Trevor Jones' score for the 1998 NBC television mini-series Merlin artfully captures the epic sweep and rousing adventure one expects from such a quintessential sword-and-sorcery yarn. Eschewing the modern musical approach that underscored Gulliver's Travels, the composer's previous pairing with producer Robert Halmi, its majestic string arrangements (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra) vividly conjure a world of dungeons, dragons, and damsels in distress. While Jones communicates the otherworldly mysticism so integral to the King Arthur and Merlin mythos, the emphasis here is squarely on action. The classical sound and sensibilities summon the matinee thrills of Hollywood's golden age, but with the structural complexity that typifies all of Jones' most imaginative efforts.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny