Aggie's Music

I usually blab about film scores on this blog, but I don't mind the occasional tangent towards other interests. :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Magnificent Seven

Sorry about the lack of posts in the past month.. I currently have two summer jobs to deal with and in the middle of August, I went for a needed week-long vacation to Tennessee to visit my pregnant sister and her husband. Loads of fun.

Anyways, I watched The Magnificent Seven the night before my vacation, so I thought I'd discuss the score a little bit. I couldn't find any clips from the film on YouTube so this 1960's cigarette commercial will have to do. It has the main theme played in the background. I hope I don't get any of you hooked!

So, this score was done by a growing favourite film composer of mine.. Elmer Bernstein. He's probably one of the most exciting, colourful, and flat-out fun film composers ever. He's got his more delicate scores of course (eg. To Kill A Mockingbird), but the energy he puts in his action film scores is amazing.

Here's a link for samples of his themes and you'll see what I mean:

I'd say that the 50s and 60s were Bernstein's strongest years. He made great themes in those two decades besides The Magnificent Seven... you had The Buccaneer (not as popular, but excellent music), The Ten Commandments, and The Great Escape. My favourite work of his (so far) would be The Magnificent Seven because that theme just sounds so alive. All the instruments can be heard, and the horns have a fun tempo that stands out. When heard with the title, you already know you're in for a fun western film.

Calvera (the villain) has a strong, minor theme. The banging of tambourines with the orchestra lets you know something is up. So, if you haven't seen the film yet, be sure to rent it.

Elmer Bernstein died two years ago on August 18th. Although I'm a few days late, I'm dedicating this post to him. I can't wait to listen to more of his scores.

Oh, P.S. Let me know if there's a specific score that you want me to review. No guarantee that I've seen the film, but I don't mind going to the local Blockbuster if it's worth it, hehe.