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Various Artists: Flags of Our Fathers

Jim Santella By

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Clint Eastwood has put together a soundtrack to match the heart-grabbing film Flags of Our Fathers. With this release of music from the motion picture, we are able to relive the action and the emotion through the film's score.

Eastwood composed much of the music. Lennie Niehaus conducts a studio orchestra that delivers, and portions of the soundtrack come from other directions. As with all film scoring, Eastwood's design is to make the music fit the scene. Hence, the mood of the score runs from somber and serious to gay and noble. Patriotism merges with echoes of the time. Popular music from the early 1940s is included, as are timeless classical pieces and military marches.

Eastwood's mood-purveying strokes recall the drama that another film composer, John Williams, has pumped into his scores, with bold orchestral shapes that pound forcefully in order to send a message. In between, we have tender solo piano melodies that reflect the film's characters and their private thoughts.

Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five are featured with a 1940 recording of "Summit Ridge Drive, which swings with the kind of spirit that reflects a time past. Dinah Shore is featured from an older recording of "I'll Walk Alone, which she sang alone with a small group of vocalists as accompaniment. String quartets and military bands give the soundtrack a conservative character, as do the two patriotic tunes "Any Bonds Today? and "Vict'ry Polka.

Eastwood's pieces depict emotional scenes. He uses both solo piano and full orchestra to color specific scenes with splashes of melody and rich harmony that drift along slowly with a lot of room for thinking things over. We need that when the film's scenes offer more than just ordinary situations.

An extraordinary story requires though-provoking music to match, and here it is.

Visit Clint Eastwood on the web.


Track Listing: The Photograph; I

Personnel: Clint Eastwood: vocals, piano; Dinah Shore: vocals; Artie Shaw: clarinet; others.

Title: Flags of Our Fathers | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Milan Records


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