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