Here is another charming score from the abundantly melodic pen of Mr Holdridge
who brilliantly captures the joy, delight and the darker side of childhood.
Many, many children, especially little girls, all over the world will have
read of the adventures of Heidi or seen or heard one of the innumerable radio
or TV broadcasts of the story of the loveable orphan who delights enriches
the life of everyone she meets. After charming her elusive grandfather and
falling in love with the beautiful mountain he calls home, Heidi is uprooted
and sent to Frankfurt where she befriends Klara, a young girl confined to
a wheelchair. But Frankfurt drains Heidi's spirit and torn between her new
friendship and the memory of her beloved Alps she faces a difficult decision.
For Heidi, Holdridge writes one of his most appealing and beautiful melodies
full of pathos and compassion. A warm, sentimental sweet tune that accords
perfectly with the character of the little girl. This main theme is treated
to variations that are both sad and joyful. To underline a number of cues
such as 'Peter Running to Heidi' and 'Running to the Church' the music takes
on a distinctive classical quality rather like neo-Bach. 'Kittens on the
Pillow' is one of Holdrige's exquisite vignettes, very evocative, cuddly,
playful and perky. 'Grandmother's farewell' is suitably poignant and 'Lady
of the Mountain' has an intriguing mystical quality. I was also drawn to
the lovely intimate 'Heidi and Peter' cue for a reduced ensemble of flute,
harp, piano and strings. Holdridge demonstrates his equal affinity for bleaker
and more menacing, darker figures in 'Hanging on the Edge.
An entrancing score
As written innumerable times before, Lee Holdridge has a touch of the knack
when it comes to painting sonic landscapes that inspire encomiums from those
who listen. With the TV movie "Heidi," Holdridge demonstrates the praise
is well justified. There are unexpected delights. There are traditional
associations. The soundtrack prompts emotions on an expansive gamut, from
a multitude of diversified styles oh-so-tastefully intermeshed, including
abrasive modernism, the previously stated Baroque constituent, and evocative
vignettes such as a classical (also gorgeous!) arrangement of "O Tannenbaum."
Further, at a time when 'smaller' film scores can quickly become discomfiting
it is gratifying to hear one that speaks for itself.