reviewer has limited experience with, has created a score that has interest from start to finish with a special accolade going to the lullaby. No its not Brahm’s lullaby its better! It appears first with the voice (no words) of Lua in the first track “Long Long Time Ago”. It is a straight forward simplistic but quite effective arrangement beginning with the voice and long notes from the strings, the piano is added with simple single notes followed by a brief appearance of the chorus and the strings. It reminds me of the theme from a french film such as Love Story from Lai. The theme or hints of it are used in “Pans Labyrinth Lullaby”, performed quite eloquently on solo violin, “Mercedes Lullaby” it reappears in vocal form, solo piano in “A Tale”, full romantic orchestral version in “Ofelia”, and also in the “Princess”. In fact as one listens to all of the 21 tracks which total over 73 minutes there are several different reminders of other styles we have heard from other composers. Small hints of Eastwood (solo piano in the beginning of “The Labyrinth”, Bernard Herrmann’s Macabre Concerto from Hangover Square in “Deep Forest”; a dissonant brash piano phrase with violins and pounding timpani, and a brief statement of Bride of Frankenstein from Waxman in “Pan and the Full Moon”. No these are not rips just a phrase or two that reminded me of the films.

This is a soundtrack that you can put on and listen to from start to finish and never be bored with underscore material that is sometimes confusing unless you have seen the picture. Each and every track is interesting and varied from the lush piano sonata in “The Funeral” to the Spanish influenced “Guerilleros”, almost comedic “The Refuge”, the sheer horror of “Deep Forest” and of course that wonderful lullaby and all of its variations. It isn’t often these days that we are given a memorable theme, one strong enough that a person might even hum it leaving the theater. Oh wait they don’t want you to do that anymore but Del Toro must have forgotten! Its so nice that he did and because of that it not only is one that I can recommended to you but it has to be one of the very best of 2006. There is so much more that I could say about it but just go and get the score and enjoy it over and over like I have done writing this review.

Track listing

1. Long, Long Time Ago (02:11)

Hace mucho, mucho tiempo

2. The Labyrinth (04:04)

El laberinto

3. Rose, Dragon (03:34)

La rosa y el dragón

4. The Fairy and the Labyrinth (03:33)

El hada y el laberinto

5. Three Trials (02:04)

Las tres pruebas

6. The Moribund Tree and the Toad (07:08)

El árbol que muere y el sapo

7. Guerrilleros (02:05)

Guerrilleros

8. A Book of Blood (03:47)

El libro de sangre

9. Mercedes Lullaby (01:36)

Nana de Mercedes

10. The Refuge (01:32)

El refugio

11. Not Human (05:52)

El que no es humano

12. The River (02:48)

El río

13. A Tale (01:52)

Un cuento

14. Deep Forest (05:45)

Bosque profundo

15. Vals od the Mandrake (03:38)

Vals de la mandrágora

16. The Funeral (02:42)

El funeral

17. Mercedes (05:34)

Mercedes

18. Pan and the Full Moon (05:04)

La luna llena y el fauno

19. Ofelia (02:16)

Ofelia

20. A Princess (03:59)

Una princesa

21. Pan’s Labyrinth Lullaby (01:47)

Nana del laberinto del fauno

Total Duration: 01:12:51

 

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