Thursday, May 21, 2015

5: Going Home/Wild theme - Mark Knopfler

After the heavenly rapture of Handel, we come back to earth with an instrumental piece that Mark Knopfler wrote for the film 'Local Hero' as a solo artist during the same period that his band Dire Straits were approaching their peak. Again a piece that a lot of people know from the first few notes, this is one that although performed using modern instruments would probably have sat just as easily were it composed by Beethoven or Mozart. A simple theme repeated several times (as many classical pieces are), this uses few chords in a set sequence and lays the melody over the top in a way that says 'freedom'. Whether you listen to the full-band sax-driven version from the end of the movie or Knopfler's more slow-tempo guitar interpretation - and I've included both videos since they're both so good - you just get the feeling of casting off the cares of the world and running, driving, flying into a place of newness and liberty.

Of course it's used in a variety of settings - whether it's the Maxwell House Advert, Newcastle United FC running onto the pitch or one of Knopflers many live versions. But everyone seems to know it, and while a lot of people might not put it up there with Handel and Puccini, I beg to differ and frankly rank it above both.

We're nearing the top now, and this is unquestionably right up there.

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