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 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

There are many problems with Ms. Kirgo's writing, but in all fairness, she has never been as incoherent as that.

I'm more interested in the claim that the CROMWELL score is "amateurish." I'm tempted to agree but willing to explore contrary opinions.

 
 Posted:   May 29, 2013 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

There are many problems with Ms. Kirgo's writing, but in all fairness, she has never been as incoherent as that.

I'm more interested in the claim that the CROMWELL score is "amateurish." I'm tempted to agree but willing to explore contrary opinions.





I think it's a very fine score in general. Unfortunately, the passages with singing are very corny. I'd even say Monty Pythonesque at times – conjuring up images of John Cleese dressed as Cromwell with the rest of the Python crew singing his praises. Of course, in the absence of John Cleese, the ridiculous, overwrought performance of Richard Harris was the next closest thing.
Apart from that, I like the purely orchestral stuff.

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2013 - 6:02 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

What's wrong with the chorales? I'm guessing that these particular psalm texts were especially significant to the Puritans. Can anybody confirm that? In the film (at least on DVD) the voices were buried under the orchestra. Is that true of the disc versions as well?

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2013 - 11:20 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Holy. Shit.

CROMWELL?!

I love his score to Khartoum (underrated movie too) and so this is a blind buy, especially after the samples.


Been listening to the FSM Khartoum/Mosquito Squadron Cordell scores, and I really want to check out Khartoum the film. Cromwell sounds like something I'd like to investigate. wink

Greg Espinoza

 
 Posted:   May 30, 2013 - 11:27 PM   
 By:   Ag^Janus   (Member)

What's wrong with the chorales? I'm guessing that these particular psalm texts were especially significant to the Puritans. Can anybody confirm that? In the film (at least on DVD) the voices were buried under the orchestra. Is that true of the disc versions as well?

No, the lyrics/chant is clear and balanced with orchestra. The choir singing seems appropriate for the period. I haven't seen the film however the Intrada set provides an excellent platform to hear the music.

 
 Posted:   May 30, 2013 - 11:53 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Writing styles don't get much more Kirgo-esque than that

Ah, empty flippant remarks from Basil Rathbone. You truly are the Larry Storch of the FSM Board. Keep on truck'n.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 12:36 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

The choir singing seems appropriate for the period.



I'd say the style is more like something from the 1920s or 1930s, like Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, or a work of Elgar.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

The music is MODERN, because it's trying to be that kind of film.

I'm not a fan of the film itself, it's humourless, overly political-nerdy, and a bit sterile. And it does nothing to explain Cromwell's psychology or personality, partly because of Harris's wailing dourness. It centres on his political significance.

Tim Roth's prtrayal of Cromwell in 'To Kill a King' is surprisingly absurd, a sort of borderline breakdown schizoid, totally ludicrous, and poor Tim is a good actor.


But the music here is right for the times. It's a British composer writing modern commentary music about a time in history that changed everything, but is relevant to today. Americans take note that you owe much to the political and legal changes of that era in Britain. It was a republic long before yours ...

Cromwell was pulled out politically by youth in the 1970s as a left-wing hero of a sort. Look at Elvis Costello's 'Oliver's Army' hit song, and the 'New Model Army' pop-group. Any English director of the time would have felt duty-bound to have made a political film, it's just a shame it wasn't better done. Cordell was an experimenter, his wife was a pop-art icon, and he embraced anything that was artistically representative of new ways of doing things. Hence his love of well-controlled dissonances, like Andre Previn's.

So if you expect an MGM costume thing for pure escapism, with pure Mills and Boon music like 'Young Bess', then it's going to seem like a radical score. I love that blend of modernity and historical pastiche musically, which is why I wish Andre Previn had been given some 'period' assignments, but he never was.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)


"The original creation crossbred a kind of guilty, semi-ironic fetishisation of a specifically American brand of fascist righteousness, as perceived through a fantasy extreme by a British sensibility, and placed it in a milieu informed by British council estate angst and Winter of Discontent-esque crumbling services, adding up to a proto-cyberpunk sensibility that delighted in a grimy, gritty future malformed by human endeavour rather than liberated."





Writing styles don't get much more Kirgo-esque than that.



Y'see, when I read this post, BEFORE I looked at the link, I said to myself, 'Is this a reference to Judge Dredd, or 'The Watchman', perchance?: it'll be one or the other'. And I'm not really a comic-book fan. And lo, it was so.

That tells you that he communicated, he got it right.

The sentences are long and turgid, but the turgidity is deliberate, and in the UK everyone would know what each of these phrases refers to, and get the allusion.

Writers and librarians are two different species. Guess who gets the glory.

And then there's humour. That's always a thing.


 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 2:16 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

As far as I'm concerned this is an Intrada 'spectaculaire extraordinaires,' which needs picking up as soon as poss.

Rejoice in the Score, say I.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   Essankay   (Member)

Cromwell was pulled out politically by youth in the 1970s as a left-wing hero of a sort. Look at Elvis Costello's 'Oliver's Army' hit song...


