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TROY (REJECTED SCORE) – Gabriel Yared

May 15, 2004 Leave a comment

troyyaredOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Gabriel Yared began work on Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy during the first phases of production, in early 2003. He was certainly an unexpected choice to score a film of this type, having spent much of his Hollywood career scoring sentimental romantic dramas such as The English Patient, City of Angels, Message in a Bottle, Possession and Cold Mountain, and scoring them well. Nevertheless, Yared threw himself into the project, exploring ancient and modern musical techniques, integrating Bulgarian choirs and Macedonian soloists into his work, and much more besides. For over a year, Yared immersed himself in the music of Trojans and Spartans and Greeks, having been afforded the luxury of time, something not often given to film music composers these days. The score was recorded in February 2004, and everyone, from Wolfgang Petersen to the studio execs at Warner Brothers, loved Yared’s work. Then, the film was screened for a test audience in Sacramento, California, and everything changed. The focus group at the test decided Yared’s music was “overpowering and too big, old fashioned and dated the film” and, sensing potential trouble, Warner Brothers unceremoniously threw out Yared’s work. Overnight, a year’s worth of research and planning was discarded by a group of studio executives who believed that the Sacramento focus group had better taste in film music than a director of Petersen’s caliber, and a composer of Yared’s standing. Read more…

TROY – James Horner

May 14, 2004 Leave a comment

troyhornerOriginal Review by Peter Simons

In what was one of this years most upsetting events in film music, Gabriel Yared’s powerful score for Troy got rejected and was replaced by one from James Horner. After Yared had been fine-tuning his work for almost a year, it was suddenly up to Horner to write ‘something better’, i.e. something better fitting the studio’s wishes, in a mere two weeks. Such a task is nearly impossible and, needless to say, Horner’s work sounds less inspired and thought-through than Yared’s does. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good score. On the contrary, it’s a surprisingly fine effort featuring some of Horner’s most rousing material since Enemy at the Gates. One would just wish that the composer was given more time to explore and elaborate on his ideas. Read more…

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