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Last Valley, The



Last Valley, The (1970)

John Barry 

Released in:

Forgotten masterpiece
Damian Sołtysik (November 7, 2005)
The Last Valley is my all time favourite. I was looking for such score for many, many years. Composed for choir and orchestra The Last Valley shows Barry's impressive knack for historic movies. TLV is full of contrasts - it contains probably the most brutal, terrifying and barbaric music that Barry ever composed and on the other hand the music is incredibly beautiful and ethereal. John Barry like nobody before him has shown such a wide spectrum of use of choirs and he didn't yield to that awful "carmina burana syndrome" which is unbearably present in almost all modern choral filmscores. There is a great variety of themes, but the best are: Main Theme - terrific march composed for horns, snare drums, strings and mixed chorus which sings german song based on Andreas Gryphius poem, and Valley Theme - endlessly beautiful theme for choir, solo oboe and strings. Variation on this theme in `Vogel's Dream/ The Last Valley` is absolutely stunning. This is undoubtedly one of the best themes ever written. As well there are some deliciously brooding and horrifying cues here like `The Plague Pit`and `Witchcraft/Erika Is Burned at the Stake`, great martial elegy `Why Not Winter In The Valley/The Death of Eskesen`, rhytmic battle cues like `The Village Attack` and `Night Battle At Rheinfelden`. But for me the greatest treasures are four choral a capella songs - especially `A Christmas Song`. My advice is - get it now, you won't be dissappointed. This is truly one of the best Barry scores and IMHO it's the best choral filmscore.

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