Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Braveheart Movie Suite

Braveheart Suite
Music by James Horner

This is easily one of Mr. Horner's premier scores and maybe even his best. Running the gamut from tender themes of love, love lost, death, revenge and epic battles intertwined with the celtic sounds of Scottish pipes, this is one movie suite that really delivers on the promise. With a timing of just over 30 minutes, when this score was released back in 1995, my original movie suite was taken from an LP to cassette and then again from CD to a CD and now has been remastered to share it with you in pristine digital formats.

The next suite to be posted here is also from James Horner and it too is considered to be his very best. I'll leave it to you to decide. Until then, enjoy! -MJ



Monday, August 17, 2009

Dune, The Movie Suite

Music by Toto

This is one of those motion picture soundtracks that has been with me since it first crossed the soundscape. Either you like or you dislike this music, there just doesn't seem to be a middle road with this. The movie suite covers the important themes as well as possible in just under 27 minutes. A little like the "spice" it grows on your consciousness. So I entreat you if you've never listened to this, give it a try. You just might like it. Enjoy! -MJ


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bram Stokers Dracula Movie Suite

Bram Stokers Dracula
Music by Wojciech Kilar

The esteemed Wojciech Kilar, a maestro from Poland has scored the music for over a hundred movies (most outside the USA) as well as written many symphonies and other orchestral works. This music is not something that you want to listen to alone in a dark room, it's that malevolent, but if you are interested in movie suites, then you'll probably find a place for this one, because it has a way of getting under your skin that is really quite enjoyable. Is it different? Sure is. But not so different that you want to miss this unique movie suite. Enjoy! -MJ


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Magnificent Seven Movie Suite

The Magnificent Seven
Music by Elmer Bernstein

Some say that this is the best western movie suite ever. Some even say it's the best motion picture soundtrack of all time. Some others say that it was the first "real" motion picture score of the modern age of movies. Still others say that it is a boring, monotonous work of cookie dough. What does Sir Malcolm say? Of course, he says that this movie suite is pounding, full of wonderful themes and goes from zero to one hundred instantaneously! It is extremely fun to listen to and yes, maybe it's a little repetitious, but it is certainly one of the best that there ever was. And of course, I really hope you enjoy!! -MJ



Sunday, August 9, 2009

DragonHeart Movie Suite

Dragon Heart
Music by Randy Edelman

There are strange times afoot, yet if you listen to this movie suite, it will sweep you away to a land of dragons, knights and willing maidens begging to be rescued. This score sat on the shelf collecting dust, but when I began to listen to it, I was struck by the themes that Mr. Edelman scored. Still fresh, yet with a purpose all of their own this had to be my next suite. Okay, maybe there is one theme in particular that get's overplayed, but who cares? At just over 20 minutes, it will be over before you know it. Hope that you enjoy. -MJ



Friday, August 7, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Movie Suite

Harry Potter 6 And The Half Blood Prince
Music by Nicholas Hooper

Taken from the recent blockbuster, this movie suite represents just what we're getting in motion picture scoring today. Mr. Hooper builds on the sounds and the distinctive feel that he has given us before. This is really dark stuff. Eerie. Creepy. Scary. All come to mind, yet in the end, it just get's us prepped for the last chapters yet to come. We can hardly wait for next year. Hope you enjoy. Next post, I will bring out a classic recently rediscovered by yours truly. -MJ



Rants and Ravings of a Fine Lunatic

Okay, there are blogs out there with opinions as big as zepplins. There are also blogs where a person can share an interest and a belief that goes beyond opinion and borders on the obsessive. Here at movie suites, I try to tell it like it is when discussing a motion picture score, yet it must be understood that these are my own opinions, as such as they may be. Certainly when it comes to movie suites or even movie soundtracks in general, my opinion certainly can and does come from an obsessive point of view.

Huh? You probably could care less about my opinion, so I'll get on with the issue at hand. While listening to the latest scores for the latest movies (Summer of 2009) I am really quite concerned. Where have all the themes gone? Where is the movie tune that everyone knows? Why is it that so much of the new soundtracks are simply mood music (moodtracks) and not the symphonic portraits that they certainly could be? It may be true that for every three or four moodtracks out there, there is at least one gem among them. It may also be true that there are upcoming motion pictures with unbelievable movie scores that will certainly rewrite history. Sure hope so.

That's why we have movie suites, where we can take the special cues, emotional themes and memorable passages and then carefully merge them into a listenable masterwork. Just remember when the movie suite has a timing of only 15 minutes from a 2 hour movie, you can imagine just how much mood music was left in the recycle bin.

Okay, sorry about that. I rarely rant and rave, but felt that I had to get this off of my chest. Thanks for listening. Enjoy the music! -MJ

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix Suite

Harry Potter 5 And The Order of The Phoenix
Music by Nicholas Hooper

As the intensity of the story of Harry Potter increases, so too does the complexity of the score and movie suite that accompanies each episode. Mr. Hooper, an award winning composer from the British Isles has brought a refreshingly complex symphonic reading to this motion picture score. There is only a momentary recall of the original John Williams theme, but all the rest is new as it thrusts us into the action. If you like this, you'll really like the next episode, also scored by Mr. Hooper. Until next time, enjoy the music. -MJ



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Suite

Harry Potter 4 and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Music by John Williams

Returning to Harry Potter for the fourth episode, we find that once again this score was penned by John Williams. Using his excellent abilities to take us on a trip to another time and place, while putting us in the middle of the action. The music is darkly foreboding always promising sinister events that will manifest just around the next corner. Many of the themes in this movie suite are familiar, and the hope is that you will want more, rather than less when the 15 minutes have played out. Enjoy. -MJ


Monday, August 3, 2009

Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire Suite

Harry Potter 3 And The Goblet of Fire
Music by Patrick Doyle

As the characters in the Harry Potter saga grow up, so to does the music that surrounds their exploits. Using some of the themes written by John Williams, our composer has built on the foundation remarkably well. This music weaves into the fabric of this episode perfectly and carries us deeper into the fantasy world of Hogwarts, Dumbledore and of course Harry and his friends. The composer sits precariously on the razor blade between darkness and the light delivering an excellent movie suite.

The timing for this ticks in at 37 minutes, the longest of all the episodes. Enjoy. -MJ



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets Suite

Harry Potter 2 And Chamber of Secrets
Music by John Williams

For his second Harry Potter score, John Williams builds new and interesting layers on top of his earlier work for the first Harry Potter episode. The well received Hedwig Theme is here as well as other less known but familiar themes. There is a strong sense of darkness pervading the aural atmosphere yet the composer rises above that to deliver a fun, likeable movie suite that pulses with a lifelike quality of its own.

The timing on this is a bit over 27 minutes. As you may have wondered, my owl, Mac, has returned from the infirmary and is in top form. Watch for my coming Posts. Enjoy! -MJ