The Dark Cristal - OST - 2 CD [1982-2003]

Posted By : zandor | Date : 09 Dec 2007 03:19:00 | Comments : 5 |

The Dark Cristal - OST - 2 CD [1982-2003]
(by Trevor Jones and performed by The London Symphony Orchestra)

APE | 733 kbps | SoundTrack | 547.66 MB | cover incl.

The Dark Crystal: Long before becoming famous for his brassy fanfares in such modern favorites as Last of the Mohicans and Cliffhanger, Trevor Jones was a regular composer for the Jim Henson productions of the 1980's. None of the Jim Henson Muppet films has achieved a cult status greater than The Dark Crystal, a tale of innocent Gelfling creatures who, with the assistance of benevolent Mystics, must battle evil Skeksis rulers and their henchmen to restore the crystal that binds their destinies together. While the story may not seem wildly original by today's standards, there were several aspects of The Dark Crystal that made it stand out as a superior effort when compared to similar projects at the time. First, the puppet effects, while obviously lacking compared to computerized wizardry today, were surprisingly convincing. Second, the film had a distinctly dark and frightening style about even its brighter and more heroic parts. Third, its score by Trevor Jones is a classic in the history of animated features. When Jones sat down with film producer Gary Kurtz, they recognized that the animated film genre had reached the point where the stories and imagery on the screen were so foreign that the music needed to be rooted in an orchestral base that audiences could relate to. Interestingly, Don Bluth and Jerry Goldsmith would be making same realization at exactly the same time for The Secret of N.I.M.H. Thus, the lush orchestral style was adopted industry-wide as the acceptable standard for modern animation music, an important beginning to a trend that continues twenty years later.

Trevor Jones, who had just finished a rigorous series of collegian degrees in film music composition, and whose career was rich in student film scores, approached The Dark Crystal originally with the idea of using unconventional instrumentation for the project. But in light of the issue of audience relation to the picture, Jones agreed that an orchestral base was needed over any experimental instrumentation. Jones would become well versed in writing music for fantasy films, and his effort for The Dark Crystal would result in a score that remains as much of a cult favorite as the film itself. Along the way, Jones would establish several themes and motifs that would resurface in other composers' fantasy works of the next decade. As fans of Trevor Jones' compositions in the 1990's recognize, he is a master of creating sweeping themes. The ironic aspects of The Dark Crystal is that his multitude of themes for The Dark Crystal is more diverse and less simplistic than his grand Last of the Mohicans styles. You can't help but marvel at the sheer quantity of themes and motifs for the wide ranging characters in The Dark Crystal, and the quality is often not far behind. Each set of characters has a strong theme in The Dark Crystal (including the pleasant love theme for the two Gelflings), and Jones intentionally leaves the performances of the title themes separate until the crystal is unified to fulfill the prophecy at the end of the film. The congruence of the themes in the last few minutes of the film is spectacular, with a harmony in counterpoint that clearly shows Jones' talents at this early stage of his career.

The score is hyperactive in its constantly fast and layered levels of activity, with so much happening at almost every turn that the listener is entertained by the consistently rolling sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra even when a dominant theme is not present. It is no wonder that Jones has an equally rich career as a professor of film music composition at the college level; the construction of The Dark Crystal is mind-bogglingly complex. Luckily, the strength of the performers in the LSO helped translate this score well into reality, as it could have been crucified by a less qualified ensemble. Along with the strong orchestral presence are Jones' electronics, which are used to add such fine points as droplet sounds to the "Jen and Kira in the Sewer" cue, as well as religiously inclined highlights, including the powerful electric organ in the funeral cues and the deep, choral chants in the film's finale. If the score has any weaknesses, then they are limited to the few moments when Henson required ethnically solitary music ("Jen Plays His Pipes") or requested more silly character cues (the "Skeksis Feast" cues). Jones also takes some notes from Bernard Herrmann's knifing string motif from Psycho in parts and a rather humorous borrowing of John Williams' Superman theme at the start of the Landstriders journey cue. Ironically, the "Pod Dance" composition isn't among the weaknesses of the score, acting as a superior and listenable precursor for James Horner's nearly identical writing for the dwarf peoples in Willow.

