CD Fargo/Barton Fink (CD 176917),
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Fargo/Barton Fink

  • 1. Fargo, North Dakota
    2. Moose Lake
    3. Lot of Woe, A
    4. Forced Entry
    5. Ozone, The
    6. Trooper's End, The
    7. Chewing on It
    8. Rubber Necking
    9. Dance of the Sierra
    10. Mallard, The
    11. Delivery
    12. Bismark, North Dakota
    13. Paul Bunyan
    14. Eager Beaver, The
    15. Brainerd, Minnesota
    16. Safe Keeping
    17. Fade In
    18. Big Shoes
    19. Love Theme from Barton Fink
    20. Barton in Shock
    21. Typing Montage
    22. Box, The
    23. Barton in Flames
    24. Fade Out -- The End
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 8010

  • Credits
    ProducerCarter Burwell
    EngineerMichael Farrow

    All music written by Carter Burwell.
    Personnel: Carter Burwell (piano); Paul Peabody (violin).
    Recording information: Clinton Recording Studios, Inc., New York, NY; Manhattan Center Studios, New York, NY.
    Unknown Contributor Roles: Dawn Solr; Patricia Joseph .
    Carter Burwell's darkly mysterious orchestrations play a significant stylistic role in both Barton Fink and Fargo, two of the best films from acclaimed independent filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, particularly in light of the oft-violent content of the Coens' stories: violence can of course be laughable when the characters are too goofy to be believed, and tragic when the characters are too believable to be goofy, but the Coen brothers' creations are somewhere in between. They strike a precarious balance between a broadly comic Beckett-esque absurdism and a more straightforward, three-dimensional naturalism. Consequently, Burwell's grave, sweeping scores are a crucial reassurance that the Coens are not taking their characters' personal tragedies less seriously than are their audiences. Most of the tracks on this CD are from Fargo, reprising the heartbreakingly elegiac theme several times over (in orchestral versions and in sparse violin arrangements that echo the folk music indigenous to the snow-swept northern territories of the film). The Barton Fink tracks feature similarly foreboding strings, but like the movie itself, the music is more experimental and offbeat than Fargo. Burwell incorporates detuned pianos, tapping typewriters, and running water into the score. Music shoppers should be forewarned that Burwell has not written extended cues for the CD, so the music often begins and ends haltingly in 30-second increments. ~ Darryl Cater

  • Critic Reviews
    Mojo (Publisher) (6/02, p.68) - Included in Mojo's "100 Coolest Movie Soundtracks" - "...Like his employers the Coen Brothers, Carter Burwell takes from different genre styles while reworking those style anew..."
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