MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN
Music composed and conducted by Christopher Lennertz 
Label: Electronic Arts
Catalog:
Promo CD

Year: 2003
Tracks:

1 Main Titles
2 Taiko Brigade
3 PT Attack
4 Deep in Guadal Canal
5 Stalking the Caves
6 We're Hit!
7 Engine Trouble
8 Requiem for the California
9 Saving Pearl Harbor
10 Singapore Docks
11 Passing the Nevada
12 Burma 
13 Elephant Battle
14 March on the Temple
15 A Prisoner's Eulogy
16 Nazi Disguise/ Shima's Speech
17 Natives Are Restless
18 Carrier Deck
19 Tanaka's Death/ The Hanger
20 Tank March
21 Philippines/ Zero Attack
22 Courtyard Strike
23 Yamashita's Gold
24 Incoming! / Aftermath
25 Jungle Swarm
26 The Got Donnie
27 Shell Shock
28 The Sewers
29 Shima Express
30 Take Off/ Finale
31 Hymn to Brothers Lost

Total Time: 61:01

Rating:


Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha

 

31 years old Chris Lennertz, after writing music for several indie films and made for TV projects (A Diva's Christmas Carol, America!, Beer Honey, Brimstone), alongside his work as conductor or orchestrator on films like The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians, debuts on game music with this Medal of Honor: Rising Sun. Composer Michael Giacchino, who left the series to dedicate himself to other game projects like Secret Weapons Over Normandy, Call of Duty and the hit TV series Alias, wrote the music from the prior titles of this best-selling video game franchise. However, the gifted Lennertz, who had done a remarkably dramatic score for the 2002 TV's Saint Sinner, assumed the musical duties with a new approach, even maintaining the series tradition of cinematic orchestral score and some John Williams references.

The score was performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony, a very large ensemble with 88 instrumentists, with a 32-voice choir recorded in Prague. Lennertz's music has a big scope, and could be heard in a big-budget feature war. The "Main Titles" track features some previous MOH music, and is conveniently big and patriotic, in the Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot tradition. A fanfare begins this memorable theme, which sets the tone for the heroic battles of the American soldiers against the Japanese forces. In "Taiko Brigade", for the first time Lennertz establishes the game setting with the use of Japanese percussion and instruments from the Orient, like erhu, koto, pipa, shakuhachi, wood flutes and taiko drums.

Besides references to John Williams, Lennertz pays a tribute to another veteran, Jerry Goldsmith (the trumpet in some patriotic moments). Nevertheless, Williams is the most notable presence, even in the almost comic "Elephant Battle". The track, with its funny tuba, reminds us a lot of Williams' Jabba the Hutt music from Star Wars. The chorus is for sure a highlight of this score, in tracks like the beautiful "Requiem for the California" and "A Prisonerīs Eulogy", this one being a nice piece for choir and strings. There is some suspense music too, heard in the introductions of "Deep in Guadal Canal", "Engine Trouble" and "Singapore Docks". However, very soon the low cues turn into action music.

After some thrilling battle tracks and passionate, heroic music, the score reach its conclusion with "Hymn to Brothers Lost", where Lennertz employs both Western and Eastern instrumentation, and a brief rendition of the original Medal of Honor theme at the end. Despite some obvious references to other composers, and even the sparing use of some motifs from previous Giannechino's scores, the Medal of Honor: Rising Sun soundtrack showcases an outstanding and unique musical project from Lennertz.

In order to make this review possible we received a promotional disc containig one hour of music divided in 31 exciting short tracks, that consists in a very pleasant listening experience. Happily enough this score will deserve a commercial release very soon, but its content will not be exactly the same of this promo CD. Anyway, making available this flaring music is a new deserving to be celebrated. Christopher Lennertz already gaves us solid and remarkable works, and for sure we want more of his talent - on the big or small screens and at our sound sistems. Keep the good work, Chris.

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