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Label:
Name: FILM SCORE MONTHLY
Number: FSM1412

Days of Heaven (1978)

Composed by: Ennio Morricone

View CD Page at FSM Site (More Details)

Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978) is one of the most visually beautiful films ever made. Dreamlike and elliptical, it follows a trio of turn-of-the-century Chicago migrant workers (Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Linda Manz) to the Texas Panhandle, where they wind up working the wheat fields of a rich and lonely farmer (Sam Shephard). The film also boasts one of the most gorgeous and haunting musical scores ever written by a master of all that is gorgeous and haunting: Ennio Morricone. 

Morricone composed three principal themes for the picture: a “Main Theme” (which intentionally references the “Aquarium” movement from Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals), a pastoral melody for flute (full of optimism and hope), and an unforgettable, elegiac love theme—one of the most compelling and beautiful melodies of the composer’s storied career.
 
In an unusual move, Morricone gave Malick permission to move cues around—the end result being that much of the music was relocated to different parts of the film than those for which it was composed. Still further differences exist between the music as heard in the film and as it was presented on the soundtrack LP issued by Pacific Arts Records and Tapes. Because of these differences, this 2CD set of Morricone’s music for Days of Heaven features three programs, all newly remastered from the ½" three- and four-track mixes created in Rome (with a few redone in Los Angeles).
 
Tracks 1–13 on disc 1 recreate the 1978 soundtrack album, which included most of Morricone’s major themes as well as music not heard in the picture. Tracks 14–30 present the Morricone cues as heard in the finished film—without replicating abridgements and repetitions of certain selections. Disc 2 presents an extended, freestanding program of most (but not all) of Morricone’s score as recorded, following the chronological sequence of the slate numbers, along with a handful of bonus tracks. Here the score proves to be considerably more diverse than in the finished film.
 
Days of Heaven’s gorgeous cinematography is captured in some of the film stills selected by designer Joe Sikoryak for the 16-page booklet. Since no paperwork survives to indicate the screen action Morricone intended his cues to underscore, FSM has not included the customary track-by-track commentary, but an informative essay by Lukas Kendall and Jeff Bond provides useful background on film and score.
 
The film is about nothing less than the human experience on earth—fleeting “days of heaven” torn asunder by twists of fate and the selfishness of human society. Morricone’s music is a bittersweet expression of the search for happiness and the inevitability of loss that marks the human condition. Days of Heaven remains one of the pinnacles of his astonishingly productive and innovative career.
track list

    Click on track TIME for MP3 sound clip.

    Days of Heaven (1978)

    Music Composed and Conducted by Ennio Morricone

    With Contributions by Leo Kottke & Doug Kershaw

    DISC ONE

    1978 Soundtrack Album

  1. Aquarium [Le Carnaval des Animaux] (Camille Saint-Saëns) 2:05
  2. We Used to Do Things (Linda Manz) 0:49 
  3. Enderlin (Written & Performed by Leo Kottke) 3:14
  4. Harvest 2:59 
  5. Threshing 2:05
  6. Happiness 2:13
  7. The Honeymoon 1:26 
  8. Swamp Dance (Performed by Doug Kershaw. Words & Music by Doug Kershaw.) 3:32 
  9. The Return 2:31 
  10. The Chase 2:00 
  11. The Fire 7:48
  12. Ashes & Dust 2:17 
  13. Days of Heaven 3:26 

    Total Time: 36:52

    Ennio Morricone Cues Used in Picture

  14. Main Theme (7M1 tk 8) 1:02 
  15. The Farmer and the Girl (Theme 18—piano version) 1:53 
  16. In the Field (Theme 5 long version, cf. Harvest) 2:59 
  17. Bad News (3M1 tk 3) 2:35 
  18. Non-Stop Work (2M1 2nd part) 0:36
  19. Main Theme (2M1 1st part) 1:18
  20. Bad News (4M3) 0:36 
  21. After Wedding (5M2 2nd part) 0:56
  22. Empty House (5M3, cf. The Honeymoon) 1:24
  23. On the Road (1M2 for 5M4) 1:41
  24. They Should Leave (6M1, cf. Ashes & Dust) 2:16
  25. On the Road (8M1 long version, cf. Happiness) 2:13
  26. Bill Returns (8M2, cf. The Return) 2:30
  27. The Locusts and Fire (9M1, cf. The Fire) 7:29
  28. The Farmer and the Girl (11M3 2nd version) 2:26
  29. His Death (5M2 1st part) 1:27
  30. The Farmer and the Girl (10M3, cf. Days of Heaven) 2:46  

    Total Time: 36:34

    Total Disc Time: 73:33

     

    DISC TWO

    Extended Score Program

  1. 1M1 (Main Title) 2:00 
  2. 1M2 (Train Ride) 1:44 
  3. 1M3 (Main Theme) 1:47 
  4. Theme 18 (Love Theme, long version) 1:22 
  5. 2M1 1st part (Main Theme, alternate take) 1:20 
  6. 2M2 (Main Theme) 0:53 
  7. 2M3 (Threshing, alternate mix) 2:05 
  8. 3M1 (Bad News, longer version) 2:42 
  9. 3M2 (Work Theme) 1:46 
  10. 3M3 (Love Theme) 1:00 
  11. 4M1 (Intro to Love Theme, 2 versions) 0:39 
  12. 5M1 (Love Theme) 1:17
  13. 5M2 (Insect Noises With Main Theme) 1:45
  14. 5M3 (The Honeymoon, with piano) 1:26
  15. 6M1 (Intro to Love Theme/Ashes to Dust) 2:42
  16. 6M2/7M2/7M3 (Suspense Theme/Main Theme, 2 versions/Suspense Theme) 2:27
  17. 8M1 long version (Happiness) 2:16
  18. 8M2 (The Return, piano version) 2:33
  19. Ghost Voices 2:33
  20. 9M1 (The Fire) 7:31
  21. 10M1 (Pursuit Theme) 1:26
  22. 10M2 (The Killing) 1:06
  23. 10M3 (Days of Heaven) 2:47
  24. 11M1 version 1 (The Chase) 2:01
  25. 11M1 version 2 (Love Theme) 2:06
  26. 11M2 (Main Theme) 1:03
  27. 11M3 version 2 (Main Theme) 2:36
  28. 11M3 version 1 (Love Theme) 2:29 

    Total Time: 57:35

    Bonus Tracks

  29. 4M2 (Intro to Love Theme) 0:22 
  30. 5M2 1st track (Insect Noises With Main Theme, alternate) 1:51
  31. 5M2 2nd track (Main Theme, 1st mix) 1:23 
  32. 5M2 2nd track (Main Theme, 2nd mix) 1:22 
  33. Theme 18 (Love Theme, short version) 0:49

    Time: 5:43

    Total Disc Time: 63:26

 


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