One of Dave Grusin's biggest fans, a certain Larry Rosen, was prompting his business partner for many years to record a compilation of his film themes. “Cinemagic” is the long-awaited result of the urging, and it is a treasure.
Dave Grusin takes a retrospective look at some highlights from his career as a film composer, and does it with the flair and quality buyers of GRP records have come to expect.
Beginning with two pieces from what might be regarded as his most successful score from the Henry Fonda-Katherine Hepburn jewel, “On Golden Pond,” we are treated to the touching title theme as well as the invigorating “New Hampshire Hornpipe.”
This is followed by a rare treat, the theme from Warren Beatty's “Heaven Can Wait” for which there was no soundtrack recording. Worth the price of the album on its own.
Two compositions represent the Dustin Hoffman romp, “Tootsie,” - “An Actor's Life” which was played over the titles, and “It Might Be You,” which garnered a Best Song nomination for Dave Grusin in the 1982 Academy Awards.
Fans of “The Goonies,” scrambling over bootleg copies of that coveted score will delight in the rousing “Fratelli Chase” which Dave Grusin likes to refer to as a bit of fun. Sadly absent is the main theme from the picture, possibly his most heart-touching composition for the screen.
A new adaptation of the wistful theme from “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” is another exceptional feature of this recording. Though he has done other treatments of this pensive music (notably on the soundtrack album and a gospel oriented variation on “One of a Kind” as well as a live version on “N.Y./L.A. Dream Band”), this full-blown orchestral version finds new depths in this, his first 'serious' film work.
Whereas one can never tire hearing “Mountain Dance,” it is with some regret we see this long piece included on “Cinemagic,” not only because it was not composed for the Robert de Niro-Meryl Streep film “Falling In Love,” but because there are so many film themes left out of this record (too many without soundtrack album), and ”Cinemagic” would have been the chance to compensate for this lack.
Rivaling “On Golden Pond” as his best score, “The Champ” is rightly represented here by two entries, “Letting Go” (“T.J.'s Theme”) and the main title, “What Matters Most.” Dave Grusin has probably written nothing lovelier.
When one hears the inventive and lush music from “Three Days Of The Condor,” it seems impossible that Dave Grusin received no Oscar nomination for this Robert Redford film. It is something very special, and featured here are the cool main title, “Condor,” and “Goodbye For Kathy” - the ultra-romantic love theme from the picture.
While the LP version ends there, the CD goes on to include another unique luxury - music from a film without soundtrack album, “The Little Drummer Girl.” The dazzling and wide-ranging score was one of Dave Grusin's most interesting, and “Cinemagic” offers “PLO Camp Entrance,” with its Eastern-flavored orchestration and electronic instrumentation, and the closing theme, the gentle “Epilogue,” which is a perfect “breathe out and ponder” closing to this strong recording.
If you could only have one Dave Grusin album, it would be difficult to reject this one.
A1 An Actor's Life (Main Theme From "Tootsie") A2 It Might Be You (Love Montage From "Tootsie") A3 Heaven Can Wait (Main Theme) A4 On Golden Pond (Main Theme) A5 New Hampshire Hornpipe (From "On Golden Pond")
B1 Condor (Main Title From "Three Days Of The Condor") B2 Goodbye For Kathy (Love Theme From "Three Days Of The Condor") B3 The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (Main Theme) B4 Fratelli Chase (Main Title From "The Goonies") B5 The Champ (Main Theme)