Film Music Review
The Sammy awards







The Edge (1997)

Music composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith.

23 Tracks (Playing Time = 66:15)

Album produced by Nick Redman and Mike Matessino. Orchestrations by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage. Additional orchestrations by Vince Bartold, Julia Eidsvoog, and Jo Ann Kane. Music originally recorded, mixed and edited by Bruce Botnick at Todd-AO Scoring. Music edited by Ken Hall. Score transferred and assembled by Mike Matessino, Burbank , CA. Mastering engineered by Mark Wilder, Battery Studios, New York, NY. CD Art direction by Mark Banning.

La-La Land Records 1131

Rating: ****

Limited edition of 3500 copies


When THE EDGE first appeared as a score release on Milan there were many complaints about pressing flaws (clicks or problems with the last track on the disc). While my own copy appeared fine, it will be superceded by this superb release from La-La Land.

David Mamet’s screenplay for this Lee Tamahori film continues to reveal more depth than such a project might seem to elicit. But THE EDGE holds up fairly well as a film that features stunning photography and some of the most intense bear sequences on film (courtesy of Bart the Bear). Jerry Goldsmith’s 1997 was filled with some of his finest work in the 1990s capped by his Oscar nomination for L.A. CONFIDENTIAL—essentially a new take on CHINATOWN.

For THE EDGE, Goldsmith crafted one of his most majestic themes that holds the score together.

La-La Land ’s presentation here is first and foremost revelatory in its sound. There is a dryness in places that seems to highlight the inner textures of the score in ways the original album did not while still maintaining a well-rounded orchestral picture. The label has expanded the 40 minutes of its predecessor by including a number of unreleased tracks. Some of these are very brief musical gestures where we can hear Goldsmith playing with the thematic materials in quick brushstrokes. What made THE EDGE so interesting musically is that most of it is synth-free. The newly-released tracks show that Goldsmith did include some atmospheric designs for the more tension laden moments but then pulls these back to focus on pure orchestral presentations. It is fascinating to hear the dramatic progression of these new-to-disc tracks like “The Cage/False Hope/No Matches” and “The Discovery/Turn Your Back” where the orchestration and dramatic tension of the music is genius. The music is also put back into film order which allows the listener a chance to hear how Goldsmith gradually introduces his themes and then begins to manipulate them over the course of the score.

The original album was a pretty good listening experience as a whole and those familiar with it will hear how different that music sounds in its proper order. (A small carp is that the notes do not include a note about how to program the disc in its original order for comparison but this is easily discovered with a little detective work for those who do not have the original CD.) There are three bonus tracks that provide alternate takes for a couple of cues. It might have been nice to have the complete versions of “Rescued” to choose from instead of just a bonus of the last minute of the film version. Still these are really minor to the fine presentation of the score as a whole. The percussion segments of the score are very close in style and sound of what would later be fleshed out in some of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL making both scores feel much closer than they might otherwise have seemed at first.

Overall this is a wonderful release and a highlight of the year.

reviewed by Steven A. Kennedy , 26 June 2010

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Clips can be heard at the label’s website:

The Edge [Blu-ray]

THE EDGE (Blu-ray)











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