As one might expect from such subject matter, this is a dark intense score
- indeed after emerging from its 64-minute listening experience, one might
call it bleak. Yet it begins appealingly enough. 'Talk To Him' opens plaintively
with simple innocent material that recalls the charm of Canteloube's Songs
of the Auvergne suggesting the purity of the Maid of Orleans.
In the second cue 'A sword in the field' we have the beginnings of a heavy
use of synth that is used extensively through the score with variable effect
as a listening experience. In this cue there are heavy suggestive forebodings
of the strife and tragedy to follow with eerie echoeings, sinister tolling
bells and heavy bass drummings indicative of distant heavy gunfire. The
significant use of synths in cues like 'Recrossing the River' and especially
in 'To Arms' with its heavy staccato bass drum throbs, synth death(?) rattlings
and protracted crescendo, soon becomes tedious to the ear, although working
well with the film(?). For other cues, Serra mingles his synth and accoustic
materials and choral lines more successfully - even movingly as in the lovely
mystical 'The Messenger of God' and the following 'Find Him' cue where the
solo violin soars heavenwards to its highest register followed upwards by
the accompanying tremolando strings. [Listeners will have to watch their
CD indicators closely for many cues segue into each other.]
I would also mention: 'Secrets of a strange wind', an imaginative cue with
eerie women's voices and synth moanings and thunder and lightning cleaving
the sky while those church bells toll ominously. 'To the King of England'
is another interesting creation, beginning with harp pluckings against plaintive
strings, and then the solo violin in the seguing cue, 'Sent By God' making
sweet supplication before steel is unsheathed.
The final cues mix harrowing brutality ('The Trial') with poignancy ('Answer
Me'). Angelus in Medio Ignis is clearly influenced by Orff. I will pass quickly
over the tasteless and offensive concluding track, the song 'My Heart Calling'
warbled in the modern manner over awful synth bangings and sickly sweet strings.