The 1992 Hayao Miyazaki classic Porco Rosso is a movie beloved by many. Set during the interwar period of Italy, it follows the adventures of its titular protagonist, an anthropomorphic pig named Porco Rosso. But what truly makes this movie stand out is its wonderful score. Composed by Joe Hisashi, who has composed music for numerous other studios such as Ghibli, Hisashi’s music for Porco Rosso perfectly encapsulates how wondrous and tragic this era was.
The soundtrack to Porco Rosso consists of a variety of musical styles ranging from jazz to folk songs. The opening theme “Bygone Days” perfectly captures the epic feel of the film with its grand mix of trumpets and clarinets that evoke an old-timey feel. This song also appears in many other forms throughout the movie, including a sombre piano version during one of the film’s more emotional scenes.
Other songs featured on the soundtrack include ‘Mister Bird’ and ‘A Picnic’ which are both delightful and light-hearted tracks that are used to great effect in some of Porco’s more whimsical moments. On the opposite end, there’s ‘The Red Turtle’ which captures all sorts of emotion as it builds up slowly with strings before eventually coming to a powerful climax with brass instruments and percussion. These pieces provide beautiful accompaniment to some already fantastic scenes in Porco Rosso and make them even more memorable than they already were.
One song that stands out in particular is ‘Madness’ which is used during one of the film’s most intense moments when Porco has to face off against his rival Donald Curtis in their dogfight battle. The track starts off slow but quickly builds up into an adrenaline-filled crescendo as we see our hero struggle against his opponent until he eventually triumphs over him with sheer determination and skill. It really helps drive home how crucial this fight was for our hero and makes it even more thrilling for viewers to witness firsthand.
From beginning to end, Joe Hisashi’s score for “Porco Rosso” is a masterclass in composition that enhances every scene in which it appears tenfold. Every piece fits perfectly within its respective scene whether it be triumphant or sorrowful without ever feeling out of place or intrusive. It’s no wonder why this soundtrack remains so beloved today; so much so that it has been re-released multiple times over since its original release nearly 30 years ago! If you’re looking for some beautiful background music or just want to revisit an old classic, then look no further than Joe Hisashi’s iconic Porco Rosso soundtrack!
The guitar tuning is 6(E) 5(A) 4(D) 3(G) 2(B) 1(E).
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