TV

Soundtrack review: 1864 (Marco Beltrami – 2014)

1864-1

 

“1864” is a Danish TV series about a couple of brothers called to serve in one of the biggest battles in their country’s history. The score is written by Marco Beltrami who I think was the busiest composer this year. He had 6 or 7 scores out this year and this time he went out of his action / horror comfort zone. I enjoyed “The Homesman” a lot and the start of “1864” makes me close my eyes and feel a sweet sting in my heart.

Marco Beltrami gets all melodic and heroic and three cues into this score I am enchanted. It’s not the pathetic war heroism he could have slipped into. The tone is meaningful and human. “1864”, “Opening” and “An inevitable war”. The score is warm and intimate. It doesn’t sound to me like an ode to a war fought in faraway times in a faraway country; it feels personal and current.

When it’s not heroic this composition is moody. Still quiet but it goes to the darker side and it is clear to me that the movie doesn’t deal with the bigger picture but with the personal war and struggles of the two brothers. “Bloody hands” and “Clouds” sound reflective and they are the kind of cues which help me think and focus better. I wasn’t expecting to get a war score that’s so unintrusive and almost minimalistic at times.

At times I feel as if Beltrami wants to drown out the sounds of war and turn the focus inside on the inner turmoil of the characters. I think he wrote this score starting from a point and expanding it to an entire war instead of the other way around. This is what I like about the score. My problem with it though was that I couldn’t connect with it all. After that great start the music tends to drag a bit. It is still enjoyable and does enough to keep me listening to it but it doesn’t have enough to make me come back to it.

I wanted more of “The return of Laust”. I wanted more of “Letters”. I wanted more of this wonderful, melodic and stirring music. The moments of brilliance on “1864” are great and this is my takeaway from the score. This plus a main theme which you can’t easily forget.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 14 / 59

Album excellence: 24%

Highlights:

Opening

An Inevitable War

Lakeside

The Return Of Laust

The Letters

Finale

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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