Elmer Bernstein / Royal Scottish National Orchestra

To Kill a Mockingbird [Original Motion Picture Score][Varèse]

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Two years after his lauded work on John Sturges's sweeping Western THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, composer Elmer Bernstein created the music for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, a 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee's beloved literary classic. In contrast to the former movie's majestic sound, Bernstein's score for MOCKINGBIRD (which won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Oscar) is appropriately subtle and nuanced, with most tracks featuring delicate woodwind-and-string passages. The "Main Title" is dreamy and pensive, yet slightly foreboding at times, expertly evoking the story's larger themes. Poignant pieces such as "Remember Mama" and "Jem's Discovery" successfully convey the film's emotional weight, while more urgent songs ("Tree Treasure," "Assault in the Shadows") perfectly echo its most suspenseful moments. Though not as immediately striking as his soundtracks for THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and THE GREAT ESCAPE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a prime example of Bernstein at his understated best.

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