Maurice Jarre

Crossed Swords [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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One of the great Maurice Jarre's least-known efforts, Crossed Swords is the score to David Lean's 1978 adaptation of the familiar fable "The Prince and the Pauper." A sweeping, lushly orchestral work, its strengths lie in its inventive evocation of the contrasting lead characters. While the prince's theme conveys his regal bearing, the pauper's theme is wonderfully rough-edged and rollicking. As the score twists and turns, however, their respective motifs begin to blend, and as the characters' stereotypical portrayals grow more complex, so too does Jarre's music, embracing dramatic chorale sequences, militaristic percussion, and even wryly comedic elements. Film Score Monthly's 2006 reissue is an excellent presentation of an unjustly neglected soundtrack, buoyed by Paul Andrew MacLean's insightful liner notes.

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