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Cast Away (Music from the Original Motion Picture)

Alan Silvestri

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Album Review

The most striking thing about the music in Robert Zemeckis' desert-island fantasy Cast Away is that there isn't any. At least, not for the first two thirds of the movie. Which is actually a very effective choice for a film about a life stripped to its bare essentials. But the brevity of Alan Silvestri's score must have been a disappointment for the folks at Varese Sarabande, who were left without enough material for a full-length soundtrack album. Consequently, the Cast Away CD is not so much a soundtrack album for that film as a retrospective of Silvestri's 16-year collaboration with director Zemeckis. The album features excerpts from all ten of the Zemeckis/Silvestri pictures, and it reveals the breadth and variety in both style and quality that has characterized the composer's career. The collection begins with ludicrously outdated '80s lite jazz nonsense from Romancing the Stone before moving mercifully on to the John Williams-esque blockbuster brashness of Back to the Future, which remains Silvestri's most famous and memorable score. The collection's other highlights include the '40s jazz swagger of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the steady Western power of the cowboy picture Back to the Future, Part III, and the sentimental piano balladry of Silvestri's sole Oscar nominee, Forrest Gump. The equally sentimental piano balladry from Contact shows the composer repeating himself unnecessarily, but his versatility continues to impress throughout the rest of the album — even during the unlistenable excerpt from Silvestri's Bernard Hermann-wannabe effort for What Lies Beneath. But the most impressive piece in the collection is the title track. Both Zemeckis and Silvestri demonstrate remarkable restraint in scoring Cast Away, with the director choosing to withhold music from several scenes in the film — particularly those that feature strandee Tom Hanks staring longingly at photographs of Helen Hunt — that would have been scored with manipulative music in almost any other movie. Silvestri's theme isn't introduced until Hanks finally escapes from his island, and then it is stunning in large part because of the simplicity of the melody. Slow, steady, characterized by long notes and unusual moments of silence, it opens emotional floodgates in ways that a more expressive piece would not. The excerpt included on the CD is the seven-minute end title theme, which boldly intersperses the music with several long segments of softly crashing waves. It is an exceptional achievement for director and scorist alike and a fitting culmination to this summary of their collaboration.

Customer Reviews


i agree and whats with the castaway track containing a 3 minute song and then 4 minutes of occaisional ocean noises

More of a "Best of Alan Silvestri" album ... but worth it!

The movie Cast Away contains almost no music - notably, the whole time Tom Hanks is on the island. I guess the album has been padded with other Alan Silvestri themes. No complaints here - they've included some classics!

compilations of silvestri yes! castaway soundatrack no!

if you like compilations and silvestri then go ahead and download as they sound like original recordings taken from the films scores! however its not all castaway to look before you leap !


Born: 26 March 1950 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Of composer Alan Silvestri's many film scores, he is perhaps best-known for his work with director Robert Zemeckis, starting with their first movie project, Romancing the Stone, and continuing through the next decades with many more blockbuster classics. Silvestri began playing music at a young age while growing up in Teaneck, NJ, and was already considering a music career by the age of 15. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but after only two years moved out to Las Vegas and started...
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Cast Away (Music from the Original Motion Picture), Alan Silvestri
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  • £7.90
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: 30 January 2001

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