"There can be no doubt that Wojciech Kilar's score to "Bram Stoker's DRACULA" is one of the highlights of filmmusic of the 90's. However, I feel that the soundtrack release leaves a lot to be desired. First of all: Many of the tracks have been horribly edited, to the point where you don't even think it was Kilar who composed them, but rather some mixer. "The Storm" is the best example of this. Furthermore, most of the tracks are not even the ones used for the film. "The Brides", although based on the same theme, is an intirely different version than what ended up on screen. It's not bad music at all, but it ruins the listening experience. This is also the case with "The Grenn Mist". If they really wanted all that "alternate" music on the cd, why not just add it as bonus music? Also, it puzzles me, how they can exclude perhaps the most interesting and original cue of the intire film (the chase scene music at the end of the film) and instead use a cue like "The Ring of Fire" which is basically just sound effects, and has very little to do with music. Sure, it's spooky to hear a lot of laughing demons and screaming horses, but it's not the actual score, so why put it on the cd? Overall, I don't regret getting this cd, but I'm not particular joyfull about it either. Kilars music is magnifcent, but what a shame it had to get such a pathetic release(!)"
Dracula as it should be...
Jeffrey S. Yip | West Lafayette, IN United States | 02/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen the movie a number of times, and despite the usual wanting areas as found in every good movie, I was thoroughly impressed with that silverscreen interpretation given to us by Coppola. What more, but that the soundtrack is just so amazingly composed, possessing such a perfect blend of choral and instrumental minimalistic romanticism and gothic motif. The extremely repititive (and so rightly so) beating in each track, used to heighten and create a sense of impending terror that is the essential core of the score, is splendidly contrasted with the disquietingly innocent theme of Lucy as found in Track 4 and parts of Track 6. In these tracks, we can slowly listen to the coquettish and promiscuous Lucy fall deeper and deeper into the depths of Hell, becoming "the Devil's concubine!" Listen, too, carefully to Track number 12 for an especially delightful invocation of demonic music as the vampiresses attack Van Helsing and Mina at Dracula's castle. The only woe on this CD is the last track "Love Song for a Vampire" written and sung by Annie Lennox. Being myself a stickler for authenticity in all respects to the period in which any production is supposed to take place, I thought that the song was grossly out of place. In any case, the rest of the CD was of such superb quality, that it must deserve the whole five stars."
Roland Dark | USA | 08/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why do I say ouch? Because this score bites!Prepare yourself for a musical composition like none your auditory sense has ever experienced. Wojceich Kilar (who cares if you cannot pronounce his name!) has scored a... An... No singular adjective can possibly describe it. Let me put it this way - this score will sink its teeth into you (pun intended). And you will do the same in return. The entire score - not including the incongruous "Love Song For A Vampire" - is superb. Kilar completely eschews melodies, relying on a repetitive, minimalistic style. Even with its all too familiar "Mars the Bringer of War" style march, "Vampire Hunters" serves this symphony well. However, it is three particular pieces that tower over the rest."Dracula - The Beginning" is a perfect prologue, building from eerie, relentless, stringent notes, climaxing in a crescendo of blaring brass (in the film, this signified Dracula's rejection of God and his embracing of Satan). While this works well with the film, the entire score is better, more haunting, more nightmarish on its own. No greater example than in "The Storm". It begins with a soft - albeit quite mysterious - plucking of harp strings, tarrying until it has reached the faintest, gentlest note - piercing brass curtly disrupts this lull. After an unnerving passage of music, brass once again busts through the door, leading to repetitive, stentorian phrases accompanied by kettle drum and an otherworldly chorale arrangement. After electrifying blasts of brass, the chorus begins an ethereal chant of ascending and descending utterances - this particular section left me awe-struck. The piece appropriately ends with the gothic sounds of a cathedral organ. "Ring of Fire" (this MUST be listened to apart from the film), one of the shortest tracks on the CD, has the most impact. This is the absolute apex of experimental scoring. Not so much music, but a kaleidoscope of hellish, demonic voices and sounds superimposed by chorus. The sounds alone are mind-boggling and unlike anything you have ever heard before. How on Earth did Kilar achieve these preternatural sounds? The quality sounds too organic to have been generated by synthesizers. At one point the neighing of a horse can distinctly be heard. In another part, a mockingly puckish howl almost sounds as if it is saying "come on." By the end of this track, I was sitting with my eyes wider than a soup bowl, my jaw sitting in my lap. Wojceich Kilar has scored a masterpiece."
Actor, Dancer, Techie | Sacramento, CA | 10/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To this day I still get goosebumps when the opening music crescendos and the title of the movies hits the screen. It perfectly accents the visuals. It does such a good job I'm having trouble thinking of a soundtrack that equals it."