Classical Music

Serenada Schizophrana

Composed By:  Danny Elfman

Produced By: Sony BMG Masterworks

Reviewed by Melissa Minners



            Composer Danny Elfman has gained worldwide recognition as the creator of some of the most popular movie soundtracks in the industry today.  Having won numerous awards for his compositions for film and television, Elfman primarily uses visual aids when composing his musical pieces.  Examples of past works include the soundtracks for Batman, Spiderman, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Desperate Housewives, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Point Pleasant, Big Fish, and more.  Receiving a commission from the American Composers Orchestra in New York, Danny Elfman embarked on an entirely new journey into a world in which there were no visuals to draw on for inspiration.  The resulting product of this venture turned out to be six movements compiled into one piece called Serenada Schizophrana, which was first performed at Carnegie Hall in February 2005.  Recently, Serenada Schizophrana received worldwide exposure as the soundtrack to the IMAX film Deep Sea 3D, a film narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet that offers a unique look at the fantastic world below sea level.

            Even without visuals to guide him in his composing, Danny Elfman managed to create a masterpiece that was perfect for the big screen.  The album version of Serenada Schizophrena, conducted by John Mauceri and distributed by Sony BMG Masterworks, is an incredibly moving work of art.  Each track is unique, as Elfman focuses on one particular orchestral section and features it throughout the movement, the first track focusing on pianos, the second on strings, the third on brass and so on.  Every track brings a plethora of emotion from the listener as they are awed by the beauty of The Pianos and Blue Strings, and excited by the ominous yet stirring sounds of A Brass Thing and the action and intensity of The Quadruped Patrol

            In addition to the original six-movement composition, the album version of Serenada Schizophrana contains a bonus track – Improv for Alto Sax.  Owners of the album will enjoy liner notes provided by the composer himself and the lyrics to the operatic track I Forget.  The album covers and interior art are abstract pieces perfectly representing the title of the album.  Fans of Danny Elfman’s works will not be disappointed in the least by this album.  The pieces are so moving, so grand that it is no wonder they found their way to soundtrack status.  What better music to accompany an IMAX film?  Fans of classical composition will be more than happy to add Serenada Schizophrana to their collection.


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