Helen of Troy/Joel Goldsmith
November 6, 2012
The ever popular story of the Helen of Troy and the Trojan horse is told yet again in a three hour miniseries for television under the guidance of Universal Studios. The film starred Sienna Guillory as Helen of Troy and Matthew Marsden as Paris and got some looks as it was nominated for an Emmy and won four other awards.
Joel, son of Jerry Goldsmith, may have fallen short in terms of popularity (compared to Jerry who didn’t), but his talent level was high and listening to this soundtrack will reveal this. The impressive thing about this soundtrack was the limited budget given to Joel and how brilliantly well he handled it. Joel through his knowledge of synthesizers and sound sampling made the soundtrack sound as if it were a studio orchestra to the untrained ear. While there was a studio orchestra conducted by Nicholas Dodd there was a lot of very clever mixing and editing going on making this a spectacular recording. My first experience with Joel was a west coast cult classic “Laserblast” (co-written with Richard Band) and I can say without reservation that he has truly come a long way from the 1977 film.
The Main Title with its pounding percussion immediately sets the stage for the strings which offer the melody followed by the brass which complement nicely. I’ve included this track as an audio clip so you can hear the powerful theme. helen of troy main title A flute quietly offers the theme Helen with backing from a harp giving it a touch of delicacy. The strings take over with harmony still provided by the flute and harp. The last stanza is the horns restating the main title theme. First Look at Troy is a wonderful blend of ethnic style material along with some lush strings providing a restatement of the main title theme with a variation. Troy Will Burn offers a Greek dance style with the percussion playing a strong part in the success of the track. Helen Tries Suicide begins with a dreamlike sequence complete with harp glissando which leads to a restating of the Helen theme once again. Entering Sparta begins with another ethnic dance but changes gears to ominous chords as a warning of what is going to come. End Credits restates the main title in a proud and majestic fashion and concludes with the beautiful Helen melody.
The overall sound of the CD is excellent with restraint being used in the forte parts so that it doesn’t go too loud and disturb the neighbors. I consider this an excellent job in what the synthesizer properly programmed can offer a score, especially one that is on a limited budget. If you purchase from Buy Soundtrax they will also include another Joel Goldsmith soundtrack from the movie “Jobman” (1989) which is making your purchase a two for one buy. The release is on the Free Clyde label(FCM005) and is limited to a 1000 sales. Check out the audio track I’ve included and you won’t be disappointed. Recommended.