Soundtracks & Movie Scores

A place devoted to soundtrack and movie score lovers.

Donnerstag, 18. Juni 2009

"8 Women"/"8 Femmes" (2002) - Krishna Lévy

One of my recent pleasant discoveries, Krishna Lévy's music for the movie "8 Femmes" is both a beautiful movie score and French actress memorabilia.

The disc starts with the lush orchestral main theme, a tempting composition. Right after that the first (and loudest) of eight songs kicks in, "Papa t'es plus dans l'coup" with vocals by Ludivine Sagnier. All the other actresses have their songs here as well, though certainly not all of them -however good actresses they are- could probably be equally good singers. The songs are all non-original compositions (usually old French pop tunes), but of course newly recorded and with good sound quality. My favorites are the cheerful "À quoi sert de vivre libre" sung by Fanny Ardant and the seductive "Toi jamais" sung by Catherine Deneuve.

After the song selection comes the rest of the score, which lasts about 18 minutes. The cues are slowly fading one into another, but still retaining the somehow melancholic and sad atmosphere. They are orchestral except for the very last one, which is eloquently performed on solo piano.

The songs were recorded in France but the score is performed by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and I find the quality of the recording not as perfect as it might be. However one hearing of the theme made me give the soundtrack 5 stars.

The link is to be found in the comments

Montag, 31. März 2008

"Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005) - John Williams

I don't know why John Williams has taken so much flack this year. His "War of the Worlds" was a dark, brutal, brilliant sci-fi action score that took us into the darkest, most primal realm of orchestral music. Frightening stuff, excellent writing. "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith", again, was, in my opinion, one of the best scores of the series... epic, dark, beautiful, sad... but because it didn't have many truimphant fanfares or passages of sweeping romance, people complained it wasn't as exciting, thus they considered it to be the least of the series. Now, here's "Memoirs of a Geisha", which is one of the sublest, most intricate, beautiful scores I've heard this year. I can hear the complaints about this one all ready. But enough criticism of Williams critics, let's get on to the score, shall we?

The notable element of the score is the pairing of cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Ithzak Perlman, performing together for the first time. There are no musicians better at these particular instruments then Ma and Perlman. With William's excellent material to work with, they are even better. Originally, I suspected that the only reason Williams got them for this score was to get Oscar attention, and that may be true, but they have a genuinely good reason for being here, as well. They represent two of the film's characters in the film. The first, and primary theme, is performed often by Ma, for Sayuri, the film's main character. The theme is slightly darker than one might expect, but nonetheless tender and exquisite. It appears quite frequently throughout the score, with Ma giving subtle variations on each performance, sometimes accompanied by strings or various ethnic instruments, and sometimes on his own. The other, less prominent theme is "The Chairman's Waltz", performed by Perlman on the violin. While Sayuri's theme is indeed wonderful, "The Chairman's Waltz" is downright stunning. The way Williams works with it is fascinating. It's a waltz that seems poised to build, ready to explode into a sweeping statement by one hundred strings at any moment... but it doesn't. It builds, and strains, but the only emotional release is granted to Perlman alone, who performs with so much passion and heart that the listener is swept away on a sea of gentle sound.

