Elmer Bernstein

Return of the Magnificent Seven

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Although Elmer Bernstein had first laid out much of the motifs of this 1966 soundtrack in the original Magnificent Seven film in 1960, this sequel was by no means a pointless rehash. The first soundtrack had not even been issued on album when the sequel came out, and Bernstein's score was quite similar to what had been heard on the original Magnificent Seven. This included the original "Magnificent Seven" theme itself, which is the classic western movie theme with its sweeping strings, and staccato, mariachi-influenced horn bursts. For that cut alone this soundtrack would be significant, but the rest of the work is also adept at evoking a sunblasted, melancholic Mexican atmosphere that builds dramatic orchestral tension with more subtlety than bombast. The CD reissue has excellent photos and notes about both the film and the score.

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