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Band of Brothers (Music from the HBO Miniseries)

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Album Review

Michael Kamen's score for the television miniseries reflects the overall tone of the project. Band of Brothers is a fact-based account of a group of American soldiers preparing for and fighting in the European theater in the latter part of World War II, and it has a serious, heroic tone consistent with the "greatest generation" trend in such depictions of the war. Thus, Kamen echoes Late Romantic classical music, with sweeping strings and deliberate piano patterns for a majestic, if somewhat sad mood. The series has scenes of violent action, but Kamen doesn't seem to have been called upon to support them with music. Rather, he creates cues for many of the individual soldiers ("Winters on Subway," "Nixon's Walk") and for smaller scenes ("Boy Eats Chocolate"). "Plaisir d'Amour" features an a cappella children's choir, and Beethoven's String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 fits right in. The longest cue is also the darkest, the 11-minute "Discovery of the Camp," as the soldiers come upon a German concentration camp. That gives a good sense of the overall sound of the score to a work in which the heroism of the characters is contrasted with the evil that they confronted.


Genre: Soundtrack

Oscar-nominated composer, conductor, and arranger Michael Kamen was born in New York City in 1948, going on to study oboe at the Juilliard School of Music while concurrently playing in a jug band. He then formed the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, whose fusion of classical and pop so impressed legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein that he invited the group to appear at one of his Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1968 and 1972, the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble...
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