DISNEYS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, 2017.

 

Composer Alan Menken has always held a special place in my soundtrack collecting heart, his music along with the lyrics of Howard Ashman were in my opinion responsible for re-launching what was the popular genre of the Disney musical movie in the form of the now already classics, THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, POCAHONTAS, THE HUNCHBAK OF NOTRE DAME, HERCULES and later with ENCHANTED and TANGLED. As we know Disney have embarked on a reboot schedule and have begun to re-create some of their classics in live action mode. BEAUTY AND THE BEST being the latest addition to the growing list. This movie has been much hyped and eagerly anticipated and awaited by all cinema goers both young and old, in other words by kids and even bigger kids, who probably won’t admit it. The film has not disappointed and has in my opinion managed to already cement itself within Disney history and is just waiting to attain the status of being a classic. The story which is familiar to all has been acted out on stage in the form of either serious adaptations or more recently as a musical, which proved popular with audiences all over the world, and also committed to celluloid on numerous occasions, the original Disney version which was animated became a firm favourite for everyone, and much of the appeal to both the Disney movie versions of this timeless tale is down to the clever lyrics of Howard Ashman and also Sir Tim Rice, and of course the melodic and haunting musical themes created by the one and only Alan Menken. I think that many of us forget that Menken is a fine composer and there is much more to him than the creation of nice little tunes that accompany catchy lyrics. The composer is more than capable of adapting his style and focusing his musical prowess to any genre, whether this be dramatic, comedic, romantic or all of these combined and is a highly talented composer of music for not only musicals but also film scores which do need lyrics to make them stand out (if you get what I am saying). The latest BEAUTY AND THE BEAST of course has within it many of the songs that we are already familiar with, as in, BE OUR GUEST, GASTON, BELLE and the title song BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which is performed by Emma Thompson in the movie and given an update by John Legend and Ariana Grande. Other songs being performed by Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Sir Ian McKellan, Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, Celine Dion, Ewan McGregor, Josh Gad, Adam Mitchell, Dan Stevens, and Josh Groban, and I think in many ways if I dare say it have the edge somewhat on the animated versions performances.

 

 

Plus, all the time we have Menken’s superb score which shifts up and down the gears adding pace, melancholy, drama and darkness and light to the unfolding story. Disney I am pleased to say have issued a de-luxe version of the soundtrack which is a 2-disc set and contains all the songs and some of the musical scores principal themes, along with Menken’s demo versions of certain songs on disc 1, whilst on disc number 2, we have the score, which is stunning, and gives us the fans or the listener a chance to savour this musical Maestro’s beguiling, magical and enchanting work for this movie. For whatever reason if you have the opinion this is a soundtrack that might be out of place alongside your collection of film scores, please re-think, take a listen, you may be surprised at what you hear, Menken creates some sublimely beautiful and fragile sounding tone poems, many of which might be already familiar, but there are also new motifs and themes that are intertwined with the already established material and these add even greater emotion and depth to the proceedings, the score radiating a vibrant persona that is, mysterious, poignant, charming and enthralling. The action cues too are really entertaining and gripping as in WOLF CHASE, BELLE STOPS THE WAGON, TURRET PURSUIT etc. And there is the track CASTLE UNDER ATTACK which mixes action with melancholy and comedy scoring. Fully symphonic this is a score that will continue to delight and excite no matter how many times one listens to it, so BE OUR GUEST, pull up a chair have a cup of tea and listen. Highly recommended.

Disc 1:
1.
Overture
3:05
2.
Main Title: Prologue, Pt. 1
0:42
3.
Aria (Audra McDonald)
1:02
4.
Main Title: Prologue, Pt. 2
2:21
5.
Belle (Emma Watson, Luke Evans & Ensemble – Beauty and the Beast)
5:33
6.
How Does a Moment Last Forever (Music Box) (Kevin Kline)
1:03
7.
Belle (Reprise) (Emma Watson)
1:15
8.
Gaston (Josh Gad, Luke Evans & Ensemble – Beauty and the Beast)
4:25
9.
Be Our Guest (Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Ian McKellen)
4:48
10.
Days in the Sun (Adam Mitchell, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, Audra McDonald & Clive Rowe)
2:40
11.
Something There (Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack & Gugu Mbatha-Raw)
2:54
12.
How Does a Moment Last Forever (Montmartre) (Emma Watson)
1:55
13.
Beauty and the Beast (Emma Thompson)
3:19
14.
Evermore (Dan Stevens)
3:14
15.
The Mob Song (Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ensemble – Beauty and the Beast, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Mack, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Ewan McGregor)
2:28
16.
Beauty and the Beast (Finale) (Audra McDonald, Emma Thompson & Ensemble – Beauty and the Beast)
2:14
17.
How Does a Moment Last Forever (Céline Dion)
3:37
18.
Beauty and the Beast (Ariana Grande & John Legend)
3:47
19.
Evermore (Josh Groban)
3:09
20.
Aria (Demo)
0:36
21.
How Does a Moment Last Forever (Music Box) (Demo)
0:59
22.
Days in the Sun (Demo)
3:30
23.
How Does a Moment Last Forever (Montmartre) (Demo)
1:21
24.
Evermore (Demo)
2:55

Disc Time:
62:52

Disc 2:
1.
Main Title: Prologue
3:01
2.
Belle Meets Gaston
0:54
3.
Your Mother
2:13
4.
The Laverie
1:22
5.
Wolf Chase
3:14
6.
Entering the Castle
1:18
7.
A White Rose
3:57
8.
The Beast
4:03
9.
Meet the Staff
1:00
10.
Home (Extended Mix)
2:04
11.
Madame de Garderobe
1:28
12.
There’s a Beast
2:02
13.
A Petal Drops
1:02
14.
A Bracing Cup of Tea
2:06
15.
The West Wing
2:58
16.
Wolves Attack Belle
3:17
17.
The Library
3:05
18.
Colonnade Chat
2:53
19.
The Plague
0:51
20.
Maurice Accuses Gaston
2:01
21.
Beast Takes a Bath
1:21
22.
The Dress
1:01
23.
You Must Go to Him
2:50
24.
Belle Stops the Wagon
2:42
25.
Castle Under Attack
4:20
26.
Turret Pursuit
2:12
27.
You Came Back
5:13
28.
Transformations
4:06

Disc Time:
68:34

Total Album Time:
131:26

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