There is another, much more playful theme that appears in "Going to School" near the beginning, and indeed, the score feels a tad lighter in it's opening passages, though not comic in any way. As it progresses through the mid-section performances of "The Chairman's Waltz" and head towards the final portion, it grows darker in tone. Rather than taking things to level of being more intense and brutal musically, à la "War of the Worlds", Williams makes things even more spare, making the music feel desolate and cold. "The Fire Scene" features some a very odd-sounding wailing woman who works quite effectively in context, namely because Williams only utilizes her the one time, rather than over-using her every time something sad happens. "A Dream Discarded", performed almost solely by Yo-Yo Ma on cello, is a perfect example of musical loneliness, it makes one think of a dead leaf fluttering about in the wind over a barren landscape. In fact, the instrumentation on most of the score is much sparer than most of Williams work, making it one of his quietest scores. Williams has a full orchestra at his disposal, but he doesn't use it too often, and he doesn't really use it fully until the end credits, when he presents a variety of fascinating variations on Sayuri's theme. Most of the time, Williams presents Ma and Perlman with only a little bit of percussion, or chimes, or a few strings. Also contributing the score on a regular basis are the koto and shakuhachi, giving the score an added feel of authenticism. Not that Williams needs it, his work his sounds as authentic as anything Tan Dun has written, this isn't oriental music filtered through "E.T."
Overall, again, the score is very restrained, and very quiet, one has to listen closely to the score to hear the gentle tapping and plucking going on in the background, and a few sections are barely audible. The restrained emotions, I suspect, suggest that the film is powerful enough to suggest any emotions that the score refrains from trying to make obvious. Often a composer will be asked to "fill in the gaps", providing sweeping, grand emotions to give the movie something it otherwise wouldn't have. Williams has enough confidence in this film to accentuate the characters, and the subtleties, rather than the scope or the broader ideas of the film. Obviously, this will make the score a slightly more challenging (though constantly lovely) listen on album. In terms of actual musical enjoyment, "Memoirs of a Geisha" may rank lower than something like "E.T.", "A.I.", or even "Seven Years in Tibet". But in terms of writing skill, and of achieving what he attempted, Williams has aced it.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Hero" (2003) - Tan Dun

Sony Classical presents Tan Dun's award nominated score for "Hero", from director Zhang Yimou an epic film during the Qin dynasty featuring amazing martial arts, beautiful landscapes, breathtaking photography and haunting soundtrack...who could ask for anything more...but there is with Itzhak Perlman on Violin, Liu Li on Guoquin, You Yan is our Soprano and Chinese born Tan Dun as our primary artist on violin and conductor...not to mention Dun is also the arranger and composer of this first rate score.
A must have for all "film-score-buffs" with all the main ingredients of strings, brass, chorus and restless counterpoints that leaves your mouth watering for more..."For The World (Theme Music)", expressive asian counterbalance of times long ago from another place, beautiful and haunting..."Gone With The Leaves" and "Warriors", are stand outs that sonically satisfy the palette.
Tan Dun's score brings back memories of the Golden Age of composers like Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Elmer Bernstein, Franz Waxman and Miklos Rozsa...Dun's music has undeniable power, the main title sequence is that rare thing in film music...composing one of his most colorful and exuberant scores...always with a hint of freshness...this is an extremely good listen, even if you haven't seen the film...a soundtrack that stands on its own, just the way "film-score-buffs" like 'em!

The link is to be found in the comments

"The Piano" (1993) - Michael Nyman

"The Piano" is one of the most powerful soundtracks of the '90s. It's no wonder that Nyman played excerpts from the soundtrack for Live Earth in Japan. In "The Piano", music is the movie's language. Ada uses her piano, at first stranded on the New Zealand beach, to communicate her deepest desires.
"To the Edge of the Earth" is a mysterious, eerie sonic description of Ada's journey with her daughter from Scotland to the enigmatic Land of the Long White Cloud. "A Wild and Distant Shore" again describes the New Zealand wilderness. "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" is the simple love theme that returns in many forms. "Deep Into The Forest" has an urgency, describing Ada's husband spying on her and her lover. "The Embrace" and "Bed of Ferns" are incredibly erotic. There is melancholy in "The Sacrifice" and "I clipped your wing". "Dreams of a Journey" is more joyous than the opening song, bringing the story full circle. The only weak song in the whole score is the clunky "Here to there".
"The Piano" is a classic soundtrack;without the movie, it stands on its own. Forbidden love never sounded so beautiful.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Mystic River" (2003) - Clint Eastwood

The original motion picture soundtrack of "Mystic River" is a haunting and beautiful score full of happiness and sadness. It has sorrow and joy. Anger and redemption. If you've already seen the movie, then you know how effective this score can be. Composed by none other than Clint Eastwood, this makes a soothing and dark listen.
The Boston Orchestra does a marvelous job of capturing the mood and the total essence of the film. They know when to hold back and when to be forceful with their instruments. I found them to be very relaxing and full of subtle tension at the same time. There is a definite theme that can be established throughout this score, as you'll hear certain patterns through a good majority of the tracks. As always, the people who will enjoy this the most are the people who have already seen the movie.
I love to listen to scores because I get to relive the movie through them. Especially if they're something extremely memorable and hypnotic. I found this score to be both of that.
All in all, I think Clint Eastwood has done a great job of composing a solid score that does a great job of nailing the film's mood and tone. Again, this is mainly recommended to those who really loved the film, although people who love listening to great music composed by a great orchestra might want to check it out as well. The original motion picture soundtrack of "Mystic River" is a nice and haunting listen.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Schindler's List" (1993) - John Williams

"Schindler's List" is one of the most beautiful, and best scores ever written for a motion picture. It's also one of the most classical sounding scores ever composed by John Williams. Forget William's usual big swashbuckling style, with bold brass. There are few scores except "Schindler's List" that are so subtle, and so sad and haunting.

