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Elmer Bernstein


CD cover

  • Composed, conducted and produced by Elmer Bernstein
  • Academy Award nominee
  • Orchestrated by Emilie A. Bernstein

Bernstein's music the best thing about Scorsese's limp movie

The Age of Innocence is a real joy, one of Elmer Bernstein's very best scores of this decade. If Martin Scorsese's film was curiously lifeless as a whole, it is pleasing that Bernstein's music is not - in fact, quite the reverse, for much of it is filled with emotion. His main theme is excellent, a mournful waltz that has received much attention on compilations. Following this are three pieces of classical music, none of which sounds out of place - the two Strauss pieces are particularly appropriate in this context. Then, there are several simply gorgeous original waltzes by Bernstein - each highly memorable and individual.

After this, the CD takes a slightly more hit-and-miss route. Some of the tracks are simply not interesting enough to warrant inclusion, while the rest are largely more low-key, while still beautiful. Perhaps spreading Bernstein's waltzes through the disc a little would have helped here.

Ultimately, Scorsese's film was over-long, and the same could be said of this CD. It is, of course, preferable to have too much music than not enough, but a little more sense in sequencing the album would not have gone amiss. Nevertheless, there is a lot of gorgeous music included, and this comes highly recommended.

Rating ****

Total Time 64:25


Epic Soundtrax EK 57451

  1. The Age of Innocence (4:38)
  2. At the Opera (Gounod) (3:11)
  3. Radetzky March (J. Strauss) (2:16)
  4. Emperor Waltz (J. Strauss II) (2:27)
  5. Mrs Mingott (1:43)
  6. Dangerous Conversation (2:14)
  7. Slighted (:58)
  8. Van der Luydens (2:17)
  9. First Visit (2:29)
  10. Roses Montage (1:20)
  11. Ellen's Letter (2:05)
  12. Archer's Book (2:08)
  13. Mrs Mingott's Help (3:50)
  14. Archer Pleads (1:49)
  15. Passage of Time (2:44)
  16. Archery (1:28)
  17. Ellen at the Shore (2:15)
  18. Blenker Farm (2:38)
  19. Boston Common (:54)
  20. Parker House (1:17)
  21. Pick up Ellen (2:12)
  22. Conversation with Letterblair (2:33)
  23. Archer Leaves (1:04)
  24. Farewell Dinner (2:05)
  25. Ellen Leaves (2:43)
  26. In Paris (1:12)
  27. Ellen's House (:48)
  28. Madame Olenska (2:18)
  29. End Credits (5:04)

Artwork copyright (c) 1993 Sony Music Entertainment, review copyright (c) 1999 James Southall