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CD: Starhawk (2012)
Review Rating:   Excellent  
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May 22, 2012

Tracks / Album Length:

28 tracks / (57:07)



Christopher Lennertz


Special Notes:

16-page colour booklet with liner notes / Limited to 3000 copies.

Comments :    

Between his extensive TV regular work in comedies & animated features, Christopher Lennertz occasionally gets meatier projects that allow the composer to delve into his classical side, and while Starhawk is a big orchestral score, Lennertz’ approach is traditional in his use of strong themes and variations, but unusual for a fusion of classical, contemporary / big budget action writing, and a sly homage to the spaghetti western.

The score’s main theme has a slight Appalachian harmony, and its warm tones are contrasted with pensive cues (the bluesy, twanging “Prologue” with multiple electric and acoustic guitars, plus cimbalom and harmonica) which give the score a surprising emotional depth.

Lennertz rarely gets a chance to score action films, so it’s a real delight to hear his own verisons of furtive stalking, sudden assaults, and extended combat cues. “Work Site Raid” swerves from pounding percussion (with Bear McCrearian rhythmic textures) to a full theme statement, and in “Battle at Ballard’s Crossing” twanging guitars and electric bass licks provide a great intro, with backbeat on timpani.

The primary action cues are based around a cycling 3-note motif around which Lennertz adds various instrumental ornamentation, including wailing female vocals, ferocious brass assaults, and metal whip-lashes (“The Outcast”). He also re-applies the same voices with a smaller yet more resonant group of skin percussion, and the lengthy CD ultimately winds down with full theme statements, such as the declaratory and epic “Heroism,” with its brass and percussion; and in “Emmett’s Theme,” where Lennertz uses orchestra and mixed chorus with one last use of a twanging guitar.

La-La Land’s CD is neatly sequenced, and largely manages to avoid heavy thematic repetition, and the carefully placed action cues often drift through differing saturations from classical, exotic, and western genres to ensure a rich musical variety.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan



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