Jason And The Argonauts (2000)/Simon Boswell

August 29, 2011

It is certainly fun to explore the difference in scores between Simon Boswell and Bernard Herrmann, both of who wrote music for the popular Greek mythology story of “Jason and the Argonauts” and his quest for the Golden Fleece. Herrmann scored the 1963 film without strings using brass, woodwinds, and percussion. Boswell used strings and lots of them. Simon Boswell got his start in 1985 with a score to a 1985 Italian horror film Dario Argento and during the next 25 plus years has done over 90 films. While he has done a lot of work in the horror field and has awards to his credit I think you’ll find that this is a welcome departure to much of what we listen to in 2011 soundtracks. Perhaps Hollywood should take a look at what Boswell has to offer?

 

The opening track “Jason’s Theme/Main Title” to this Hallmark three hour television special is a brave memorable theme not unlike John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith in style performed by the 70 piece Air Lyndhurst studio orchestra. Throughout the score you’ll hear this heroic theme for Jason performed many times. “Destiny/The Bulls” is in two parts. The first part is one which offers an air of mysticism and a sense of fate to it, hinting at the Jason theme and finally coming out with a few brief moments of the wonderful lush melody. There is a bridge with a solitary clarinet followed by “Bulls” which is a very active action track involving the entire fight. I like his effective use of the brass section. “Mother” hints at the Jason theme as it offers a pleasant section with the strings, a brief offering from the oboe, a fanfare, and solo from the vibes and back to the action. “Map of the Stars” opens with mystery, a lush treatment of the Jason theme, and another section of an air of mystery and intrigue. “Edge of the World” is a cue of tension building using the oboe and almost staccato like strings with the brass changing from majestic to dangerous. “Battle” begins with a slow building tension to a great action track using the entire orchestra. Beginning with soft strings and flute “Love Theme” is all too brief not really ever getting started but offering romance. “The Truth” is another action track not ever having to go over the top. Nice to hear no clanging and the heavy use of a synthesizer in the track. “Prince to the People” we hear the heroic Jason theme, a solitary flute followed by swirling strings, a flute and harp denoting deity. “Table of the Gods” is one of dissonant brass and lower strings. One can hear the struggle in this track. “A Thief’s Tale opens with a statement from the flute offering a story before it ends with a royal fanfare from the brass. “Death of the Dragon” is a brief action track. “The Golden Fleece” is a motif used whenever the majestic cloth is related to the story. “Pyre” is a brief proud track. “Orpheus” is a solo lute that offers an air of an ancient sound to the film. “The End of the Quest” brings the film to a conclusion with a Star Wars style statement. There is a sense of victory and accomplishment. We end as we began with the lush Jason theme.

 

This is approximately ½ of what Simon wrote for the film so it is a sort of compilation of the best material from the score. I know that this will have appeal to fantasy film score lovers. Recommended.

 

Track Listing:

1… Jason’s Theme (2:24)

2… Destiny/The Bull (9:45)

3… Mother/Gathering Argonauts (2:42)

4… Map of the Stars (5:46)

5… The Edge of the World (3:50)

6… Battle (5:40)

7… Love Theme (0:55)

8… The Truth (5:53)

9… Prince to the People (5:26)

10… Table of the Gods (4:44)

11… A Thief’s Tale (2:42)

12… Death of the Dragon (0:58)

13… The Golden Fleece (0:54)

14… Pyre (1:11)

15… Orpheus (1:44)

16… The End of the Quest (3:19)

Total Time is 58:01

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