Chinatown by Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith: Chintown - soundtrack CD cover When he passed 10 years ago, Jerry Goldsmith left the world with a wonderful legacy of film score masterpieces. Composed in only 10 days, Chinatown is one of the very best, with its haunting yet doomed love theme, and a vivid sense of corruption in 1930s Los Angeles. More...

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Joel McNeely: A Million Ways to Die in the West - film score soundtrack album cover A Million Ways to Die in the West is one of the biggest recent scores by composer Joel McNeely. The composer rises to the challenge with a straight yet fun score in the best traditions of the genre, referencing the great Western composers such as Bernstein and Morricone. More...

Transcendence by Mychael Danna

Mychael Danna: Transcendence - film score soundtrack album cover The score for Transcendence by composer Mychael Danna should have a much longer shelf-life than the movie. Its rich mixture of electronic and orchestral elements is a textbook example of how to combine the two disciplines with intelligence and subtlety. More...

Godzilla by Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat: Godzilla - soundtrack CD cover While Alexandre Desplat's Godzilla has a human side and is well aware of its heritage, it is literally monstrous. Using a huge orchestra to build ominous tension, it rises in massive crescendos before erupting in monumental musical statements accompanied by spine-tingling choir. More...

The Grand Budapest Hotel by Desplat

Alexandre Desplat: The Grand Budapest Hotel - soundtrack CD cover As we anticipate his blockbuster score for "Godzilla", let's examine Alexandre Desplat's quirkier side with his music for Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. The music is whimsical and nostalgic with East European instrumentation suiting the movie to a tee. More...

Dakota Chronicle

Leonard Bernstein Leonard Bernstein spent the last 16 years of his life staying at an apartment in a New York City building called the Dakota. In Dakota Chronicle Jeffrey Dane recalls a visit to this residence, at an event supported by the composer's son Alexander Bernstein. More...

The Book Thief by John Williams

John Williams: The Book Thief - soundtrack CD cover For World War II drama The Book Thief, John Williams delivers a typically classy and elegant score. Though the music is not instantly memorable in melodic terms as per "Schindler's List", it nevertheless brims with a sense of sadness and desperation, while conveying a quiet defiance. More...

Patrick Doyle: Hamlet

Patrick Doyle: Hamlet - soundtrack CD cover Continuing our look at composer Patrick Doyle's Shakespearean scores for Kenneth Branagh, we turn to the Bard's most famous play. Hamlet is special even by Doyle's standards, and it beautifully expresses the tragic nature and epic scope of Shakespeare's masterpiece. More...

Patrick Doyle: Much Ado About Nothing

Patrick Doyle: Much Ado About Nothing - soundtrack CD cover Patrick Doyle's collaborations with the director Kenneth Branagh have resulted in many excellent film scores. This week we look at their 1993 film of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing which is brim full of melodic invention and infectious good humour. Hey Nonny, Nonny! More...

The Composer and God by Jeffrey Dane

Brahms' arrival in Heaven by Otto Böhler The Church has had a huge influence on the development of music. Although classical music became largely secular during the 18th century, composers continued to be inspired by their beliefs. In The Composer and God Jeffrey Dane explores this ongoing relationship. More...

Philomena by Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat: Philomena - soundtrack CD cover Alexandre Desplat's score for Philomena features a remarkable plethora of well-integrated ideas, striking an emotional balance between the overly syrupy and the completely detached, and well-deserving its oscar nomination. More...

John Powell: How to Train Your Dragon 2

John Powell: How to Train Your Dragon 2 - soundtrack CD cover Expectations were high after the success of John Powell's score to "How to Train Your Dragon". It's therefore wonderful to report that How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a fine follow-up, building on the original's strengths while introducing a host of new ideas. It all adds up to a rich canvas of music that effortlessly conveys the film's narrative. More...

Film Sheet Music - new releases

Music From The Hitchcock Films - sheet music book cover Among some excellent new releases of Film Sheet Music for piano are music from George Fenton's "Planet" series, Music From The Hitchcock Films by Bernard Herrmann and others, "Great Movie Concerti", "Eric Coates: 100th Anniversary" and individual films including "The Book Thief", "Frozen", "Star Trek Into Darkness", "Sherlock" and Randy Newman's fun "The Monsters Collection". More...

Maleficent by James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard: Maleficent - film score soundtrack album cover Maleficent is a welcome return to the fantasy genre for composer James Newton Howard, who has crafted a film score which is orchestrally rich and laced with multi-faceted choral work. The contrasting moods and themes have a hidden depth to be savoured with repeated listening. More...

Felix Mendelssohn: Facility and Mastery

Felix Mendelssohn - portrait In Facility and Mastery regular contributor Jeffrey Dane explores the talents of Felix Mendelssohn. If his position in the history of music is not as astral as that of other composers, he's still a central figure of his era and occupies an important place alongside his predecessors and peers. More...

Basic Instinct by Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith: Basic Instinct - soundtrack CD cover In Basic Instinct Sharon Stone played the teasing temptress. Equally memorable is the sultry music score by Jerry Goldsmith. The soundtrack captures the contradictions in her beautiful yet dangerous character, to create a classic score of the erotic thriller genre. More...

Noah by Clint Mansell

Clint Mansell: Noah - soundtrack CD cover Former rocker Clint Mansell has scored some highly successful films, but the music for Noah is on an altogether more epic scale. The composer uses ethnic Duduks with guitars and electronics in a score which ranges from melodic to atonal, but serves this strange film well. More...

A Renaissance Man in France

Mystery French Composer Who is the mystery French composer? In A Renaissance Man in France, author Jeffrey Dane presents us with a number of clues: he had a wide range of interests, visited the USA, composed a film score, organist,... More...

Only God Forgives by Cliff Martinez

Cliff Martinez: Only God Forgives - soundtrack CD cover Closely mirroring the film's hellish, infernal blend of vengeance, oedipal drama and bizarre fairy tale, composer Cliff Martinez' score for Only God Forgives provides a compelling, diverse soundscape, which moves from dark dissonance to lush romanticism in a heartbeat. More...

Gravity by Steven Price

Steven Price: Gravity - soundtrack CD cover With its emphasis on spectacular 3D visual effects, simple plot and small cast, Gravity needs an unusual film score, and composer Steven Price delivers this with style. His score is part sound design with avant guarde leanings, the music evolves from stark isolation to an emotional finale. More...

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