VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD-6170
It can be very hard for a composer to follow in the footsteps of another,
attempting to fashion something personal and original based on existing material.
And it must be all the more difficult when the original music is of such
a high calibre as Randy Edelman's score for the first Dragonheart
movie. Even so, Mark McKenzie has given it his best shot, using the memorable
Edelman theme where appropriate and supporting it with a sturdy backbone
of dramatic action/suspense scoring.
Sensibly that original, stirring and emotional theme by Randy Edelman is
used sparingly, allowing McKenzie to put his own stamp on the score, rather
than just rehashing the previous material. Edelman's theme is first heard
in 'Dragonheart: A New Beginning, Main Titles', a rich, symphonic reintroduction
to the world of knights, derring-do and fire breathing behemoths and subsequently
appears in 'Friar Peter Went to Heaven', 'Dragon Heaven' and 'Of My Heart
to Thee I Give'.
McKenzie's own most significant theme is 'My Heart Goes With You (Instrumental)',
a sweet, romantic string piece with a subtle Chinese flavour. Actually this
grows on you with repeat plays, although I think the arrangement doesn't
really do full justice to the melody. It's reprised in various forms in 'Serenade
to the Stars', 'Tai Chee' and at the conclusion of 'My Wise Master and Closest
Friend'. There's also a vocal version performed by Rona Figueroa (with lyrics
by Shari Goodhartz), but this works less well than the instrumental.
As might be expected the score has its fair share of action music, as in
tracks like 'Lian's Awesome Fight', 'Roland Bullies Geoff' (with distinctive
brass), 'Chinese Battle the Knights' and 'Terragoth Ambush!'. And while it
may not be particularly original or innovative, it stands up well and is
solid enough. The same can also be said of the various suspense cues. 'Dungeon,
Skeletons, & A Dragon' works to good effective and 'Prophetic Transformation'
builds in intensity and makes a strong dramatic impression.
If there aren't any real fireworks here, it's certainly a reliable enough
piece of work. The music does its job and is pleasant to listen to in an
undemanding way. Given that this is a sequel score, probably about as good
as might reasonably have been hoped for.