1982 was a turning point for composer Bruce Broughton. Prior to 1982 he had delivered world class compositions for such TV series as Hawaii 5-0, Buck Rogers, Dallas, and the Emmy-nominated TV movie Killjoy. The Blue & the Gray heralded Broughton from working in television, to working in motion pictures when he made the leap to the big screen just the following year. Miniseries were enjoying a surge in popularity and one inside source claimed that The Blue & the Gray was “the most ambitions project [CBS] had undertaken.”
While the epic Civil War story touches upon spectacle and grand military strategy, most of story is told from viewpoint of the lowly perspective of ordinary men and women. Broughton’s approach was to highlight the personal sense of the characters as they experience the war. The main theme and the most of the secondary themes are built, in Broughton’s words, “around more of a traditional 19th century song style, not unlike Stephen Foster or George F. Root, two popular song writers of the time.” The main title is big, sweeping and grand, featuring full orchestra and lays out the main theme that is heard in many guises throughout the lengthy score. The score is in many ways a precursor to SILVERADO, with action and adventure coming through in key moments. For the more personal moments, focusing on these farm men and women, Broughton augments the orchestra with folk instruments like guitar, fiddle, harmonica, Jew’s harp and dulcimer. The cumulative effect is to give the score a powerful element of rural authenticity.
The score to THE BLUE AND THE GRAY is done with the cooperation of Sony Pictures and is presented complete on a 2-CD set from the original stereo session masters. This release is limited to 2000 albums.
INTRADA Special Collection – Volume 57
Composed and Conducted by BRUCE BROUGHTON
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For more details, to hear audio samples from the CD, or to purchase, please visit the Intrada website.