Composed and Conducted by DOMINIC FRONTIERE

First release of entire Dominic Frontiere soundtrack from George Miller aviation adventure with Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette, Jack Warden, from book by Ernest K. Gann. Reeve (a pilot in real life) stars as vintage U.S. mail flyer who pilots treacherous route, crashes while transporting daughter of wealthy banker who owns fleet of planes. Surviving the elements, packs of deadly wolves and each other forms basis for old-fashioned tale. Frontiere anchors with stirring main theme in grand major-key manner. Idea literally soars. Receiving near-equal attention is gorgeous, broadly-phrased love theme in three parts: first is sunny major-key melody, second is contrasting minor-tinged melody, third is reprise of initial idea. Throughout, richly-harmonized main theme never strays, keeps score on course. Frontiere balances melodic portions with sizzling, percussive action material for variety of survival scenes, wolf attacks. Intrada CD is significant: both original 1985 LP release and subsequent, slightly expanded CD version oddly omitted numerous percussion parts, recorded in separate sessions, to key action cues. Intrada presentation not only presents complete mixes for the first time, but also features plethora of never-before-released cues from the film as well as several alternates – 75 minutes of music in all, courtesy MGM. Attractive booklet design by Joe Sikoryak features informative liner notes by Tim Greiving. Jack Hayes, Herbert Spencer orchestrate, Dominic Frontiere conducts Munich Symphony Orchestra.

In 1985, composer Dominic Frontiere composed a large, soaring symphonic score for MGM’s The Aviator.  In a year filled with symphonic splendor, including Back to the Future, Silverado, Explorers, Rambo II, The Goonies, Return to Oz, The Black Cauldron…a seemingly endless bounty of stunning scores, it was easy for the magnificent score to The Aviator to get lost.  Frontiere’s score is designed around two major themes: one for Edgar (played by Christopher Reeve) and and one for Tillie (Rosana Arquette).   Edgar’s theme is all about flight — its beauty and nobility. It’s an aptly old-fashioned, symphonic tune played with unabashed sentiment by the Munich Symphony Orchestra. It’s a movie theme that harkens back to the “Golden Age” of cinema, with its liquid slurs and high, expressive string phrasing.   Tillie’s theme is similarly old-fashioned, endowing the young flapper with a sense of innocent romance and fragile beauty.

This release of The Aviator features a number of important distinctions from all previous releases of the music. It was originally available on vinyl and later on a slightly expanded CD. Both of these prior versions not only omitted a significant number of cues from the score but, interestingly, did not include the separately recorded percussion tracks for several sequences. This fully restored release features every track Frontiere recorded during his Munich scoring sessions—including the separate percussion overlays which are mixed as the composer intended.  Including several alternates in “the extras” section of the disc plus the composer’s source cues, this new Intrada CD presents 75 minutes of music in all.

In the film, Reeve plays Anscombe,  a veteran mail pilot in 1920s Nevada. His boss (Jack Warden) tasks him with carrying a passenger to Boise—Tillie (Arquette), the gabby daughter of a wealthy banker who owns most of the route’s airplanes—a charge Anscombe instantly resents. High over the mountains, an engine failure forces them to crash-land in the wilderness, and he and Tillie must learn to survive the elements, wild wolves, injuries and each other to make it home alive.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 324
Date: 1985
Time: 1:15:13



01. The Crash/Main Title (4:16)
02. Tillie’s Theme (2:02)
03. The Hangar (1:57)
04. Have A Good Flight (0:26)
05. Here We Go (3:55)
06. Sit With You (2:29)
07. The Crash No. 2 (3:35)
08. The Forest (4:35)
09. Real Prize (1:12)
10. Saw The Fire (3:42)
11. Air Terminal (1:56)
12. The Rabbit Hunt (1:19)
13. The Wolf Pack (Complete Mix) (1:07)
14. Stitch In Time (1:16)
15. Something To Eat (0:51)
16. Search Is On (1:21)
17. Take What You Need (Complete Mix) (1:55)
18. Tillie Falls (1:57)
19. Kid I’m Sorry/All Addicts (Revised) (2:43)
20. Go To Sleep (1:02)

21. That’s Capital Peak (1:21)
22. Our Luck Is Changing (1:44)
23. Have To Pee (2:08)
24. I Belong To Some Place (1:07)
25. Locked Pistol (1:10)
26. Pole Wires/Old Man (Complete Mix) (5:00)
27. The Cabin (1:46)
28. End Titles – Long Version (3:22)
Total Time: 1:01:57

The Extras
29. Coffee Donut (2:42)
30. “Poor Butterfly” (Raymond Hubbell-John Golden) (1:13)
31. All Addicts (2:09)
32. All Addicts (Alternate) (1:18)
33. Old Man (Vibes) (0:18)
34. Old Man – Part 2 Short Version (Complete Mix) (2:57)
35. End Titles – Short Version (2:28)
Total Extras Time: 13:08