George and the Dragon

Gast Waltzing

" George and the Dragon is another treat, and I hope it's the first in many epic fantasy scores to come. "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

When you encounter the name of Gast Waltzing on the booklet of George and the Dragon you ask yourself who that man is. Yet you come to realize that the man alone has written for over 150 film and television scores, mostly for smaller European productions. Though, small is just not the word you can give an epic score like George and the Dragon. Thanks to the wonderful people of MovieScore Media for giving us the chance to hear this work in yet another celebrated release.

George and the Dragon is a fantasy movie starring James Purefoy, Piper Perabo, Patrick Swayze and Michael Clarke Duncan and tells the story of George the knight who goes out in search of a kidnapped princess. By doing so he becomes the legendary knight who battled the dragon. More or less this is your typical video release with several more known actors, mediocre special effects and a heart that is pleasant for an occasional viewing. Yet what interested me most about MovieScore Media's release was the fact that we got in contact with a score of an unknown composer, brought forward in an epic large scale performance of both orchestra and choir.

The one hour release immediately starts with a fanfare in "Intro", plunging you immediately in a wonderful orchestral setting of brass and strings. Yet strange in the beginning is the added use of electronics giving a more new age meaning to the entire story. How weird and sad they all seem like, it's easy to accept if you don't think of a Lord of The Rings exploit all the time. These electronic excerpts are evident in the fun "Celtic Monk". Accustomed by a tin whistle and bagpipes it all comes over very Celtic. That feeling is soon over when the tin whistle gives you a true Lord of The Rings feeling of hobbits in "Coming Home", growing to a very big emotional performance at the end.

The use of one of the motifs in various orchestral guises for certain characters, is nice to hear. So be ready to watch out for an orchestral and more suspenseful feeling in "Village Cabillo" and "Hunt Cabillo" added with extra choir. The home theme in "Dragon Horn" and a solo vocal stating George's theme in "Search Loona" all give an extra dash of emotion in counterweight to the more big brassy pieces. Big and fun is "Battle of the Pics" where a scherzo builds to orchestral levels in three pompous minutes. The start of this piece will certainly remind many of Mouse Hunt as it is the exact same tone to start the scherzo with.

The middle part of the album holds many tracks, all leading up to a theme's performance, emotional climax or underscore. The home theme undergoes a mysterious play in "George and the King" and "Cave", while a soaring version breaks open "Meet Princess". They all carry a wonderful feeling which makes the score really pleasant to discover. The shorter tracks aren't without their effect too. Like the playful "Egg Roll", the great choral tune of George's theme in "Monastery" (which is fully fleshed out here) or the electronic approach in "Kidnap". All of them are lined up for the final battle cues.

We start with "Rescue Princess" where the electronics are only a small part of an otherwise orchestral affair. Sadly the rhythm is never obtained the way it began this cue. Otherwise this would have been one of the best tracks of the score. Luckily this rhythm is continued in "Heroes" where it's enhanced even more by the brass. An even more optimistic side of the wonderful orchestral voice of Waltzing is evident in "Battle and Birth" and the excellent "Last Battle". It's in these tracks where Waltzing goes out for a full fanfare tour de force. In the light magical finish of "George and the Dragon" we have the return of George's theme which finishes also "Love" and this is a surprise considering we do not hear the home theme. The song closing the album is based on Waltzing's score but it carries not a theme but more the underscore, making it somewhat forgettable.

That this ends the score isn't that bad because overall I must say you get more then what you bargained for. Ultimately, George and the Dragon is the orchestral adventure score you wanted. Several good themes, nice rhythmic pleasers and fanfares abound. The attitude of the score isn't dark but light. It is alive enough for everyone to enjoy this wonderful voice, brought forward by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the choirs of Piacere and Les Amis du Chant.

MovieScore Media's release gives again the belief that there is so much more greatness out there waiting to be heard. I'm extremely pleased that the Swedish Label continues to expand in finding the lost treasures of film music. George and the Dragon is another treat, and I hope it's the first in many epic fantasy scores to come.


1. Intro (1.55)
2. Titles (0.45)
3. Celtic Monk (2.21)
4. Coming Home (3.14) Excellent track
5. Village Cabillo (2.02)
6. Dragon Horn (0.47)
7. Search Loona (1.20)
8. Battle of the Pics (3.34) Excellent track
9. George and the King (1.52)
10. Cave (2.54)
11. Meet Princess (3.07)
12. Egg Roll (1.33)
13. Hunt Cabillo (2.28)
14. Monastery (1.21) Excellent track
15. George Sad (2.00)
16. Kidnap (0.54)
17. Rescue Princess (3.19)
18. Heroes (1.48)
19. Battle and Birth (3.45)
20. Last Battle (4.55) Excellent track
21. The Dragon (1.07)
22. George and the Dragon (3.56)
23. Last Ride (1.18)
24. Love (1.37) Excellent track
25. It Will Always Be Your Time: Maggie Parke (5.30)

Total Length: 59.19
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 14 votes - average 3.64/5)

Released by

MovieScore Media MMS07013 (limited release 2007)

Orchestrated by

Gast Waltzing

Conducted by

Gast Waltzing

Performed by

Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the choirs Piacere & Les Amis du Chant