The score is based on two different themes - one sad, lyrical theme, mostly performed by Itzhak Perlman on the violin. The other theme, what I would like to call the remebrance theme, is more dramatic and desperate sounding, and is used to great effect in cues like "Remembrances".

The music is primarily orchestrated for strings, with subtle woodwinds (which are given a supportive role only, except for the clarinet, which in some cues are given a more prominent role) and of course Perlman's wonderful violin playing. There are almost no brass, which is a little surprising, perhaps. The violin is really an important voice in the score, and is used to create many different moods; sometimes it's sad (sometimes it even sounds like it is crying) or lyrical and other times it's almost playfull and upbeat. The only negative I have to say about William's arrangement for the violin is that it sometimes seems to get a little too high - I think the violin sounds the best somewhere in the middle range, and just above, and not when it's used to play high, screaming, flageolet tones.

I wouldn't call "Schindler's List" an easy, entertaining listening experience. But don't get me wrong here. It's not that the music in any way is hard to listen to, from a musical point of view. As I've already said, few scores manage to create the same feeling of sadness and desperation, so it's almost impossible to not get affected by the music. Meaning that this is not one of those scores you pop into your CD player when your feeling all happy and satisfied with life, and want some good feelings to accompany your feelings. Therefore this is perhaps not a score you listen to especially often. But when you feel like listening to some of the best movie scores ever composed, "Schindler's List" is the soundtrack for you.

The link is to be found in the comments

Samstag, 29. März 2008

"Mame" (1974) - Jerry Herman

Okay, so we all know that Lucille Ball as "Mame" was panned by critics left and right. We all know that she was too old for the role, that she couldn't sing very well, and so on and so forth. But darn it, I always thought that the film was very entertaining (funny, with great songs) and that Lucille Ball gave a great performance. And I listen to it still too! Jerry Herman is one of the reasons why. His songs, though arranged much differently than the Broadway score, still shine through Ball's low voice. Robert Preston is in fine form, singing "Loving You" a song written especially for the movie.

The link is to be found in the comments

Freitag, 28. März 2008

"Les Demoiselles de Rochefort"/"The Young Girls Of Rochefort" (1967) - Michel Legrand

If you are a fan of Michel Legrand, especially his music of the mid to late sixties, then this is for you. The music is very romantic and a little nostalgic, and varied; the soundtrack featurs both jazz-tunes and rumba. My favourites are "Nous voyageons de ville en ville" and "Marins, amis, amants ou maris", songs that makes you wanna dance.
I would recommend this album to jazz fans and audiences who loved "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg"/"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", the excellent movie by Jacques Demy from the 60's. We have the same composer here, but his creation does not reach the beauty and romanticism of the former. It has the same operatic structure as "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg"/"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" but the themes are not so catchy as those. Anyhow, it's a good album, wonderfully recorded.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Love Story" (1970) - Francis Lai