Mr. McCrum, as an aside I have to take issue with this interpretation of Costello's song. "Oliver's Army" is a direct reference to the British occupation of Ireland, starting with Cromwell. Cromwell's New Model Army, the first professional English army, drew many soldiers from the working class who hoped for promotion on merit rather than social standing. Listen closely and you can hear that he's talking about England's contemporary (70s) unemployment crisis and the aggressive recruitment of chronically unemployed working class British youth (who wouldn't be too concerned with the consequences of imperialism and occupation [note the double meaning] as long as they keep getting a paycheck).

Here is Costello's own explanation: "The origin of 'Oliver's Army' is easy to explain. I made my first trip to Belfast in 1978 and saw mere boys walking around in battle dress with automatic weapons. They were no longer just on the evening news. These snapshot experiences exploded into visions of mercenaries and imperial armies around the world. The song was based on the premise 'they always get a working class boy to do the killing'. I don't know who said that; maybe it was me, but it seems to be true nonetheless. I pretty much had the song sketched out on the plane back to London."

I doubt that Costello (real name: Declan MacManus) would consider Cromwell (much despised in Ireland) a hero.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)



Mr. McCrum, as an aside I have to take issue with this interpretation of Costello's song. "Oliver's Army" is a direct reference to the British occupation of Ireland, starting with Cromwell. Cromwell's New Model Army, the first professional English army, drew many soldiers from the working class who hoped for promotion on merit rather than social standing. Listen closely and you can hear that he's talking about England's contemporary (70s) unemployment crisis and the aggressive recruitment of chronically unemployed working class British youth (who wouldn't be too concerned with the consequences of imperialism and occupation [note the double meaning] as long as they keep getting a paycheck).

Here is Costello's own explanation: "The origin of 'Oliver's Army' is easy to explain. I made my first trip to Belfast in 1978 and saw mere boys walking around in battle dress with automatic weapons. They were no longer just on the evening news. These snapshot experiences exploded into visions of mercenaries and imperial armies around the world. The song was based on the premise 'they always get a working class boy to do the killing'. I don't know who said that; maybe it was me, but it seems to be true nonetheless. I pretty much had the song sketched out on the plane back to London."

I doubt that Costello (real name: Declan MacManus) would consider Cromwell (much despised in Ireland) a hero.





Well, I agree, and having been born in Ireland and having lived a large proportion of my life there, I am well aware of all this! I live in the UK, and indeed lived part of the 'Troubles' period just 12 miles from Belfast, so I was probably closer than most here to these events ... and I certainly lived in the UK during Costello's era.

Cromwell's executions in Drogheda and Wexford etc. are well enough known.



But Cromwell was a very useful figure for political protestors of the 'Winter of Discontent' through the Thatcher free-market era in two ways:

(a) as a positive example of how democratic principles could be used to bring down unaccountable tyrannies, and,

(b) as a negative example of how governments who use military solutions can never be truly untarnished by their escapades.


He was a complex figure, with all the vices of his times. In Ireland, an impatient, ruthless and implacable soldier, and in England a democrat who ended anti-semitism and revolutionised government. As such, idealised or politicised youth could use Ollie as fodder for both arguments. The thing to remember is that although Cromwell created a 'professional' army, during the years of the Civil War it was still an ideological one.


Costello's song is more along the lines of, 'You can start something well, but it'll go sour in the end' if it's not followed through with good institutions in peacetime. And Costello's song is definitely in the tradition of young British left-wing thinking at the time. It's not anti-British, it's anti-elitism and anti-war and pro-working class youth. It'd be wrong to see it as any sort of pro-IRA thing.

What's interesting here is that the 'Judge Dredd' review above makes reference to the same late '70s/early'80s era, but it seems its references haven't 'travelled' trans-Pondo. British cinema and TV of that era weren't 'acclaimed' in the UK unless they had a RELEVANCE, a social context for 'today'. But you feel either a sort of detached 'academia' or 'escapist entertainment' expectation from a lot of the critics on here, and they miss a great deal by too early dismissal. It all has to be 'up-front' and spelt out.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Listen closely and you can hear that he's talking about England's contemporary (70s) unemployment crisis and the aggressive recruitment of chronically unemployed working class British youth (who wouldn't be too concerned with the consequences of imperialism and occupation [note the double meaning] as long as they keep getting a paycheck).




P.S. One thing I do have to add though. The soldiers on the streets in NI in the '70s, however undesirable they may have been, were not 'imperialists' at that time. They saw their role as peacekeepers, and anti-terrorists, simply protecting the majority of peaceful citizens. Since 60% of the citizens in NI wanted to remain within the UK, the soldiers were not, by any stretch, occupiers. They had no 'territorial designs', but they couldn't just walk out on their own citizens, any more than they could walk out on the citizens of Leeds or Mnachester, or Glasgow.

