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True Grit [Original Soundtrack]

Audio Samples

>Burwell, Carter : True Grit, film score

Album Summary

>Burwell, Carter : True Grit, film score
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

Carter Burwell's score for Joel & Ethan Coen's cinematic version of Charles Portis' novel True Grit (they consciously decided to ignore the original Oscar-winning film because they considered it a bore) is rooted in the world view of its main character, the outrageously self-righteous Mattie Ross (played by Hailee Steinfeld). Burwell used classic Protestant hymns as inspirations; in some cases bits from the classic hymns themselves -- "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" (by Franklin L. Eiland), "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" (by Charles Converse), "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" (by Elisha A. Hoffman & Anthony J. Showalter), "Talk About Suffering" (Traditional), and "The Glory-Land Way" (by J.S. Torbett) -- for his cues. These pieces in particular, from the opening theme, "The Wicked Flee," "A Methodist and a Son of a Bitch," and "I Will Carry You," all begin simply, lyrically, almost reverentially before giving way to grander pieces of music that reflect the land and history. More dramatic cues, from the brooding "The Turkey Shoot" and the intense bombast of the orchestra and snare drum corps in "Taken Hostage," to the taut, suffocatingly close drama in "Snake Pit" that transforms itself into something far more pastoral, are very effective not only as narrative cinematic devices, but as music that tells its own story by its evocation and equivocation with Americana. Of the 14 collaborations between the Coens and Burwell, this is among the most unique and satisfying for its enfolding of historic music into modern composition. [Digital downloads of the recording from Nonesuch's online store include a bonus track: Iris DeMent singing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," which plays during the film's closing credits.] ~ Thom Jurek


Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] a pleasant opening theme on piano...beautifully produced..."


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Works Details

>Burwell, Carter : True Grit, film score
  • Performers: Richard Dallessio (Oboe); Nadine Asin (Flute); Demian Austin (Trombone); Ming Hsin (Violin); Victoria Drake (Harp); Mike Davis (Trombone); Melissa Meell (Cello); Anne Scharer (Horn); Calvin Wiersma (Viola); Saeka Matsuyama (Violin); Sophia Kessinger (Violin); Jennifer Kim (Violin); David Krauss (Trumpet); Daniel Panner (Viola); Misa Iwama (Violin); Nancy McAlhany (Violin); Tom Carney (Violin); Steve Williamson (Clarinet); Paul Pollard (Trombone); Christof Huebner (Viola); Liz Lim-Dutton (Violin); Pico Alt (Violin); Maureen McDermott (Cello); Ellen Payne (Violin); Ben Herman (Percussion); Ragga Petursdottir (Violin); Pitnarry Shin (Cello); Javier Gandara (Horn); Roberta Cooper (Cello); Yurika Mok (Violin); Ken Carlo (Trumpet); Jerry Grossman (Cello); Carter Burwell (Piano); Gordon Gottlieb (Percussion); Marc Goldberg (Bassoon); Joyce Hammann (Violin); Danielle Farina (Viola); Bruce Wang (Cello); Karen Dreyfus (Viola); Conway Kuo (Violin); Mary Wooten (Cello); Shmuel Katz (Viola); Alan Stepansky (Cello); Kyle Turner (Tuba); Michael Roth (Viola); Dean LeBlanc (Clarinet); Harry Searing (Bassoon); Alissa Smith (Viola); Todd Phillips (Violin); Michelle Baker (Horn); Nate Robinson (Violin); Pedro Díaz (Oboe); Emily Popham (Violin); Diva Goodfriend-Koven (Flute); Peter Bahng (Violin); Jim Ross (Trumpet); Barbara Currie (Horn); Karen Karlsrud (Violin); Matt Lehmann (Violin); Erik Charlston (Percussion); Jim Beard (Piano); Joanna Maurer (Violin)
  • Conductor: Carter Burwell
  • Running Time: 2 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score