Le Grand Pardon (1982)/Franklin
October 9, 2011
Serge Franklin (1934- ), a composer of over 100 films today was just getting started when he scored this French godfather type film in 1982. I can’t comment on the film as I’ve not seen it but this fifth release from Music Box Records is a soundtrack which I’ve listened to several times for the writing of this review. The limited edition release is limited to 750 copies so it is best to act sooner rather than later as this is an excellent release. The Philips LP release (6313 290) has been expanded with over twenty five minutes of unreleased material. This is my first experience with Franklin and I’m sorry that I’d not discovered him sooner.
Le grand pardon is the main title which offers a combination of guitar, strings, and bandoneon (accordion like) with the guitar starting off the melody and it quickly changes with the strings taking over the main theme. The orchestration by Franklin has excellent counterpoint as there are many things happening at the same time. If I didn’t know better I wouldn’t have been surprised if this was a theme for an Italian western! It is one of three themes that are repeated throughout the score.
Generique debut* are quiet strings with a beat box (new at the time) with the bandoneon. This is strictly underscore material and a previously unreleased track.
Jazz forever* another unreleased track is a big band swinging upbeat cue, well orchestrated with brass taking the melody and running with it. No extended solos are offered by any instrument except two brief motifs from the piano.
Up to date is another big band swing track with a similar style to the previous track. The sax section plays a more prominent role but the brass still gets there time.
La pegre a la une* guitar offers the main theme and then it concludes with the urgent percussion and bandoneon.
Bettoun et le Sacriatain* is another version of the main title with a phrase of urgency taken from the generique track.
La guerre du casino* is a very quick lush tenor sax solo which turns into dissonant underscore.
Give me la salsa is a vocal by Tina Provenizano, a pop song typical of the 80’s with a disco beat.
Romance a Biarritz* offers piano and chamber strings followed by guitar which plays a somewhat solemn version of the family theme.
Bazck is a Jewish theme which includes a playing of the horn of the ram before it turns into the generique urgency track.
Sur le ring* begins with the main theme in a shortened version.
Mort de Roland et Viviane* is chamber music that begins the track followed by a solo piano theme of the family.
Casino de Biarritz is a slow dance band two step somewhat romantic and well orchestrated.
Le grand mambo* is a standard arrangement of a mambo dance theme.
Bettoun libre* is the main theme again featuring the guitar.
Pour suite les quais disco beat with the generique theme.
Maduro con queso a funky rock beat dominates this track with a choral background. An improvisational trumpet solo is offered.
Nuit blanche is another version of the main theme, something Franklin used often in this score.
Par King* is a disco version of the generique theme another well used motif.
La loi du talion string plucking, drum machine, and urgent strings offer some very good underscore material. A good track.
Generique fin* is the main theme again and as previously stated is well used throughout the soundtrack.
Theme d’amour (piano solo)* is the family theme in a very lush solo piano arrangement.
Le grand pardon is the concluding track offering a vocal from Herbert Pagani of a disco beat version of the main theme.
The mastering quality came from a good source and is clean with crisp treble. Liner notes are very adequate and informing about the film and music. It is nice to see Music Box Records enter the market with a unique product. I look forward to more titles in the future.
Total Duration: 00:59:40