"Love Story" is a timeless classic that nearly anyone can appreciate, with its touching story and beautiful soundtrack this film is unforgettable. The first track we start off with is "Theme from Love Story" which is a mixture of several instrumental pieces and part of different film sequences in the film. The opening music plays like the words from the beginning of the film "What can you say about a 24 year old girl who died?" The second track "Snow Frolic" is quite an unusual piece that sounds very French in origin. A very simply chord structure holds the song together with the very basic bass keeping the beat going. I am not sure whom Francis Lai chose to sing this particular song but she does a marvelous job doing so. The next song is Mozarts "Sonata in F Major" which is the type of song that is very pleasant to listen to early in morning when waking up to the sunrise. The fourth song "I Love You, Phil" was a piece of music not featured for some reason in the motion picture. What is very interesting about this song is the guitar solo intertwined with the violins and orchestral accompanyment. Track 5 ("The Christmas Trees") and track 7 ("Bozo Barrett") both were not included in the film, yet are well worth listening to. Although I found the "Bozo Barrett" track too overwhelming to enjoy I felt the "Christmas Trees" was a track that contained a beautiful melody and evolved very sweetly. "Searching for Jenny" takes you back to the dramatic sequence in the film where Oliver searchs for Jenny. The 8th track "Skating in Central Park" is a very sweet tune that sounds like something out of the Nutcracker suite. The next track "The Long Walk Home" is a bit of a dragging song yet some listeners may enjoy it. Concerto No. 3 in D Major is a beautiful allegro by J.S. Bach, unfortuantely it is very short but extremely enjoyable to say the least. Finally, we come to the heart of the Love Story Soundtrack, the finest track on the entire album. The "Theme from Love Story Finale" is the definate track that makes this score such an excellant buy for anyone who is a fan of deep and inspiring music.

The link is to be found in the comments

"The Odd Couple" (1968) - Neal Hefti

The dialogue and music recording from USA's Dot Records offers moments of high hilarity as Oscar and Felix go at each others throats in Neal Simon's lunitic take on life in New York City, "The Odd Couple"! The score, composed by the always cool Neal Hefti, is a true original in the annals of 60's film music! For about 14 glorious years an occasional film was enhanced by the energizing sounds of big band legend and Basie arranger Hefti who power packed everything he touched with slick jazz influenced music otherwise impossible to describe! Mostly comedies are those films with a rare drama and a western tossed into the mix. All are top drawer and well worth the time of any listener interested in exceptional and well executed music in a league of it's own!

The link is to be found in the comments

"Vivre Pour Vivre"/"Live for Life" (1967) - Francis Lai

Since Jule brought up the idea of posting the "Valley of the Dolls" score from 1967 I thought I'd also add some more scores from this film era. Up next is Francis Lai's soundtrack to the French movie "Vivre Pour Vivre"/"Live for Life" starring Yves Montand, Annie Girardot and Candice Bergen. The younger viewers of my blog might know Candice Bergen from her recent role of Shirley Schmidt on the tv show "Boston Legal".

On this album you can hear some best moments of 60's pop ("Thème de Catherine", "Thème de Candice", "Thème de Robert", "Vivre Pour Vivre"). Composer Francis Lai has created unique organ tones that you can't believe it. This soundtrack is very listenable. Lai rises above his usual gallic schmalz for this score and gives the listener some very memorable melodies, some drama and bit of jazz and disco-flavored interludes that capture something of the period. "Thème de Candace" is dramatic and passionate without lapsing into the dreary sap of most of his earlier compositions. The main theme, "Vivre Pour Vivre" is very even and created a nice thread that runs throughout the film.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Valley of the Dolls" (1967) - André Previn & John Williams

As per the kind of request of my buddy Jule I'm happy to share the original score to the 1967 20th Century-Fox movie "Valley of the Dolls" starring Jule's favourite actress Sharon Tate.

Incredible as it may seem, the movie that is consistantly judged as the "Worst Movie of All Time" has one of the best music scores of any 1960s film. The score (composed by André Previn) was conducted by John Williams and it brought Willliams his very first Academy Award nomination (not so surprisingly, the film's only nomination). Most of songs in the film are appallingly bad and include such stunners as "I'll Plant My Own Tree", "It's Impossible", "Come Live With Me" and "Give a Little More" written by Dory Previn. The only exception is "(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls" sung in the film by Dionne Warwick (but not on the soundtrack album). The song later became a major hit for Warwick and her first million seller. Somehow, John Williams managed to adapt all of the material into a beautiful, haunting score that is the best thing about the film. Although violently attacked by the majority of critics in 1967, the film became 20th Century Fox's biggest non-roadshow box-office hit at the time, earning over $50 million world-wide. It was the time when audiences ignored film critics (i.e. "The Sound of Music").

