The Three Musketeers

Michael Kamen

 
" No Robin Hood, but at least Kamen delivers us that all for one attitude "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

The Three Musketeers of 1993 is but one of the countless movie adaptations of the famous Alexandre Dumas novel of the 3 Musketeers Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Containing a lovely if more comical cast starring Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, Charlie Sheen, Chris O' Donnell and Tim Curry, the effort of the movie was to entertain more than to develop. Considering director Stephen Herek worked extensively with David Newman on his previous projects, fans were looking forward to another orchestral rousing setpiece of David Newman, especially after his entertaining The Mighty Ducks. But considering the late Michael Kamen wrote perhaps one of the ultimate blockbuster scores (+ song) for another famous adventure tale, it was a logical choice to replace David with Michael.

That doesn't mean that I wasn't disappointed because if anyone believed David Newman was up to the task, it was me. Hell, just listen to The Phantom, that could have been The Three Musketeers. But considering the almighty success of Robin Hood, Michael Kamen was a logical and fair choice as well. Now Michael Kamen in the adventurous tuxedo of a Musketeer? Hmn, now that promises much in return as well. Sadly or most importantly, don't think you'll be getting more of that. Fun yes, classic fun sadly not all the way through.

The album opens with the song written by Michael Kamen, and performed by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting. All in all a good song with a good theme that is used sparsely but effectively in the film. Sadly for the producers, the classic status of "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" isn't reached, despite being a hit on its own.

The score opens impressive enough with a choral and brassy statement, this in "The Cavern of Cardinal Richelien (Overture / Passacaille)". The fairly dark opening track doesn't necessarily mean you'll be getting a dark score, because "D'Artagnan (Galliard & Air)" counter attacks that immediately. With a fanfare theme statement that mimics Robin Hood's main theme and a variation on the song theme, the cue is a wonderful sprightly combination full of dancing rhythms and brassy fanfares. Not as melodic as Robin Hood perhaps, but fun all the same.

The first full blown statement of the song theme is heard at the begin of "Athos, Porthos & Aramis (Courante)", and by then we already noticed that the wonderful first chase cue of the film (the horse chase) isn't included on the album whatsoever. The chase however on foot is included here, with harpsichord additions to follow D'Artagnan as he already challenges the three musketeers unknowingly to a duel.

Luckily most of the adventure cues from then on make it to the CD after all. "Sword Fight (Bransle)" is a playful Robin Hood lightweight as we see all 4 Musketeers fighting for the first time, "The Cardinal's Coach (Estampie)" is a rhythmic assault of brass, as it underscores the daring escape with the Cardinal's coach, and "Cannonballs (Rigadvon)" explodes in the second part with a rollicking fun attitude. The final cue "The Fourth Musketeer (Concert Royaux)" delivers us the final versions of the main theme (used way too sparsely on the album), the song theme and the adventurous theme of track 8, bringing a rather enjoyable adventure to a halt.

In between "Louis XIII, Queen Anna and Constance / Lady is Waiting (Gavotte)" delivers after a rather dark ominous mood a touch of romanticism, as we hear Constance talk with The Queen over her encounter with D'Artagnan. The sad part of the story centers around M'Lady De Winter (Lament)" and her inevitable demise.

The Three Musketeers may have been written with Robin Hood in the back of the mind, it nonetheless doesn't contain the sheer masterful touch of the man with the bow. Robin Hood was masterful because it guided a beautiful love theme and a classic heroic theme to a conclusive end. The Three Musketeers tries to do it with a decent heroic theme and a song theme that barely states its almighty presence. However, the album nonetheless promises the listener a great time, because Kamen's adventure music is bold, rhythmic and powerful. And that is what music needs to be all for one about, one for all indeed.

Tracklisting

1. All For Love: Brian Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting (4.44)
2. The Cavern of Cardinal Richelien (Overture / Passacaille) (2.56)
3. D'Artagnan (Galliard & Air) (3.17) Excellent track
4. Athos, Porthos & Aramis (Courante) (5.21)
5. Sword Fight (Bransle) (3.18)
6. Louis XIII, Queen Anna and Constance / Lady is Waiting (Gavotte) (5.02)
7. The Cardinal's Coach (Estampie) (4.41)
8. Cannonballs (Rigadvon) (3.25) Excellent track
9. M'Lady De Winter (Lament) (4.14)
10. The Fourth Musketeer (Concert Royaux) (5.19) Excellent track

Total Length: 42.46
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(total of 15 votes - average 3.67/5)

Released by

Hollywood Records HR-61581-2 (regular release 1993)

Conducted by

Michael Kamen

Orchestrations by

Chris Boardman, Robert Elhai, Jack Hayes, Ira Hearshen, Randy Kerber, Michael McCuistion, Don Nemitz, Larry Rench, Lolita Ritmanis, William Ross, Brad Warnaar & Michael Kamen

Performed by

The Greater LA All Star Orchestra