The only commercially available album released since 1982 has been the original LP, which featured forty minutes of rearranged music for album purposes. Like many other magnificent fantasy scores, The Dark Crystal is one that plays very well in its suite form, mostly because the suite format leaves out many of the filler cues and other underscore that weakens the complete film score. Nevertheless, the demand for the The Dark Crystal score on CD --at any length-- was enormous. Remaining very high on film music collectors' request lists, The Dark Crystal LP largely disappeared from the market, and, in the 1990's, bootlegged CD versions of that LP began surfacing (sometimes with music also from Labyrinth). Prolific in its spread, the bootlegs remained the only CDs of The Dark Crystal for what seemed like an eternity for fans of the cult film. Finally, in 2003, the Jim Henson camp authorized the "Numenorean Music" label to release the ultimate, 2-CD set of music from The Dark Crystal in a limited pressing. The 5,000 copies contain one CD with the remastering of the LP suite presentation and one with the entire 71 minutes of music as heard in the film. The first CD features phenomenal, lively sound quality for a 1982 recording, and is worth the price of the album alone. The second CD offers perhaps too much music, with a handful of suspect cues and some awkward edits. The complete score also suffers from significantly muted sound quality compared to the first album's presentation. The set does, however, offer a 12-page booklet with all sorts of information and quotes regarding the score, and will certainly leave no fan of The Dark Crystal unhappy. Regardless of any weaknesses that the first album may possess, the belated set is very highly recommended for any film music collector, and especially for those who appreciate the massive orchestrally beauty of the fantasy genre. ~ by FilmTracks.com

Disc 1 - The Original Album
1. The Dark Crystal Overture (3:11)
2. The Power Ceremony (3:57)
3. The Storm (1:03)
4. The Mystical Master Dies (0:51)
5. The Funerals/Jen's Journey (5:25)
6. The Skeksi's Funeral (2:42)
7. The Pod Dance (3:14)
8. Love Theme (3:17)
9. Gelfling Song (2:22)
10. The Gelfling Ruins (2:43)
11. The Landstrider Journey (0:44)
12. The Great Conjunction (4:13)
13. Finale (7:14)

Disc 2 - The Complete Film Score
1. Opening Titles And Main Theme / The Mystics' Sandpainting (4:54)
2. Jen Plays His Pipes (0:56)
3. Jen Goes To His Dying Master (0:39)
4. The Death Of The Emperor / Death Of The Mystic Master / Mystics Memorial Ceremony / Jen's Journey Through The New World (3:18)
5. Skeksis Debate Leadership / Skeksis Duel (Film Version) (3:10)
6. Chamberlain Is Attacked (1:20)
7. Skeksis Summoned By Alarm (0:50)
8. Garthim Are Dispatched / Jen On Aghra's Mountain (2:29)
9. Jen Enters Aughra's Observatory (1:21)
10. Jen Discovers Shard (0:22)
11. Observatory Destroyed / Mystics Set Out (2:28)
12. Gelflings Meet / Dreamfast (2:11)
13. Skeksis Feast - Part One (2:27)
14. Skeksis Feast - Part Two (0:30)
15. Batbirds Dispatched / Environmental Musical Sounds / Gelfling Song / Batbird Brought Down / Mystics Travelling #1 (2:25)
16. Pod Party / Destruction Of The Pod Village (4:10)
17. Jen And Kira Love Theme (1:36)
18. The Prophecy In The Ruins (2:09)
19. Escape From The Chamberlain / Kira Summons The Landstriders (1:47)
20. Jen And Kira Set Off On The Landstriders / Pod Person Drained (2:37)
21. The Battle / Mystics Travelling #2 (4:20)
22. Jen And Kira In The Sewer (1:43)
23. Kira Brought Before The Skeksis (0:57)
24. Kira Drained In The Chamber Of Life (1:12)
25. Kira Freed / Jen Goes In Search / Mystic Disintegrates / Mystics Travelling #3 (1:08)
26. Jen Trapped In Lair / Jen Reaches Chamber Of Life (0:26)
27. Jen Discovers Crystal Chamber (3:40)
28. Gelfling Frightens The Skeksis / The Crystal Made Whole / Mystics And Skeksis / Fuse / Finale / End Credits (16:10)

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Posted By: Hartman Date: 09 Dec 2007 21:12:34
Nice post zandor, thanks.
Is this available anywhere in .mp3 format?
Posted By: Pacifica Date: 11 Dec 2007 19:21:01
Use this to convert from APE, FLAC or other formats to MP3:


I prefer when the post is lossless, separate tracks - then I can rip to the 320CBR I prefer to use. It guarantees me excellent audio because I know the original is as clean as it can get.

The software also includes an excellent CD ripper. Use it! Share your music! Enjoy!

Thanks for an AWESOME post, Zandor!!
Posted By: Pacifica Date: 11 Dec 2007 19:25:32
Use this to convert from APE, FLAC or other formats to MP3:


I prefer when the post is lossless, separate tracks - then I can rip to the 320CBR I prefer to use. It guarantees me excellent audio because I know the original is as clean as it can get.

The software also includes an excellent CD ripper. Use it! Share your music! Enjoy!
Posted By: fudtogo Date: 19 Dec 2007 20:07:33
What a wonderful post really great share I love the film and the music
THANX so much zandor
Posted By: HellikXs Date: 25 Feb 2008 12:13:12
Thank you zandor! Looking forward to hearing this album.