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