Mark McKenzie

Durango [Original Score]

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After so many recent soundtracks that shamelessly ape Celtic traditions and sensibilities (this means you, James Horner), one has every right to be wary approaching the similarly Irish-influenced Durango, but Mark McKenzie's score travels far beyond the average Riverdance-type pastiche to capture the true beauty and mysticism of the Emerald Isle. McKenzie seems to channel the authentic spirit of Irish music. No dilettante, he weaves a series of memorable, richly appointed themes that seem ideally matched to the whistles, pan pipes, and drums that lend the melodies such a ring of authenticity, and unlike Horner, these Irish instruments never seem draped across the music like cheap costume jewelry. McKenzie also proves adept in a number of stylistic veins, composing bold orchestral themes and light, intimate jigs with equal aplomb. Dismissing Durango as little more than a run-of-the-mill telefilm score is a mistake.

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