It’s no easy task having to score the smartest creator who’s ever walked on our planet. But given an endlessly prolific bounty of inventive TV soundtracks for the genre likes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE WALKING DEAD and DEFIANCE, the energy of Bear McCreary is a match well met for Leonardo Da Vinci. And we’re certainly not talking about an old guy with a beard here, but a robustly sexual scientific adventurer making a Wild West West impression on Renaissance-era Italy, courtesy of David Goyer’s imaginative historical reboot. Obviously, playing it straight with 14th century instruments isn’t going to do the trick with this approach. But denying them as well would be the height of our musical era’s hubris.
McCreary’s wise choice is to combine both approaches to exhilarating effect, not only making his Emmy-nominated work breathlessly resonate with a feel of history, but also with the racing pulse of the guy creating the future well before its time. Religious choruses, violins, harpsichords and other era-specific instruments jet forward with orchestral rhythm that takes McCreary’s Phillip Glass-ian work on GALACTICA to a whole new level here, as rapturous, repetitive melody captures the political machinations that Da Vinci counters his foes with, mixing suspense, action and humor and a palindrome theme (able to be played backwards and forwards) into two CD’s of perpetual motion and interest. is musical anachronism at its finest, practiced by a composer who continues to impress with indefatigable musical invention.
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