You have to know that, (without getting political) many young people in the UK, perhaps university students with a politically activist background WOULD have been supportive of Irish nationalists (just as many white folk marched in the Civil Rights movement in the US, so many protestants were in solidarilty with the basic 'one man, one vote' campaign and in fact the demonstrations on Bloody Sunday were led by a Protestant!), but the thing that turned the tide for even the most vocal English left-wing students was the IRA campaign of bombings and murder. That was, and remains, a total madness that alienated everyone, with more than a hint of Mafia-esque racketeering about it. It was never justified, and the world is not a Mel Gibson movie.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2013 - 10:25 PM   
 By:   Essankay   (Member)

Cromwell's executions in Drogheda and Wexford etc. are well enough known. ...He was a complex figure, with all the vices of his times.

Costello's song is definitely in the tradition of young British left-wing thinking at the time. ...It's not anti-British, it's anti-elitism and anti-war and pro-working class youth. It'd be wrong to see it as any sort of pro-IRA thing.



I'm not suggesting that Costello is or was pro-IRA, I'm only pointing out that he's not singing Cromwell's praises in this song. In fact, quite the opposite.



P.S. One thing I do have to add though. The soldiers on the streets in NI in the '70s, however undesirable they may have been, were not 'imperialists' at that time. They saw their role as peacekeepers, and anti-terrorists, simply protecting the majority of peaceful citizens. Since 60% of the citizens in NI wanted to remain within the UK, the soldiers were not, by any stretch, occupiers. They had no 'territorial designs', but they couldn't just walk out on their own citizens, any more than they could walk out on the citizens of Leeds or Mnachester, or Glasgow.

You have to know that, (without getting political) many young people in the UK, perhaps university students with a politically activist background WOULD have been supportive of Irish nationalists (just as many white folk marched in the Civil Rights movement in the US, so many protestants were in solidarilty with the basic 'one man, one vote' campaign and in fact the demonstrations on Bloody Sunday were led by a Protestant!), but the thing that turned the tide for even the most vocal English left-wing students was the IRA campaign of bombings and murder. That was, and remains, a total madness that alienated everyone, with more than a hint of Mafia-esque racketeering about it. It was never justified, and the world is not a Mel Gibson movie.



I both agree and disagree with you on some of the points you've made here, but this is not the place to discuss it. Once again, I was just making sure that Costello wasn't slotted into a pro-Cromwell box based on this song.

But getting back to Cordell's music for CROMWELL, I am in complete agreement with you about the appeal of blended musical modernity and historical pastiche, but something about this particular score just doesn't work for me. And that's a real disappointment because I like his work in general.

 
 Posted:   Oct 1, 2013 - 3:26 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Cromwell (dialogue, Frank Cordell) [Released by Intrada, January 2013}


While Intrada's CROMWELL was announced on January 7th & the soundtrack collector website lists January 8th 2013 as the release date, the actual album itself is copyrighted 2012.

My question to Bob DiMucci (or anybody else) is this: should CROMWELL be considered as a 2013 release or a 2012 album?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 1, 2013 - 4:28 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Cromwell (dialogue, Frank Cordell) [Released by Intrada, January 2013}


While Intrada's CROMWELL was announced on January 7th & the soundtrack collector website lists January 8th 2013 as the release date, the actual album itself is copyrighted 2012.

My question to Bob DiMucci (or anybody else) is this: should CROMWELL be considered as a 2013 release or a 2012 album?



Films that are released early in the year are often copyrighted late in the previous year. Yet they are almost always categorized by the year of their release, which in the case of films is usually the year of their first showing to a paying public. Similarly, the release year for a CD would be the year in which it was first available for purchase by the public.

But while the release dates of films can usually be documented by distributor paperwork or newspaper ads, determining the release dates for soundtracks, particularly in the pre-internet age might be more difficult. Certainly, when I look at the copyright date on an old LP, I usually use that as the year of release, but, as you indicate, they may differ. But as long as I can keep up with current releases, and can accurately determine their release date, I might as well report them that way. Twenty years from now, however, when someone picks up a copy of CROMWELL and considers it to be a 2012 release, who's to say differently?

One further thought: When looking at a soundtrack (LP or CD) that was released contemporaneously with the film, one will usually consider both to be released in the same year (i.e., the year the film was released), even though one may actually have been released late in one year, and the other released early in the following year. But with so may soundtracks to old films being released decades after the release of their source films, that connection is lost, and the copyright date on the soundtrack takes on added relevance.

 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2013 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Thanks, Bob.

Your reply confirmed what I was expecting. CROMWELL was not available for purchase prior to 2013, so it would not have shown up on any "best of" 2012 CD threads.

I hope FSM members will consider CROMWELL when compiling the best of 2013! smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 7:35 PM   
 By:   Ag^Janus   (Member)

Less than two days before the dumpster swallows the remaining stock of Cromwell.

Speculating on future releases, I think the non-dialogue score may turn up soonish. Lately in a superior form, given it is only one year old. Nevertheless it is wonderful to have the Cordell work.

 
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