Music Composed By J.S. Zamecnik
Arranged And Orchestrated By Dominik Hauser
LaLaLand Records LLLCD1206
32 Tracks – Disc Time: 76:27 Grade: B-
Wings is one of Paramount Pictures more storied releases in the studio’s 100 year history. This was the first film to win the equvalent of the Best Picture Oscar then called Best Production and also the first silent film to ever win the award until last year’s, The Artist which took home the prize. Wings is an important film because when it was screened, it was the first film to actually incorporate live sound effects and music while the film was playing. This would be a breakthrough for cinema because it eventually opened the door for film and sound to be united as the driving force of the film itself. The film revolves around two pilots, one from a rich family and the other, middle class who fall in love with the same woman and soon become ace fighter pilots as they prepare to fight in World War 1.
The film’s score was composed by J.S. Zamecnik, which was performed alongside the film screenings during that time. Unfortunately, the music didn’t survive the test of time for the most part because the studio recommissioned a new organ score for its premiere home video cassettes of the film and for the longest time, this is the score the film has been associated with. Now fast forward to the present, as the film has been completely restored on Blu Ray and DVD with another newly commissioned re-recording of Zamecnik’s score by composer/arranger Dominik Hauser, who recently adapted Vangelis’ seminal score for The Bounty years ago. This score was somewhat of a monumental task in that it to virtually reconstruct the score almost from scratch. LaLaLand’s album of the score which is a lengthy seventy plus minute album is intriguing and patriotic work that is full of energy and drama.
Hauser’s arrangements are spot on and the music is very very good which also incorporates classical works from List (Les Preludes), Mendelsshon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Verdi (Scilian Vespers) which add to the drama. However the problem does lie in that the score does get a little repetitious and the album is simply too long for most to enjoy in one sitting which was my major issue with it. The music really is good and engaging and there are some wonderful moments in it such as “Overture, Main Title, Love Theme Wings, Knights and Ladies” which introduces Zamecnik’s lush wonderful themes that would play out throughout the score in various different guises. “Right After Crash, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Say That’s The Shooting Star” is a wonderful trumphant track as Mendelsshon’s music gloriously plays in unison with Zamchick’s score. “One Plane, Jack! Jack! Jack Shooting” is a dramatic and rather tragic track that literally pulls your heartstrings. “It’s Sylvia I Love, Jack Stoops Down” is a dramatic and downbeat track that just breaks your heart a bit. “The Flying Ace” is a triumphant and patriotic track is a celebatory military track for the fallen hero of the story. “Jack’s Theme” was the original intended End Credits for the film which wasn’t used which incorporates both the score’s love theme and the main character’s theme which sounds like a great roaring 20’s track.
Wings is a nicely put together package with that lavish wonderful cover and the recording is top notch. Like I said before, I think it’s worn down by its running time but the label seemed determined to preserve every scrap of music that was available and they’ve certainly succeeded on that front. It’s the high qualty of the label that continues to grow to immense and wonderful proportions. Wings may not be a film that most wouldn’t have heard of, but its a very special film with a nice score and the beginning of how visuals and music both work together quite nicely.
Wings is available from http://www.lalalandrecords.com