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THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
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.
Total Time 64:25
Epic Soundtrax EK 57451
Artwork copyright (c) 1993 Sony Music Entertainment, review copyright (c) 1999 James Southall