Saturday Soundtrack # 9
Searching for Bobby Fischer
This is the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the 1993 film starring Max Pomeranc, Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, Ben Kingsley and Laurence Fishburne.
When it comes to film music, James Horner is a personal favorite, and this is one of just two or three of his soundtracks that top my list of most enjoyable soundtrack listening. It is (“yet again” regular readers of this feature might think) a gentle composition, not boom-boom-bang-thump. If you want to hear Horner doing that, listen to his music for Aliens, or Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Here, in Searching for Bobby Fischer, the theme of the film and the theme for the film are well matched. Horner has captured the reluctance, anticipation, worry and triumph of the film – which I recommend to anyone who has not seen it – with a set of 13 cues including the epilogue/final credits.
It’s uplifting, soothing stuff. The use of woodwinds, violin and piano dominate the scoring, the latter often found tracing the theme or a transitional passage in solo. The use of the flute is particularly effective in communicating the emotions of the film, but you don’t have to have seen this story of a young chess player to feel the emotion, all you have to do is listen.