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Soundtrack review: The aviator (Dominic Frontiere – 1985, 2015)

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Soundtrack review: The aviator (Dominic Frontiere – 1985, 2015)


“The aviator” is a 1985 movie starring Christopher Reeve and Rosanna Arquette about a mail pilot who is asked to transport the daughter of a wealthy banker in his plane. He initially resents the task but then something happens in the mountains and they need to crash in the wilderness where they will need to work together to survive… Dominic Frontiere wrote the score and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

When the score starts I get the same feeling I get when entering the warm sea for the first time after a long break. It’s that familiarity, comfort and feeling of everything falling into place; the knowledge that for enough minutes nothing but comfort and a wonderful feeling inside will matter. This is how I get when I hear the sound of classical film music. “The crash / main title” sends me back to the golden age of film scoring. This music could have been written in the 50s or 60s because it bares the mark of those wonderful melodic times.

“Tillie’s theme” is an exercise in romance and an advertisement for the beauty of film music. I am just happy and grateful to be able to listen to a score like this. This is pure orchestral bliss… no sound effects, no exaggeration; the music doesn’t hide behind anything. Dominic Frontiere’s composition is honest and majestic and I just feel the need to close my eyes to enjoy it even more.

Even if I am already conquered by this score, when a cue like “Here we go” comes along I flinch. The composer goes one step ahead with this magnificent adventure theme. I can almost see the orchestra flying and all the musicians turning into super heroes. This is just a perfect piece of music. It gives me goose bumps and it inspires and awes me. I feel as if I suddenly got a huge shot of optimism and desire for adventure. Do me a favor and listen to this cue. You won’t regret it.

The music of “The aviator” keeps me connected for the duration of the score. The fabric of this album is comfortable and familiar and I never get tired of the sound. Listening to Dominic Frontiere’s music is as rewarding as watching a movie. Romance and adventure go hand in hand and I always want to find out what’s next. There are occasional surges as if the score suddenly got out of the forest that was keeping it prisoner onto a spectacular waterfall. There are no restrains and the music gets so sweeping in some moments that I almost lose my breath. This score comes from a different age the echoes of which should never die down. Gorgeous composition, do not miss it.

Cue rating: 96 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 64 / 75

Album excellence: 84%


The Crash/Main Title

Tillie’s Theme

The Hangar

Here We Go

Sit With You

The Crash No. 2

The Forest

Real Prize

Air Terminal

Stitch In Time

Something To Eat

Search Is On

Take What You Need (Complete Mix)

Tillie Falls

Kid I’m Sorry/All Addicts (Revised)

Go To Sleep

That’s Capital Peak

Our Luck Is Changing

Have To Pee

I Belong To Some Place

Pole Wires/Old Man (Complete Mix)

The Cabin

End Titles Long Version

All Addicts

All Addicts (Alternate)

Old Man (Vibes)

Old Man Part 2 Short Version (Complete Mix)

End Titles Short Version

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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