Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wolf OST (1994) - Ennio Morricone

Review #8

Artiste:  Ennio Morricone
Year:  1994
Genre:  OST / Orchestral
Duration:  64min
Label:  Sony Classical
Format:  CD

  1. ‘Wolf and Love’ – 3:32
  2. ‘The Barn’ – 1:59
  3. ‘The Dream and the Deer’ – 9:15
  4. ‘The Moon’ – 5:28
  5. ‘Laura Goes to Join Wolf’ – 2:20
  6. ‘Laura and Wolf United’ – 1:24
  7. ‘First Transition’ – 1:28
  8. ‘The Howl and the City’ – 3:21
  9. ‘Animals and Encounters’ – 4:37
  10. ‘Laura Transformed’ – 3:36
  11. ‘Wolf’ – 2:48
  12. ‘Second Transition’ – 1:17
  13. ‘Will’s Final Goodbye’ – 1:31
  14. ‘Chase’ – 5:43
  15. ‘Confirmed Doubts’ – 3:41
  16. ‘The Talisman’ – 3:27
  17. ‘Third Transition’ – 0:57
  18. ‘A Shock for Laura’ – 2:43
  19. ‘Laura and Will’ – 2:26
  20. ‘Laura’ – 2:36
Ennio Morricone’s score for the 1994 Mike Nichols movie starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer is rather underrated.  He doesn’t do a lot of horror scores for Hollywood – you have to go back to John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) for a memorable one.  Here in Wolf, he channels a jazzy noir-ish style mixed with orchestral strings and electronic synths.  The result is not quite spectacular, but interesting enough for fans of Morricone.  It is a score that grows on you, centering less on clear, discernible melodies; instead the music is more atonal and atmospheric, but with structural cues to guide the listener.

‘Wolf and Love’ – The opening track sets the mood.  It is ominous, but the lush strings at the start give it a sense of warmth and love.  The French horns play one of the score’s two main melodies with accompanying strings and synths.  There is a quick rhythmic electronic cue that punctuates the track with attacking intensity.  This would be a recurring leitmotif throughout the score, perhaps indicating a kind of hybrid transformation i.e. a wolf-man, as paralleled by the score’s mix of electronic synths with organic orchestral instruments.  The leitmotif gives the score a more startling emphasis or dissonance. 

‘The Barn’ – Harp and strings accompaniment give this track a serene quality.  The score’s other main melody is performed by the saxophone in a jazzy sensual manner.  Wished this piece was longer.

‘Animals and Encounters’ – A terrific dramatic cue underscored with elements of horror.  The theme from ‘The Barn’ recurs, before the electronic leitmotif sets in as a prelude to a sudden change in rhythm.  Morricone masterfully paces the track with the use of drums. 

‘Chase’ – The score’s most thrilling section.  This track is a solid blast, with heavy use of brass combined with the saxophone.  It can get rather frightening with the layering of brass and woodwind instruments together with the incessant, thumping rhythm.

Reviewed on Luxman Stereo Integrated Amplifier A-383, Marantz Compact Disc Player CD-63SE, and a pair of 1973 New Advent Loudspeakers.

Sound Quality:
Great recording.


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