Haven’t seen the movie yet (starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones), but boy, what a terrific old-fashioned full symphony orchestra Romantic Korngoldesque score this is! I don’t recall ever seeing all the orchestra members’ names listed in the note booklet like this, and it’s definitely a very large symphony orchestra too. No handful of studio musicians and some synthesizers here, no sir. (Although there is some synth programming involved.) There are credits for seven different orchestrators! Often soundtrack albums are lucky to make the half hour mark in length, and this one is nearly filled to the capacity of the disc.
The music leaps out of the speakers with swashbuckling verve and energy. It makes you want to see the movie to find out what action goes with the musical cues. There’s plenty of low end sounds, not to mention the explosions. The massed string section tone is lovely; often soundtrack recordings are a bit harsh or processed-sounding, but not this one. I see why it was chosen for SACD release – all the details of Horner’s not-terribly-original but great fun score are cleanly reproduced and with the surround envelopment one feels right in the midst of your local multiplex. (Except if you have a high end system the sound is probably better.)
Tracks: Collecting the Ballots, Stolen Votes, To the Governor’s…And Then Elena, This Is Who I Am, Classroom Justice, The Cortez Ranch, A Proposal with Pearls/Perilous Times, Joaquin’s Capture and Zorro’s Rescue, Jailbreak/Reunited, A Dinner of Pigeon/Setting the Explosives, Mad Dash/Zorro Unmasked, Just One Drop of Nitro, The Train, Statehood Proclaimed, My Family is My Life…
– John Sunier