The link is to be found in the comments

Donnerstag, 27. März 2008

"The Queen" (2006) - Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat is one of the most versatile composers writing today, which in some ways makes it difficult to talk about his music. With most film composers, I can use a form of shorthand, telling you how each new score varies from the composer's aesthetic. With Desplat, I have to start again with almost every score. Therefore, let me begin by at least telling you how it does not relate to his other scores. "The Queen" is perhaps the most classically-oriented score Desplat has written for a Hollywood production. The style is fitting given that the movie delves into the lives of the British Royal family, especially Queen Elizabeth II, during the week between Princess Diana's death and her funeral in August and September of 1997. This choice shows up in several ways. The opening cue "The Queen" for instance, starts with a fanfare with tympani playing a martial beat, brass playing full triadic chords, and strings constantly moving in arpeggios underneath it all. But the fanfare is only the beginning – halfway through the harpsichord breaks in to signal a new section, followed by the harp playing the exact same figuration, finally concluding with a somber string orchestral melody. The timbres Desplat uses in the cue, especially the short instance of harpsichord, immediately place you in an aristocratic setting, one that aurally seems to be from another time. Given that much of the film underlines how removed from the present time and the mood of the British people, this aural dislocation serves the film perfectly.

You can see how subtle Desplat's use of timbre is by further considering the two cues that deal explicitly with Princess Diana, who looms large in the film considering she only appears through archival footage. "People's Princess I" and "People's Princess II" open with a pulsating electronic drone (one that almost sounds like morse code) that is quickly joined by a regular four-beat bass line. These two instruments flow throughout both cues as Desplat takes the main melody through different instrumentations, almost like Diana were the melody, trying to figure out how she fits into the Royal family. The melody goes through strings, through woodwinds, and notably through the harpsichord, before landing on a synthesized version of the harpsichord accompanied by strings. By finally settling on a modern version of the harpsichord, you hear and see that this Princess managed to take the Royal family out of their strange isolation and bridge the divide between them and modern Britain.

For me, perhaps the most delightful way Desplat uses classical techniques is found in the paired cues "Elizabeth and Tony" and "Tony and Elizabeth." Tony Blair was newly-elected Prime Minister in 1997 and you can hear the delicate dance between the two heads of state in their meetings since Desplat scores their interactions as a waltz. You even hear hints of timbres from "People's Princess I" glinting through as Blair was the one to christen Diana with that sobriquet.

The final touch that sets this score apart is the inclusion of Verdi's "Libera Me" from his Requiem. The "Libera Me" was one of Diana's favorite pieces of classical music and was sung during her funeral, the event that ends the movie. I only wish he had also included John Tavener's Song for Athene that was sung as her casket was carried out of Westminster Abbey.

All in all, "The Queen" is a mesmerizing score.

The link is to be found in the comments

"The Devil Wears Prada" Score (2006) - Theodore Shapiro

Theodore Shapiro comes out with some very cool and modern scores, by using instruments like guitars and electronic sounds. I first recognized his work in late 2006 when I got hold of the score to "The Heist" (2001), starring Danny DeVito and Gene Hackman. The score of "A Devil Wears Prada" (2006) is a good example of his work.

The link is to be found in the comments

Mittwoch, 26. März 2008

"The Last Samurai" (2003) - Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is a composer who's best known for his big, loud synth-flavored film scores. As good as wroks like "Crimson Tide" and "Gladiator" are, some of his best work has been on more intimate scores such as "The Thin Red Line", and "As Good as it Gets". Here, he combines his gentle, underappreciated stylings with his more popular action fare. The action music is certainly excellent, with pounding taiko drums and very memorable themes. At a first listen, this music will catch your attention and impress you from the start. But, as with the best scores, repeat listenings reap great benefits. After you are able to hear all the little things Hans is doing in the quiet music, you're really able to fully enjoy and appreciate this score. It's also pleasant to finally hear Zimmer write an entire score by himself. Despite the popularity of his "Gladiator" score, Zimmer takes that style of mixing the epic and intimate and improves on it here. One of Hans Zimmer's best scores.

The link is to be found in the comments

"The Neverending Story" (1984) - Klaus Doldinger & Giorgio Moroder

This is the American version of the score for "The Neverending Story". The differences are as follows:

The first five tracks on this score, including the catchy title song performed by Limahl, were composed and produced by Giorgio Moroder. It should be noted that tracks 2 and 3 - "Swamps of Sadness" and "The Ivory Tower", are not the exact versions used in the film. "The Ivory Tower" track in particular has a stronger bassline and more discernible beat, although it should be noted that these are the original tracks as produced by Moroder (and not remixed for this album).

