The Alamo (Score)

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Carter Burwell cut his film scoring teeth on many a Coen brothers movie, quickly gaining a reputation for a quirky, human-scaled inventiveness that informed everything from jazz and folk to orchestral music and even the well-timed nod to Morricone. That often introspective sensibility is well paired to director John Lee Hancock's revisionist take on the legend of San Antonio's fabled doomed fortress, which focuses more on the conflicted human dimensions of its characters than familiar cardboard, pop culture heroics. Burwell's use of orchestral pomp is deliberate and decidedly restrained; more often the composer leans on spare, evocative passages of simple, though ever-inventive folk-based music (like the elegiac "Quiet Mountain") played by various combinations of guitar, banjo, and violin. Vintage traditional Mexican and American tunes are also given their atmospheric due via Jennifer Hammond's and Craig Eastman's arrangements of "La Zandunga" and "Listen to the Mockingbird Sing," respectively. But its Burwell's own peculiarly modernist instincts that inform both tradition ("Crockett's DeGuello") and his own masterfully understated cues, particularly the bleak, almost gothic emotional landscape of his six-part "Battle of the Alamo Suite" and its bittersweet coda, "Blood or Texas." --Jerry McCulley

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Album information

Release Date (USA): 2004-04-06
Release Date (UK):
Artist/s: Carter Burwell
Label: Hollywood Records

Track Listing

1 Flesh and Honor
2 300 Miles of Snow
3 What We're Defending
4 Bexareno
5 Zandunga
6 Who Took Their Loved Ones
7 Listen to the Mockingbird Sing
8 Evacuation of Bexar
9 Calm After the Storm
10 Visitation of Saint Ursula
11 Quiet Mountain
12 They Ain't Bear
13 Bonham's Ride
14 Sell Our Lives Dearly
15 Night Falls on the Alamo
16 Deguello de Crockett
17 Last Night
18 Battle of the Alamo, Pt. 1
19 Battle of the Alamo, Pt. 2
20 Battle of the Alamo, Pt. 3
21 Battle of the Alamo, Pt. 4
22 Battle of the Alamo, Pt. 5
23 Battle of the Alamo, Pt. 6
24 Death of Crockett
25 Runaway Scrape
26 Blood, or Texas

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