This 47-minute CD is a major anomaly -- considering how heavily 20th Century-Fox was pushing the movie Fantastic Voyage in 1966, it's difficult to understand why they never released a soundtrack to it. On the other hand, Leonard Rosenman's dissonant, modernistic score was so challenging (yet also, in its way, so rewarding) that it was hardly considered a good commercial prospect -- especially as there was no room in the movie for any romantic attachment between the hero (Stephen Boyd) and the heroine (Raquel Welch), and, thus, there was no "love theme." Indeed, virtually the entire score was harmonized atonally, though it was hardly unattractive -- just otherworldly in its sensibilities, with few conventional sections except for some passages for horns and brass amid the swirling, pulsating strings and harps, intended to evoke suspense; this reaches a peak with "Cora Trapped," with its stuttering brass and a shrieking piccolo depicting the danger one of the crew is in; and "Get The Laser," with its screaming strings as the white corpuscles attack and dissolve the miniaturized submarine. The overall effect, however, is one of profound, unearthly beauty, very much in keeping with the mood and images of the movie; only the finale, depicting the survivors' return to normal space, does the atonality give way to a more melodic body of music, with a triumphant mood of resolution finally established on the horns and brasses. In 2001, Film Score Monthly magazine issued the first soundtrack release of Fantastic Voyage, from the original scoring sessions, as a limited edition pressing of 3000 pieces (still available as of late 2003). The production was very clean, the mastering impeccable, and the annotation extremely thorough, including recollections from Rosenman himself.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
|Fantastic Voyage, film score|