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MohicanLand Musical Musings: The Music of The Last of the Mohicans



The Music on the CD

The music appears on the CD sorted by composer, rather than in the order it appears in the movie, specifically at the insistence of Randy Edelman as a way to distinguished his music from the music of Trevor Jones––to make it clear what music was whose. Well, there is logic in that, but there is more vanity in such an approach, to the detriment of those people buying and listening to the soundtrack. It seems being absolutely clear about who wrote what was more important than providing the best soundtrack for the listening audience (as though the listening audience would not smart enough to figure it out from well-designed liner notes!). Well, it's water long since under the bridge. If you haven't read it, read the excerpt of an interview with Randy Edelman from Film Score Monthly #76, December, 1996.

Here is how the music appears on the CD and is listed in the liner notes:


Original Score (Tracks 1 - 9)
Composed by Trevor Jones
CONDUCTOR
Daniel A. Carlin

ORCHESTRATORS
Guy Dugal
Brad Decter
Jack Smalley
Bobby Muzingo

RECORDING ENGINEERS
John Richards
John Whynot
Dennis Sands

Published by: TCF Music Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)
Tracks 3 & 6 based on "The Gael"
Written by Dougie Maclean
Published by Limetree Arts & Music (PRS)
Track 4 based on "Orchestral Mohican"
Written by Daniel Lanois
Published by Fox Film Music Corp. (BMI)
Original Score (Tracks 10 - 15)
Composed and Conducted by
Randy Edelman
RECORDED BY
Elton Ahi

ORCHESTRATION BY
Greig McRitchie

ORCHESTRAL ENGINEER
Dennis Sands
Published by: Fox Film Music Corp.

"I WILL FIND YOU"
Written and produced by
Ciaran Brennan
PERFORMED BY
Clannad
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
Published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)


Had it been possible, they might have done it with the music in the correct order and used footnote indicators to identify who did what. The following indicates how it should be, including, of course, "The House in Rose Valley":

ORIGINAL SCORE
1. Main Title1
2. Elk Hunt1
3. River Walk and Discovery2
4. Pieces of a Story2
5. The House in Rose Valley3
6. The British Arrival2
7. Cora2
8. The Glade Part II1, 5
9. Fort Battle1
10. The Courier2
11. The Kiss1, 4
12. Monro's Office/Stockade1
13. Parley2
14. Massacre/Canoes1
15. I Will Find You6
16. Promontory1, 4
17. Top of the World1
1Composed by Trevor Jones
    Orchestrated by Guy Dugal, Brad Decter, Jack Smalley, Bobby Muzingo
    Recording Engineers John Richards, John Whynot, Dennis Sands
    Published by: TCF Music Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)
2Composed and Conducted by Randy Edelman
    Recorded by Elton Ahi
    Orchestrated by Greig McRitchie
    Orchestral Engineer Dennis Sands
    Published by: Fox Film Music Corp.
3"The House in Rose Valley" 4Tracks 11 & 16 based on "The Gael"
    Written by Dougie Maclean
    Published 1982 by Limetree Arts & Music (PRS)
5Track 7 based on "Orchestral Mohican"
    Written by Daniel Lanois
    Published by Fox Film Music Corp. (BMI)
6"I Will Find You"
    Written and produced by Ciaran Brennan
    Performed by Clannad
    Courtesy of Atlantic Records
    Published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)



Other People's Comments

Naturally, many other people like to give their personal review of the CD. Two websites which sell CDs have reviewed the LOTM soundtrack and both offer strong opinions about how the music of the two does not mix. Furthermore, both like all the music, regardless of composer, but considerably prefer Jones' music to that of Edelman's. As one reviewer puts it (Jay Tipnis, 1997, on his personal Soundtrack Review website):

	Michael Mann's decision to use two composers on this soundtrack was
	in this case, not the best of ideas.  With two different styles, the
	first half is astounding while the second half leaves you wondering
	what CD is playing. That's not to say that Edelman's contribution is
	not good, but when it is paired with Jones's treatment, it pales in
	comparison. 

This reviewer continued with a statement which indicated he/she (1) did not know why there were two composers nor why the music was on the CD as it was, and (2) was not very familiar with the movie. This review (the above being just a small part) is a bit harsh on Mr. Edelman, again indicating the reviewer is unaware of Edelman's own admission that he had very little time to write the music he felt was necessary. While some movie and soundtrack fans may deplore how Edelman organised the music on the CD, we can admire his musical contributions, such as the wonderful and complex "The Courier", and be grateful for his efforts in ensuring we have a CD release in the first place.


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