Jason And The Argonauts (2000)
Music Composed By Simon Boswell
Orchestrated And Conducted By Terry Davies
Score Produced By Simon Boswell & Geoff Foster
Album Produced By Simon Boswell & Robin Esterhammer
Perseverance Records PRD036
16 Tracks/Running Time: 57:52
Jason And The Argonauts was a Hallmark Entertainment retelling of the original 1963 film. At the time Hallmark was heavily involved with retelling of famous literary works that included the likes of Moby Dick, Arabian Nights, Don Quixote, A Christmas Carol, Journey To The Center of the Earth and Animal Farm to name a few. The three hour mini-series starred Jason London (who also starred in Journey To The Center of the Earth), Frank Langella, Dennis Hopper, Natasha Henstridge, Jolene Blaylock and Angus MacFadyen which premired on May 7, 2000 on NBC as a two night special event (remember those!).
Providing the classy and rather romantic musical score at times is Simon Boswell, who made a rather unique debut with the 1990 cult classic sci-fi thriller Hardware and would later write his more memorable scores later on for another cult classic Dust Devil, Clive Barker’s Lord Of Illusions (replacing Christopher Young at the very last minute) and ingenious and exciting Hackers starring Jonny Lee Miller and (Br)Angelina Jolie. The film required a big epic, yet romantic sound and it was nice to hear that Boswell actually provided the film with alot of leeway in that area. The Hallmark films at that point were all given some really memorable scores like Christopher Gordon’s criminally underrated Moby Dick and Richard Hartley’s Don Quxiote in a grand, high quality sound.
Recorded in London with some of the finest musicians, Boswell utlizes the full range of the orchestra in a more expansive form more so than his other scores. “Jason’s Theme” which kicks off the album is a lush romantic tone to the score that harkens back to the music of the Golden Age which films like this were made on a grand and epic scale from top to bottom. There are some really epic filled tracks such as “Destiny/The Bull”, “The Truth” with rather angry brass and percussion pounding aggressively and the thrilling brass and percussion clusters of “Battle”. Then there are the lush romantic adventuresque tracks “Map of the Stars” with delicate warm strings, “Prince to the People” and “The End of the Quest” with a triumphant and victorious chorus of brass as Jason’s Theme is reprised once more to round the score to a resounding conclusion.
The album is very well produced and the music feels as if was recorded yesterday. The liner notes are very informative and helpful about the aspects of the production itself as well as the music. It seems that Boswell had prepped an album when the it aired on TV, but an album didn’t materlize for some reason or another. If there were plans for an album, they might have been scrapped and finally there finally is a release for this solid work. The problem is that only a few people remember this mini-series and the music. I had forgotten this had come out as well as I had to look up it up at IMDB.com just to be sure not to confuse this with the original 1963 film.
Jason And The Argonauts is one of Simon Boswell better scores and it’s one that should be remembered fondly eventhough the mini-series isn’t. A very nice score all around.
The CD is available through Perseverance Records website (www.perseverancerecords.com) as well as Screen Archives (www.sae.com)
1. Jason’s Theme 2:24
2. Destiny/ The Bull 9:45
3. Mother/ Gathering Argonauts 2:42
4. Map of the Stars 5:46
5. The Edge of the World 3:50
6. Battle 5:40
7. Love Theme 0:55
8. The Truth 5:53
9. Prince to the People 5:26
10. Table of the Gods 4:44
11. A Thief’s Tale 2:42
12. Death of the Dragon 0:58
13. The Golden Fleece 0:54
14. Pyre 1:11
15. Orpheus 1:44
16. The End of the Quest 3:19
– Danny Gonzalez
Film Music Examiner New York- NYC