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True Grit [Original Soundtrack]

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