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Soundtrack Review

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Music For Film


Composer: Shigeru Umebayashi
Conductor: Dirk Brossé
Performed by: Brussels Philharmonic
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
SILCD1652 (CD), SILED1652 (download)
Release Date: 26 November 2021

Shigeru Umebayashi: Music For Film is an updated version of Film Fest Ghent’s 2010 tribute to the composer’s work which featured his most celebrated music. This edition includes material that has not been otherwise released, featuring two pieces from A Single Man, a cue from the anthology film Hero and ‘Moyou’, a new arrangement from his breakthrough score Sorekara, which features in the film The Grandmaster...

The wonderful contribution to cinema that Shigeru Umebayashi has made is often overlooked outside of his native Japan. While he's scored plenty of soundtracks to Western movies, he's still not widely known, which is a bit of a shame. Thankfully Silva Screen Records and Film Fest Ghent address this issue by releasing highlights of his career across these 21 tracks (1 hr, 13 min, 28 sec).

It's an impressive introduction to an incredibly talented artist, and I spotted a few instances where it appeared Umebayashi had been inspired by other composers. 'George's Waltz (II)' brought to mind Ennio Morricone's work on Cinema Paradiso. And 'A Variation on “Scotty Tails Madeleine” / Carlos' reminded me of the work of Bernard Herrmann, most notably his suspense themes for Vertigo.

It's an incredibly rich and varied collection and one that any serious score collector should look out for.

Track listing:

01. Yumeji’s Theme (From In the Mood for Love)
02. Theme of the Empress (From Curse of the Golden Flower)
03. Curse of the Golden Flower (From Curse of the Golden Flower)
04. Mother & Jai (From Curse of the Golden Flower)
05. Polonaise (From 2046)
06. Interlude (From 2046)
07. 2046 Main Theme (From 2046)
08. Incendiary Main Theme (From Incendiary)
09. Victoria Station (From Incendiary)
10. Joan’s Cello (From Hero)
11. Vendetta March (From Tears for Sale)
12. George's Waltz (II) (From A Single Man)
13. A Variation on “Scotty Tails Madeleine” / Carlos (From A Single Man)
14. Hollow Inside (From Hannibal Rising)
15. Train (From Zhou Yu’s Train)
16. Moyou (From The Grandmaster)
17. Sorekara Main Theme (From And Then)
18. In Times Past and Gone
19. No Way Out (From House of Flying Daggers)
20. Farewell No 2 (From House of Flying Daggers)
21. Lovers (From House of Flying Daggers)


Darren Rea

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