Tracks 6 -15 are taken from the original 17 track score composed by Klaus Doldinger. That score, which exists on the German version of the film, lacks the title song but also contains cues not heard in the American version of the film. This soundtrack is also available (look under Doldinger or the original title "Die Unendliche Geschichte").

Both versions of the soundtrack are great, and tonally the Moroder tracks do work with Doldinger's original pieces. This version is closer to the the one heard by most viewers, if not necessarily a truer version of the score.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Jenseits der Stille"/"Beyond Silence" (1996) - Niki Reiser

Swiss composer Niki Reiser studied flute, composing/arranging with the principal subject filmscoring at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, between 1980-1984. During his career he accomplished further studies in film scoring with Jerry Goldsmith, Herb Pomeroy, Michael Gibbs and Ennio Morricone and did advanced training in the field of classical music at the Basel conservatory.

His biggest success so far was the score for "Jenseits der Stille"/"Beyond Silence" (1996, Director: Academy Awards winner Caroline Link) for which he was awarded with the Bavarian Film Award as well as the German Film Award for best score. The same film was nominated for the Oscar 1998 in the category “Best Foreign Language Film”.

He also scored the epic feature "Nirgendwo in Afrika"/"Nowhere in Africa", which was awarded with 5 Geman Film Awards, including "Best Music", and won the Academy Award for "Best Foreign Language Film" in 2003.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Grüne Wüste"/"Green Desert" (2001) - Marcel Barsotti

A nicely calibrated coming-of-ager, balanced on personal loss rather than sexual initiation, "Green Desert" fields a tony cast on material that falls uneasily between kidpic fare and adult drama. In that respect, this first feature by TV director Anno Saul reps a difficult sell, though festivals and small-screen buyers should take a look.

Two young teens, Katja (Tatjana Trieb) and Johann (Robert Gwisdek), are best friends who hang out in a ruined fort and share the same dreams of an idealized, fixed-values world (symbolized by a knight on a charger). When Johann is hospitalized with leukemia, half of Katja's world starts to crumble; the other half is also shaky, as her brittle mom (Martina Gedeck) has to decide whether to keep up her marriage to an understanding hubby (Ulrich Noethen) or ankle with her lover (Heino Ferch), Johann's father. Shot and lit with precision in widescreen, with strong performance from young Trieb (Lara, as a child, in "Beyond Silence" by Caroline Link), Gwisdek and Gedeck, pic has a beautiful quality of stillness that prevents its becoming a saccharine disease-of-the-week telepic or downbeat kitchen-sinker. Gwisdek's mom, actress Corinna Harfouch, cameos fleetingly as a nurse.

Marcel Barsotti's score to this great movie is one of the most -if not THE most- beautiful score I've ever heard. The score is extremly hard to find nowadays and the CD (used) sells for US$ 75.00 up to US$ 150.00 on Amazon Germany.

The link is to be found in the comments

Dienstag, 25. März 2008

"8 Femmes"/"8 Women" (2002) - Krishna Lévy

French director François Ozon's international hit manages to spoof both convoluted film whodunits and overblown Hollywood musicals: "Agatha Christie" as envisioned by Baz Luhrmann. One of the romp's chief joys is having eight of modern French cinema's most accomplished actresses take their turns in elaborately staged song and dance numbers, performances that compose this soundtrack's first half. Those showcases range from Ludivine Sagnier's loopy, '60s a-go-go take on "Papa T'es Plus dans L'Coup" through Fanny Ardant's breezy Parisian jazz, Isabelle Huppert's world-weary "Message Personnel," and Catherine Deneuve's tango-tinged "Toi Jamais." Coupled with Krishna Levy's masterfully earnest orchestral score (which offers a few fond nods to such '40s Bernard Herrmann romantic classics as "Jane Eyre"), the film's campy delights are crucially delivered deadpan and with nary a knowing wink, a tack that ensures its musical triumph--tongue firmly in cheek, or otherwise.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Good Bye Lenin!" (2003) - Yann Tiersen

