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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton
Alexander Courage


Recorded By
Mike Ross Trevor

Performed By
The Hungarian State Opera
Orchestra


Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Label
Varese Sarabande
VSD-5484

Previous Release(s)
Varese CD Vol1 And Vol2 (CD/LP)

Year Of CD/Film Release
1994/1987

Running Time
62:11

Availability
Normal Release

Reviewed By
Brandon Moore


Cues & Timings

1. The Ceremony (2:42)
2. Failed Knight (3:18)
3. The Circus (3:07)
4. Robert and Blanche (3:49)
5. Children in Bondage (5:02)
6. The Road from Paris(2:04)
7. The Lake (3:37)
8. The Banner (5:58)
9. The Castle (1:26)
10. Mathilda (5:57)
11. The Wrong Flag (3:16)
12. The Dress (2:23)
13. Forest Hunt (7:45)
14. Final Fight (3:13)
15. King Richard (8:34)


Soundtrack Ratings

Disappointing

Functional

Average

Good

Excellent

Outstanding



Lionheart
 

The last score written by Jerry Goldsmith for director Franklin J. Schaffner was a late entry into their filmography but a welcome collaboration producing a fine score. This emotional and majestic score was written for a film about a rogue knight who fails to follow in his father and uncle's footsteps but becomes a hero for a group of lost children in their search for King Richard the Lionheart. It is from a genre that Goldsmith so rarely has had a chance to explore in film but was bettered with the epic score to First Knight in 1996.

The score uses a leitmotif approach with some of the major themes being heroic, and variations for the knight Robert Nerra. There's a gorgeous minor mode love theme for Blanche, a dark chant like motif for the evil Black Prince, an Irish inspired theme for the female knight
Mathilda, and a brass fanfare for King Richard and the children's crusade. The score incorporates plenty of electronics, which prove effective, especially during a number of dream sequences, adding an extra dimension to the film. But they play a supporting role to the orchestra, unlike other Goldsmith scores around this period when the composer was developing their integration into his work.

Lionheart uses plenty of ostinato and contains some of the composer's best action cues like "Failed Knight" and the wonderfully brooding but tense "Forest Hunt." One of the score highlights is "The Banner," written for a scene where Robert picks up a flag abandoned by two of King Richard's knights. Here Goldsmith uses both his theme and the love theme building in counterpoint to a flourishing brass fanfare variation for Robert as he takes on a new role as the children's leader.

Varese Sarabande originally released the score on two volume CDs with the Masters Of Film Music label. Then in 1994 released a compilation CD combining music from both volumes, but leaving off around fourteen minutes from Volume 2. The soundtrack includes some great moments but the performance by the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra is strained in a number of cues, and they are clearly not up to the job, as was the case with many of Goldsmith's collaborations with them. On top of this the score was dialled in and out in a severely edited version of the film itself. Still Lionheart remains a very fine score that capped off one of the best director/composer relationships in film and the quality of the writing here only serves to reinforce the special relationship that developed over the years.