We have never had a shortage of The Three Musketeers material as the best selling Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) novel originally published as a serial between March and July in 1844 was and still is a wildly popular best seller. There have been twenty two films made starting as early as 1903. There have been at least seven animated versions including Barbie, Mickey Donald and Goofy, and Tom and Jerry. John Wayne starred in one of seven serials and there have been seven sequels a lot of them based on the final section of the novel “The Vicomte de Bragelonne” or The Man in the Iron Mask.  Why another version from Germany with a huge budget, you might ask? The answer is 3D and the ship can fly! 

Paul Haslinger, now a veteran of more than fifty films since his departure from Tangerine Dream approached this score from a classical point of view yet it is very modern sounding with his use of electronics creating the sound producer/director Paul Anderson was looking for. Some will be reminded of Pirates of the Caribbean and I can’t disagree with that. There are several loud dissonant cues, very much the modern sound many films have. If this kind of sound appeals to you there is no doubt that you’ll love this. It includes a very modern vocal by the group Take That singing “When We Were Young.”

 

Only Four Men opens the soundtrack with a solo viola followed with the lower register strings offering a relentless sense of urgency becoming louder and faster. It builds to a loud (fff) now including the synthesizer and then fades quickly into nothing. One of the stronger tracks offered on this CD.

Special Delivery For The King offers tremolo from the strings which lead us to the main theme, a motif repeated in the score. There is a brief romantic offering from the Cembalo to end the track in a delicate fashion. A very moving and memorable track.

Buckingham’s Departure is underscore material, a mixture of orchestra and synthesizer, which while not really thematic is used on more than just this track.

All For One as the title indicates is a slow building feel good track that builds in intensity to a powerful conclusion.

Do You Know Who I Am is a fun track with accordion that I could see as material behind a cartoon.

The King and Queen features the Cembalo making it a period sounding piece delicate and courtly in nature but still has a 20th century sound to it.

Concealed Weapons Tango is a very modern sounding tango with a twanging guitar and a modern beat.

Venice Heist sound could never have come from this kind of movie but it really did. It offers multiple styles, a lot of dissonant and distortion, twangy guitar, and tension.

Boys Will Be Boys is a repeat of the theme we heard in the special delivery track complete with the romantic ending.

The World Calls To The Young is a soft and romantic cue featuring a nice oboe solo complete with full sounding lush strings from the Berlin Session Orchestra.

If fighting material is your fancy there is a lot of it in Open Fire, A Chance To Escape, and Round Two.

There is no groundbreaking material in this one but people who enjoyed the movie will certainly want to seek this one out. Followers of Haslinger will also want to include this in their collection.


Track listing

1.

Only Four Men (02:15)

2.

Special Delivery For The King (02:29)

3.

Buckingham’s Departure (01:22)

4.

All For One (01:47)

5.

Do You Know Who I Am? (02:03)

6.

As Far Away As Possible (01:38)

7.

The King And Queen (01:43)

8.

Announcing Lady De Winter (00:53)

9.

Concealed Weapons Tango (01:08)

10.

Get Me One Of Those! (02:31)

11.

The Venice Heist (05:19)

12.

She Died The Way She Lived (01:48)

13.

I Hate Air Travel (01:01)

14.

Rochefort Ante Portas (01:17)

15.

Open Fire! (02:36)

16.

A Chance To Escape (01:15)

17.

Round Two (01:46)

18.

If You Insist! (01:47)

19.

You Should Have Apologized To My Horse! (01:51)

20.

Boys Will Be Boys (01:40)

21.

The World Calls To The Young (02:30)

22.

To France, Of Course (01:08)

23.

When We Were Young (04:29)
Performed by Take That

Total Duration: 00:46:16

 

Performed by The Berlin Session Orchestra conducted by Joris Bartsch-Buhle.

Orchestrations by Tim Davies and Matt Dunkley.

Milan Records, a label a bit on the quiet side lately, has announced a new release for the US on August 2nd. Sarah’s Key, starring Kristen Scott Thomas as a modern day Paris journalist uncovers a haunting story beginning in France in 1942 during the Vel’ dHiv Roundup. Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner who also wrote the screenplay effectively uses the past and present to offer a good film.

This is my first encounter with Max Richter and his soundtrack fits the film very well. Doing a little research I found that the temporary track that was used also came from Max that being “Nature of Daylight” from his album Blue Notebooks. After having a nice listen I can understand his style and composition. He uses simple but very effective chamber style strings very somber with long extended notes from the piano to enhance the track he is working on. In a single word one could describe bittersweet for his “Nature of Daylight” track.

“The Vel D’ Hiv” underscore is a good example of what many of the tracks are like. The piano chord notes open the cue offering an ever ending clock slowly moving. A cello offers a very somber dark funeral like melody a dirge which is some of the sadder material I’ve heard. The strings harmonize with the melody as the everlasting piano continues. “The Buses” is one of a dozen or so tracks that are in the one minute range. It offers urgency from the strings with well placed brass chords to enhance the track. “Secrets” and “Clouds 1” easily combine into one track with a divine inspirational feeling. A simple but very effective cue. “When She Came Back” begins with long chords from the piano which introduce a very slow adagio similar to what Barber did in his Adagio for Strings.” It ends as it began with the piano chords. “Clouds 2” and “Clouds 3” are both under a minute and offer that divine feeling that was heard in “Clouds 1.” A complete 180 degree turnabout is a big band composition “Easy Swing” which is very predictable if you’re into big band style material. A little bop with short solos from piano, muted trumpet, sax, and carried along nicely with the brass section. “A Different Kind of Love” from Dick Walter, a bonus track is pure easy lounge jazz music. The vocal which is pleasant, (no information is provided on the soloist) leads into a Miles Davis style muted trumpet solo with the guitar always playing simple chords backed by bass. If I didn’t know my big band material I would have said “Moonlight Magic” from Alain Moorhouse, another bonus track, was right out of the Glenn Miller songbook. This style is what is referred to as sweet band and a perfect dance cue for people with limited skills on the floor.

Limited liner notes are provided offering little or no information other than a brief paragraph from the director. It was recorded in Berlin by an unknown ensemble conducted by the composer Richter. The sound is crisp with excellent definition especially from the piano, solos being performed by Saori Tomodokoro. Being as somber as it is this is not one to listen to for background music. Somber and serious it is very well done.

Track Listing:

1…. La Java Bleue – Frehel (source music) (2:46)

2…. The Round Up (1:10)

3…. The Buses (1:18)

4…. The Vel D’Hiv (3:41)

5…. Julia’s Visit (0:42)

6…. The Camps (1:51)

7…. Time Piece (1:03)

8…. Secrets (1:00)

9…. Clouds 1 (0:59)

10… The Escape (2:32)

11… When She Came Back (3:34)

12… Clouds 2 (0:50)

13… The Tree, The Beach, The Sea (2:47)

14… Julia’s Discovery (1:14)

15… I Am Writing This Letter (0:35)

16… Clouds 3 (0:50)

17… Julie’s Journey (2:25)

18… When She Went Away (2:43)

19… The Journal (0:46)

20… Julia Walking (2:24)

21… All The Years Come Back (1:01)

22… Sarah’s Notebook (3:34)

23… Easy Swing – Loren Wilfong (2:23)

24… A Different Kind Of Love – Dick Walter (source music and bonus track) (5:18)

25… Moonlight Magic – Alan Moorhouse (source music and bonus track) (3:26)

26… Oif’n Veg Shtait Ah Boim (2:06)

Total Time is 53:54

Milan CD# 365492