Following the huge success of the "Amelie" soundtrack, Yann Tiersen strikes back by composing the soundtrack of "Good Bye Lenin!". Another great score from Yann Tiersen, and unlike "Amelie" this is entirely new music composed just for the film. Tiersen sounds even more like Michael Nyman here. Like Nyman, he shows the best that minimalism has to offer film scoring. The music gently massages each scene, conveying the emotions at the core without bothering to hit every action onscreen like cartoon mickey-mousing. Instead, the music finds something deeper and mines it deftly and beautifully.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Les Choristes"/"The Chorus" (2004) - Bruno Coulais

The soundtrack is a collection of a few themes worked and reworked which is not uncommon for movie soundtracks. The music is simple enough that it would likely enhance the film while not taking way from the action. The instrumental music is enjoyable, but the real gem of the collection are the tracks with the boy chorus and especially the tracks with soloist Jean-Baptiste Maunier. There is a beauty and innocence to the boys' choir voices, which is in sharp contrast to the reality of the young people in the film who happen to be in a reform school. It also seems like the sort of soundtrack that can be enjoyed without seeing the film, and for many of us who will have to wait until it will appear to be a money making film, we will have to settle for the soundtrack only for the time being.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Gattaca" (1997) - Michael Nyman

This is the very first (and up to date the only one) Michael Nyman soundtrack for a Science-Fiction film.
The soundtrack for "Gattaca" is based on the usual Nyman composing and use of strings and piano in a minimalistic fashion, vith a very good result. Music is very quiet, intimate and almost inaudible at times, very relaxing to listen to after a hard day at work.

The theme for "Becoming Jerome" and "The Morrow" is wonderful and reprised along the album, to a good result. Also magnificient are the theme for "Irene", "The Crossing", "The Departure" and "Irene & The Morrow". More varied than the soundtrack for "The Piano" and enjoyable to listen too. Both music and sound quality have a lot of presence that makes you feel like you are on the recording hall with Nyman and the musicians, very realistic and inmersing. A true masterwork!

The link is to be found in the comments

Montag, 24. März 2008

"When The Whales Came" (1989) - Christopher Gunning

Since Christopher Gunning has won his forth BAFTA Award this year for the soundtrack of "La Vie en Rose" (2007) I thought it's time to post one of his scores that earned him a BAFTA Awards nomination too: "When The Whales Came" from 1989. The movie itself (starring Helen Mirren and Paul Scofield) hasn't been released on DVD yet, but you still have a good chance to grab it as VHS on eBay. When it comes to the soundtrack it's hard to find nowadays, so enjoy this beautiful score!

The link is to be found in the comments

"Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom" (1984) - John Williams

So here's the soundtrack album for "Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom" (1984) with John Williams' score, which has become increasingly difficult to find over the years (the cheapest copy at Amazon is US$80). There are a few different versions of this floating around (most notably an expanded bootleg version with bonus tracks) but this is the actual CD version.

The link is to be found in the comments

"Love Actually" Score (2003) - Craig Armstrong

This is the rare Academy Awards Promo CD of Craig Armstrong's score of the movie "Love Actually" (2003). It contains eight tracks in total (about 25 minutes of music) and it seems that the track titles are different to the two tracks available on the song album.

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"I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" (1998) - John Frizzell

With the success of "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997), it did not take a rocket scientist to figure out there would be a sequel to the hit film. The only thing worth while that came out of the movie was the score, this time by composer John Frizzell. Frizzell wrote a very action and frantic horror score. Very gothic sounding in some parts. Let me present you John Frizzell's complete motion picture score to "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" (1998).

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"xXx: State of the Union" (2002) - Marco Beltrami

Up is Marco Beltrami's score for the sequel "xXx: State of the Union" (2002). Beltrami, well known for his score of "Terminator 3: Rise if the Machines" (2003) wrote a great action score with a little James Bond flavor added in. Sadly, the score was not commercially released. So I present to you, the complete score for the film. Enjoy!

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"Meet The Spartans" (2008) - Christopher Lennertz

To get things rolling here's Christopher Lennertz' dead serious score for the comedy spoof "Meet The Spartans" (2008). It's a large orchestral effort that mainly skewers Tyler Bates' "300", with nods notably to Elfman's "Spider-Man" and "Edward Scissorhands" ("Land of Sparta", who would have known?) to name just a few. And of course, released only as a promotional CD at the time of the film's release.

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