Elmer Bernstein

From the Terrace [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Elmer Bernstein was so closely associated -- especially in his biggest successes -- with the action/adventure movies of John Sturges and the Mirisch brothers that it's easy to forget that he worked extensively in other genres while composing the music for films like The Magnificent Seven. From the Terrace was one of those movies in "another" genre, a dramatic potboiler about power, morality, love, deceit, and corruption starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Ina Balin, and it shows off another side of Bernstein. Without a trace of the Aaron Copland influences or the martial music of his best-known work of the 1960s, he utilizes a musical language more purely his own, melodic and often dark and brooding, yet hauntingly beautiful. When he utilizes a waltz-like figure, as in "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary," it's soaked in elegant strings and a lushness somewhere between Johann and Richard Strauss, straddling the 19th and 20th centuries but clearly modernist in its orientation. Tracks such as "Rendezvous," with its gorgeous string writing and wind and harp ornamentation -- yet deceptive simplicity -- clearly show the way toward Bernstein's writing three years later for To Kill a Mockingbird, but mostly are a signpost to his work 40 years later on the score for Far from Heaven and why Todd Haynes selected him for that project. The quality throughout is excellent, the tracks sounding decades newer than they could reasonably be expected to (and in stereo, too), and the annotation is some of the best to date in Film Score Monthly's output. This CD, as with the label's other issues, is limited to the 3,000 copies originally pressed for the first release.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
From the Terrace, film score
1 1:29
2 6:41
3 2:46
4 5:02
5 3:59
6 2:18
7 3:13
8 1:41
9 0:58
10 1:48
11 3:22
12 1:33
13 2:47
14 1:29
15 4:58
16 1:49
17 6:39
18 3:26
19 2:19
20 3:42
21 4:06
22 2:27
23 2:44
blue highlight denotes track pick