Dimitri Tiomkin

Giant [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Dimitri Tiomkin's music for George Stevens' epic film about rival Texas cattle and oil barons is one of the better scores of his entire career, and Giant was one of the first really good sounding soundtrack albums, with big, booming acoustics that make the title theme, in particular, seem almost bigger than the 210-minute movie. The huge, sprawling "Main Title" theme, with its rousing mixed chorus and a memorable melodic arc, was so popular that the Texas legislature later adopted it as the state's anthem. The same thematic material reappears throughout the score in various forms, depicting various characters and elements of the action. For example, "Jett Rink Theme" accompanies Rink's (portrayed by James Dean) aimless search for a place for himself on the Reata ranch and his discovery of oil on Little Reata; it is one of the finest pieces of music that Tiomkin ever composed. Out of context, some of the effect music included here doesn't work as well, but every part of this original score is worth hearing and owning -- and that goes double for fans of the movie. With the planned re-release of the movie by Warner Home Video on DVD, one can only hope that Capitol (which got the soundtrack because Warner Bros. didn't have a record label at the time) will reissue the soundtrack. [At the time of this writing, this album is out of print.]

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