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...

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...

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...

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 await the expected 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...

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...

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...

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...

Best Film Scores of 2013

Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek & Reinhold Heil: Cloud Atlas - soundtrack album cover 2013 was another good year for film music with many great soundtracks and albums to choose from. Having listened to many of these during the past 12 months, here is our summary of the Top 10 Film Scores of the year. There are certainly some surprises here! More...

Thor: The Dark World by Brian Tyler

Brian Tyler - Thor: The Dark World - soundtrack CD cover Following hot on the heels of "Iron Man 3" composer Brian Tyler returns to the Marvel fold to score Thor: The Dark World. A superhero with a powerful hammer demands an heroic main theme with pounding percussion, but the score is nicely balanced with themes for Loki and Malekith. More...

Far From Heaven by Elmer Bernstein

Elmer Bernstein: Far From Heaven - film score soundtrack album cover Far From Heaven in 2002 was one of Elmer Bernstein's last film scores. With a modern subject matter, the film harks back in style to the 1950s and Bernstein's pitch perfect score marks the end of an outstanding career and the end of an era for film music. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Thomas Newman: Saving Mr. Banks

Thomas Newman: Saving Mr. Banks - soundtrack CD cover Thomas Newman's charmingly nostalgic score for Saving Mr. Banks deftly skips around the Mary Poppins songs, and provides a wonderful counterpoint to the character-driven story which centres around the relationship between Tom Hanks' Walt Disney and Emma Thompson's wonderful portrayal of Poppins author P. L. Travers. More...

Gravity by Steven Price

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

Rush by Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer: Rush - soundtrack CD cover For all its fast cars, Ron Howard's Rush is ultimately a movie about the relationship between two rival drivers. Hans Zimmer does his trademark fusion of electronica (and electric guitars) with orchestral music, but his experience on character dramas finds the movie's human core. More...

The Wolverine by Marco Beltrami

Marco Beltrami: The Wolverine - soundtrack CD cover Marco Beltrami works again for James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) on The Wolverine, creating a slow-burner of a score. At times dark and moody with a sprinkling of Japanese influences, it rewards the patient listener in the final set of tracks. More...

Hannibal by Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer: Hannibal - soundtrack CD cover Hans Zimmer's score for Hannibal takes the film series in a new direction, with some moments of cultural refinement and playful dark comedy to lighten and balance the psychological tension and the overt horror elements. More...

Into Darkness by Michael Giacchino

Michael Giacchino: Star Trek Into Darkness - soundtrack CD cover Michael Giacchino stays with the rebooted series with Star Trek Into Darkness. Building on his main theme from the earlier film and introducing a lot of new material, he is settling comfortably into the Star Trek composer role. More...


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