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Rudy by Jerry Goldsmith

The Themes of Fall: The Music of Football and Film  - Tracksounds Special Feature

Rudy

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Rudy (Soundtrack) by Jerry Goldsmith

Rudy
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Varese Sarabande Records (1993)

Rating: 8/10


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Listen to this soundclip of RudyMain Title (363 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of RudyThe Final Game (361 kb)


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“In football, it’s not uncommon for an act of prowess to receive a standing ovation. In a film scoring session, such a response is much more rare. And yet that is exactly what the members of the orchestra did after they had finished recording the music for RUDY. ”

Gold-smith!  Gold-smith!
Review by Cap Stewart

Inspirational sports movies area a dime a dozen. Some are more effective than others. The same could be said for the music accompanying such movies. One composition that stands head and shoulders (and waist and knees) above the rest is Jerry Goldsmith’s score to the film RUDY. His music played an integral role in the storytelling, elevating the finished product to dramatic heights that would have otherwise been impossible.

Not to say that the film is sub-par (wrong sports analogy, I know). RUDY effectively dramatizes the true-life story of underdog Daniel E. “Rudy” Reuttiger, who despite his small size and hapless upbringing dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. With an indomitable spirit, Rudy perseveres through physical, familial, and scholastic hardships, winning the admiration of even his harshest critics.

One unfamiliar with the soundtrack album might be surprised to discover that the 37-minute running time is taken up by two themes—and very little else. Except for the use of general underscore (which at least briefly appears on about half the tracks), one of the themes is constantly being utilized in some form or fashion. I guess “repetitive” is a description that could be used of the album, but it’s an accusation that seems unfair, considering the memorability of the themes.

First is the main theme, which sweeps the listener away in its sweet and innocent euphoria. That it plays in triple meter almost escapes the ear; never does it confuse the listener by sounding waltz-like. It’s a beautiful and cheerful theme, the musical heartbeat of Rudy’s aspirations. The album both opens and closes with this melody.

Second is the triumph theme. As the album progresses, it gains more and more presence, until it dominates the final track (titled “The Final Game”). If the abstract idea of “inspiration” could somehow become a tangible element and be infused into a musical framework, this is exactly what it would sound like. The theme is at its grandest when performed boldly by the brass section over a rip-roaring string countermelody. This is the stuff of film scoring legend, as evidenced by its repeated use in movie trailers, TV sports programs, and numerous other venues.

The orchestration is perfect. Strings, woodwinds, piano, and harp dominate the more quiet moments (particularly the main theme). The presence of brass, timpani, and bells (for the triumph theme) indicate moments of achievement. A choir occasionally adds to the texture of the main theme, though never threatening to become overblown. The combined tone color of the various instruments masterfully conveys the hope and determination that characterizes Rudy’s pursuits.

Seeing an underdog come out on top in inspirational in and of itself. Having a master composer outdo himself multiplies the inspiration ten times over. Goldsmith’s score has won the hearts of listeners everywhere, solidifying its place as one of the most beloved inspirational scores of film music history.

In football, it’s not uncommon for an act of prowess to receive a standing ovation. In a film scoring session, such a response is much more rare. And yet that is exactly what the members of the orchestra did after they had finished recording the music for RUDY. Maestro Goldsmith had indeed scored a glorious touchdown of his own.


Rating: 8/10


 

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Main Title 3:36  *****
2 A Start 2:28  ****
3 Waiting 2:35  ****
4 Back on the Field 2:07  ****
5 To Notre Dame 6:55  ***
6 Tryouts 4:28  *****
7 The Key 3:55  ***
8 Take Us Out 1:51  ****
9 The Plaque 2:36  ****
10 The Final Game 6:14  ****
 

Total Running Time (Approx.)

36 minutes  

 

 
   

 

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