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Soundtrack Review

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Flame in the Wind / Sheffey
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Dwight Gustafson
Performed by: Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
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4 260352 760359
Release Date: 02 March 2020

Caldera Records release its 35th album, Dwight Gustafson's original scores for Flame in the Wind (1971) and Sheffey (1977). Flame in the Wind is set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition and follows a young man who, horrified by the Inquisition, is torn between following the Bible, or adhering to religious tradition? Sheffey is based on the life of Robert Sheffey, a Methodist evangelist who spent his lifetime taking care of those in need, traveling through Virginia and Tennessee and preaching the word of God...

Dwight Gustafson is a composer whose contribution to film has sorely been overlooked over the years. I have to admit to having not previously been aware of his work. His scores for Flame in the Wind and Sheffey are presented on a single CD released by Caldera Records. Despite being very different beasts, the two soundtracks compliment each other perfectly and make for an interesting listen.

The album consists of 26 tracks (1 hr, 09 min, 20 sec), with the first 11 tracks (32 min, 26 sec) taken from Flame in the Wind, with the remaining 15 (36 min, 54 sec) coming from Sheffey. The old stereo mix on Flame in the Wind is very much a product of its time, sounding a little lacklustre by modern standards, but this is also part of its charm.

Gustafson delivers novel and refreshingly original regal themes in pieces like 'Processional for the Auto-De-Fe'. In addition, I couldn't help but be reminded of John Barry's scores for the '70s/'80s Bond movies in tracks like 'The Dungeon' and 'The Tribunal Hall'. And if you want moments of beautiful melancholy, look no further than 'Death of Elizah'.

The CD also features a booklet, written by Stephan Eicke, which has plenty of interesting background information on the movies and the composer.

Yet again Caldera Records do what they do best - delivering a wonderful recording to the attention of a much wider audience, with the love and devotion that the scores rightly deserve. Once again the label spoils its loyal fan base.


Darren Rea

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