Another new release from Movie Score Media, and once again they bring us the collectors a soundtrack that is not a big Hollywood production or indeed not composed by one of the A list composers in America, SORDO THE SILENT WAR however stands head and shoulders above what we now call box office hits or block busters, and this is in terms of cinematic excellence and also the quality and inventiveness of the musical score. SORDO THE SILENT WAR may not pack out theatres in LA or London but those who are lucky enough to know of it and get to see it, are certainly fortunate. Listening to the score is a dream, it is as far as I am concerned an Oscar winner, the composer Carlos M Jara has created a work that is beautiful and also dramatically charged, it has a sound and style that one could easily mistake for being vintage Hollywood as in lush, luxurious and rich with themes. There is ample use of percussive elements that create a backbone for the work, these are laced and supported by dramatic and driving strings, that fashion a sound that is urgent and daunting.
Clever orchestration is a key factor to the work, the composer creating and achieving strange but attractive sounds, with instruments such as muted trumpet and putting these into the mix to add originality and give the score an identity which is distinctive and all of its own. The lushness is apparent early on within the soundtrack on track number two, ROSA’S THEME, this is a mesmerizing and vibrant piece that is performed at first by solo piano, that is fragile and delicate, the seven note motif haunts and tantalises the listener, and has to it a richness and a maturity that one rarely finds within film music these days.
The piano is joined by a woodwind solo and further underlined and supported by strings which grow and swell and bring forth a soaring and melodious theme that is heart-breaking aswell as inspiring, it is one of those rare moments in movie music when you tingle all over because of the beauty and the fragility of the music. The movie is an action packed one and also a thought-provoking motion picture. It is Spain in 1944, the German occupation of France has ended because of the combined efforts of the Allied forces and the French resistance movement. The liberation of France inspires a group of Spanish Guerrillas who make the decision to return to Spain and begin an effort to depose Franco. Sadly, for them their initial operation to destroy a bridge ends in a bloody encounter with Spanish troops loyal to the dictator, leaving the majority of the Guerrillas dead. There are just two survivors, Vincente Roig who is captured, but his comrade Anselmo Rojas manages to escape but has been rendered deaf by the explosion at the bridge. The Captain in charge of the Spanish soldiers takes it upon him personally to ensure that Rojas is captured and this soon becomes an obsession with Captain Bosch, so much so that he engages the services of a vicious and violent mercenary who is a crack shot, the mercenary Darya has himself escaped from the clutches of the Bolsheviks in Russia. The hunt for Rojas soon escalates and becomes more and more intensified. Rojas soon finds himself trapped and surrounded by his pursuers, he then has to enlist the help of his old girlfriend Rosa, who just happens to be the wife of his comrade Vincente, but as they help each other the old flame between then is reignited, but Rojas realises he has to face his hunters and is a wanted man.
SORDO THE SILENT WAR is an interesting and thoroughly entertaining movie and the score by Maestro Carlos M Jara, aids the action, the drama and the romantic interludes that are unfolding on screen, there is a sound and style to this work that is just alluring and on each listen one discovers something that is innovative and outstanding. The opening cue on the soundtrack is filled with a nervous and tense atmosphere, which the composer purveys via spiky sounding brass stabs and rumbling percussive elements that boom and weave in and out the proceedings, it is relentless and filled with a sense of fearsome energy. This style is also evident and even more pronounced in HUNTING ROJAS which is filled with percussion and breathy woods, its like the music is there hunting down the human prey, this is an exciting and unrelenting piece that fuses, woods with dark sounding piano and robust and vibrant percussion.
Track number five THE BRIDGE, too is pure action, pure energy and has to it undiluted power, the composer again turning to a background of booming percussion and overlaying this foundation with jagged and unhospitable brass stabs and imposing horn flourishes. But, amongst all the commanding and high-octane material the theme still shines through. Listening to the score for me evoked memories of the style of the Euro western score, little trills and snippets of sounds popping up here and there to maintain a freshness and originality. In the track THE BANDIT THE HORSE AND THE KNIGHT this sound or style is more pronounced, but it also has to it a dramatic aura with a dark and shady persona lurking under the surface, with again a rich thematic property bringing the piece to its conclusion. I have to totally and unreservedly recommend this score to you; it is one of the most innovative and also the most thematic I have heard this year.