Mark Snow Collection Orchestral #1

March 26, 2018

mark snow 001

Many of you know Mark Snow only for his work on X-Files and little else. Did you know that he has 237 credits to his list of television and movie credits and is still going strong with 3 series and no indications of slowing down! He is likely the most prolific composer of the last 3 decades. When Mark Banning and Ford Thaxton get done recording his orchestral material who knows how many volumes will evolve. He started in 1975-76 with a television show The Rookies doing 5 episodes and hasn’t stopped. Take away the baseball cap and the glasses and you have someone who resembles a young John Williams. What a talent he is! Having said that he has been nominated 15 times for an Emmy without winning, a crying shame.

One of 11 films he did in 1990 The Little Kidnappers is a feel good film starring Charlton Heston as a bitter Scotsman who hasn’t been able to forgive the Dutch in the Boer War. He is sent his two grandchildren to raise in Novia Scotia, something he does with an iron fist. When  the two boys find a baby they decide to raise it on their own. The story begins and as it progresses grandpa softens making it a fun movie to watch with your kids. The music matches the small screen with no hint of supernatural writing. “Prologue and Main Title” offer a sweeping main theme provided by strings, piano, flute and harp.

The score doesn’t offer only this theme but it is used throughout the the score in recognizable variations with a Scottish flavor to the music which the flute plays a prominent role. “Falling Down the Cliff/Trouble on the Hill” offers a bit of tnsion with the introduction of the brass in a brief motif. “The Kiss” begins with a piano solo and followed by romantic strings and a wonderful soft melody again, perfect for a kiss. Tremolo strings and piano. And as it should “Happy Ending” will bring a tear to your eye. This is a marvelous feel good movie. The solo flute and then the strings play the main title melody again.

Smoke Jumpers was a 1996 television film that dealt with the story of the 1994  Colorado mountain fire. It starred Adam Baldwin and Lindsay Frost. In real life Mrs. Mackey participated in the production of the film as an adviser. The film has a strong bold main theme with brass and snare drum accenting the theme performed by an orchestra of 60 players, large for  television film. It was a real hero theme and is used throughout the score to depict the firefighters male and female.

While I prefer The Little Kidnappers to the Smokejumpers both provide an interesting listen and contrast to each other. And both are on a very limited CD of 500 which will sell quickly given the popularity of Mark Snow. Act quickly or you’ll miss out. Recommended.





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