Director Martin Scorsese's Hugo, adapted from the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, presents composer Howard Shore, working on his sixth Scorsese film, with distinct requirements that he fulfills ably. The story is set in 1930s Paris, and it is concerned with magical and childlike elements, also taking in the early days of cinema. For this most lighthearted (and most Gallic) of Scorsese efforts, Shore appropriately suggests French moods everywhere. The basic way he achieves this is by using two different sets of musicians simultaneously on most cues. There is a full orchestra, to be sure, but it tends to occupy the background of the sound picture…
The music of The Lord of the Rings film series was composed, orchestrated, conducted and produced by Howard Shore. Shore wrote many hours of music for The Lord of the Rings, 10 hours of which have been released in the Complete Recordings CD/DVD boxed sets. Additional music, including alternate and unused compositions, was released with the book The Music of the Lord of the Rings. Shore composed the music in an emotional, operatic way, threading through the scores over 90 identified leitmotifs, which are categorized by the Middle-earth cultures to which they relate. The scores for The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King won Academy Awards in 2002 and 2004. The latter film also won an Oscar statuette for Best Song, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song.
Following the theatrical release of all three films, Howard Shore reworked the film scores of the trilogy into The Lord of the Rings Symphony, a more structured six-movement work for orchestra and choir. This has been performed in various concert halls around the world, accompanied by a light and visual art show by Alan Lee and John Howe. On September 13, 2011, Shore released "The Lord of the Rings Symphony" on CD and MP3 format. The double-album was recorded in Lucerne, Switzerland and performed by the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus under the direction of Ludwig Wicki.
Music from all three films arranged for wind instruments. Desirable and collectible, these instrumental folios are loaded with black-and-white photos of scenes from all three films. They are printed on top-quality antique paper stock, and the covers showcase the new "trilogy" artwork. The wind instrument books are completely compatible with each other and can be played together or as solos.
The musical score for The Silence of the Lambs was composed by Howard Shore, who would also go on to collaborate with Demme on Philadelphia. Recorded in Munich during the latter half of the summer of 1990, the score was performed by the Munich Symphony Orchestra. "I tried to write in a way that goes right into the fabric of the movie," explained Shore on his approach. "I tried to make the music just fit in. When you watch the movie you are not aware of the music. You get your feelings from all elements simultaneously, lighting, cinematography, costumes, acting, music. Jonathan Demme was very specific about the music".
This soundtrack marks composer Howard Shore's 12th collaboration with director David Cronenberg, and it's safe to say the two men have an almost symbiotic relationship at this point. Like its immediate predecessor, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises is a crime drama; this time around, however, it is set not in a very American town but among Russian gangsters in London. Shore evokes the milieu by incorporating "slavic" touches from a cimbalom (a type of hammered dulcimer), a balalaika (a triangular stringed instrument), and a tárogatóto (a woodwind) in his orchestrations, but thankfully he doesn't overdo it and turn the score into cheesy folklore. This is a taut, somber CD, where the main themes are performed by a solo violin (check out in particular "Nine Elms"). But the most arresting track may well be the slow, majestic "Slavery and Suffering", a traditional revolutionary song performed by the Red Army Choir.
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