Saturday, 24 July 2010

Howard Shore - The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - The Score

I don't claim to be the biggest Twilight fan, but I am a fan of Howard Shore, so the chance to review The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - The Score came as a welcome opportunity. Although this is a fantasy film, it's good to hear Shore exercise his considerable talents in some more real-world compositions than were possible in his epic orchestral arrangements for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The result is a soundtrack that sounds as good out of context as it does in the movie itself.

Fans of the Lord of the Rings soundtracks who are looking for more of the same can expect to recognise maybe half of the tracks - not because they're too similar to the LOTR music, but because they have much of the same dynamism and ominous, booming bass motifs. Once again, Shore's compositions prove perfect for the fantasy film genre.

High Points

Like I already said, it's good just to hear more from Shore - it's been a while. My personal highlights, however, are not the LOTR-esque pieces, but the less fantastical tracks.

Compromise/Bella's Theme is a well paced and touching piano solo which, as track two on the album, is an early introduction to the fact that not all of the soundtrack will be dramatic - and that some will have a slower, more romantic tempo. Moments of silence are expertly judged, giving the listener a moment to contemplate the emotion of the piece.

While one of the shortest tracks on the album, First Kiss picks up the same motif - this time on strings - and is a touching and timeless orchestration which does not lose the drama of the movie as a whole.

Jasper is perhaps the closest to a Lord of the Rings interlude, with the haunting, lingering strings and muted drums, bursting into swells of music, that carried fans through the three movies and continues to work just as well in Twilight.

The Verdict

Towards the end of LOTR, Shore was composing so fast that, although the music was good, I kinda felt it lost a bit of its original consideration and care. Here there are no such criticisms - Shore has, with care and attention, created a soundtrack that even the most die-hard fans should be satisfied with. The continued success of the films is a testament to his creation of music that works as part of the whole, rather than anything that demands too much to be listened to.

When played alone, however, there is still plenty of depth - even on the tracks that use only one part of the orchestra, or only a single instrument. Shore shows again his understanding of the emotion that different instruments can evoke, and uses them to good effect.

Final Score: 74%

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - The Score (Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Howard Shore

No comments:

Post a Comment