Klaus Doldinger / Giorgio Moroder

The NeverEnding Story [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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The soundtrack for The NeverEnding Story, Wolfgang Petersen's film adaptation of the German children's fantasy Die Unendliche Gesichte, is divided into two parts. The first consists of keyboard and electric guitar compositions by synth wizard Giorgio Moroder, who contributed much of the electronic music used by Holywood in the '80s. The second half is a more traditional orchestral score by German composer Klaus Doldinger. Although Moroder's side of the record includes his charmingly fanciful theme song "The NeverEnding Story" (performed by pop star Limahl), Doldinger's side is ultimately the more winning. With the exception of "Ivory Tower," an exuberantly muscular piece that was used as the B-side of the 7" single for Limahl song, Moroder seems to have been stuck with the task of scoring the darker, more melancholy scenes in the movie -- as indicated by track titles like "Swamps of Sadness" and "Ruined Landscape." In contrast, Doldinger gets to score pieces like "Bastian's Happy Flight," "Fantasia," and "Atreju's Quest." Consequently, the first side of the record is characterized by murky solemnity while the second is largely soaring and energetic. This dichotomy is appropriate for a film that alternates between exhilaration of a young boy's adventure and the despair of a kingdom facing total annihilation. But the sequencing makes for a difficult listen. The soundtrack might be more enjoyable if the film's musical highs and lows had been better integrated.

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