As always after posting the most recent soundtrack supplement up pops a few more releases that are worthy of a mention.
The same day that Cecilia and Une meet Leo for the first time, a corpse appears on the beach in Skutebukta. Who is he and what did he do in Skutebukta, and what does he have to do with Cecilia’s mother’s death the year before? Together, the three young people begin to unravel the threads of what will prove to be the CLUE gang’s very first mystery. This is the beginning and ongoing storyline of the movie Clue:Maltesergaten, which is an intriguing and entertaining movie from Norway that contains a brooding and at the same time wonderfully lyrical score by composer, Henrik Skram. It’s one of those scores that one accidently comes across and once you begin to listen its very difficult to stop. Why? Well because it is just so good. This is a score that offers up everything in the way of styles and sounds, it is quite rich and lush at times, but also contains levels of fragility and conveys a deep sense of apprehension and foreboding. The sweeping strings are straight away alluring and the composers at times windswept melodies also attractive and entertaining. One for the collection most certainly.
Tre Notter Til Askepott aka- Three Wishes for Cinderella, or Three Nuts for Cinderella is a charming tale, and has a rousing, romantic and luscious sounding score by composer Guate Storaas. This is a composer I always look out for as he consistently creates such brilliantly thematic material, which is invariably grandiose and symphonic. Within this work there several heartfelt themes that are not only attractive and mesmerizing, but literally ooze melodious splendour. A fairy tale, filled with drama, romance, mystery, and magic, what more could one want. And a score too that is rich in incredible themes, that convey a sense of adventure and romanticism. highly recommended.
The documentary is now a genre of movie that one should really take notice of when thinking of film music because documentaries are films, and they have music and many of them have scores that are deserving of more recognition and in many cases even Oscars. Movie Score Media have released a handful of scores from documentaries and one of their latest releases is Tale of Sleeping Giants, which is the third documentary score by talented composer Panu Aaltio that the label has issued, this is a superb score, there are no words really for the feelings and the emotions that it kindles within when listening to it, the composer fashioning, creating and realising a soundtrack that is simply awash with affecting and highly emotional themes, this is a score that you will listen to and straight away return to the beginning to start all over again, and again.
Symphonic, choral, and electronic support combine to bring to fruition a work that is impeccable. Every cue is affecting and charming with each track shining and tantalising, there are passages filled with a comedic style, drama, melancholy, and a rawness at times. It is grand, and sweeping intimate and ingratiating, it is just superb, touching, excellent, and welcomed in every way thank you Maestro Aaltio for this treasure trove of music and thank you Movie Score Media for yet another outstanding release.
West Side Story is an iconic musical, and a classic movie, so when I heard it was being re-made, I was filled with horror, and then when I heard Spielberg was too direct I still kind of thought oh no. I remembered what Clint Eastwood did with the Jersey Boys, and that too I thought was a disaster. Well, it’s now out and the critics thus far love it, but the soundtrack which I was listening to for the past few days is something of a mixture of good, bad and not so sure of performances, but I suppose we have to put the original movie and its soundtrack out of our heads and focus on the here and the now. On first listening to the new version, I thought that it sounded like a rather amateur production, you know the kind of thing the Old Village players do West Side Story, the performances were for me anyway rather lack lustre and had no depth or even any real emotion to them. However, on listening for the second, third, fourth and fifth times I started to finally warm to the performances, (but I am person remember who must have watched the original movie at least sixty times now) and I would still go back to the original every time for every single song, the orchestral score too I felt lacked the power of the original movie, so for me it’s no thanks, I’ll stick to the original. The new soundtrack is available on digital platforms, and I think for me that’s where it will stay.
Nightmare Alley is one of the latest scores of Nathan Johnson to be made available on digital platforms, I am sure we all remember the composers atmospheric and mischievous score for the movie Knives Out in 2019, and this is a soundtrack that has a similar but not identical vibe and style. There is darkness and drama but amongst it there is also that cheeky rather impish sounding undercurrent running through it.
I will say I enjoyed Knives Out immensely and thought at the time where is the composer going next because this is so good. Well with Nightmare Alley he has answered my question by creating a score that is at times delicate, but also richly shadowy, foreboding, and apprehensive, it’s a soundtrack that I believe will become a favourite for film music fans, there is a kind of silver age sound to it, evoking the likes of Goldsmith and even Bernstein in places, but it also has an inventive and original ring to it.
The movie is directed by Guillermo de Toro, its dark subject matter benefitting from Johnson’s melodic but mysterious sounding score. An entertaining listen and one that MMI recommends you experience.
Composer Christopher Lennertz returns to score season three of the Netflix re-boot of Lost in Space, and once again provides the series with some stunning music, the composer enlisting the assistance of Alexander Bornstein on a handful of the cues, it is like the first two seasons a varied and entertaining musical package that Lennertz has fashioned, which contains lyrical and lush interludes that at times erupt into full on and powerful action cues, the composer also providing rich and colourful pieces that are highly emotive, it’s a wonderfully thematic work, certainly varied and inspired, and well worth a listen, available now on digital platforms. Recommended.
Tom Howe is a composer that I think is just brilliant, he can turn his hand to every type of genre, and excels in creating music that is supportive and expressive, but it also has an appeal away from the movies that it was written for, Shaun the Sheep:The Flight before Christmas, is no exception, and I think at times it is the musical score that makes this little family affair of a film even more entertaining and hilarious. The composer underlining the various situations with musical comms and full stops effectively.
The BBC will be screening this over the Christmas period, so keep an eye out for it and whilst being entertained by the antics of Shaun and his friends listen to the score and fully appreciate the composer’s great talent and versatility this is a score that contains so many styles and manages to entertain on many levels. Available on digital platforms.
In the 1970’s there were several TV shows that one tried not to miss, and some that you avoided, The Waltons was a series that you kind of loved but would never admit that to your friends because it was not really that cool, a bit like Little House on the Prairie. Well, this year you get a chance to revisit the Walton family because The Waltons – Homecoming, has already started to stream for your delectation. The made for TV film even stars Richard Thomas, but not as John Boy I guess the years have caught up with him and the character of John Boy is portrayed by Logan Shroyer, other roles are taken on by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davies Junior, yes the same Marilyn and Billie that had a handful of hits in the 1970’s. John Boy and his family prepare for John Sr’s homecoming to spend Christmas together, but after a storm gets in the way, John Boy has to find his father and the journey through it will change his life forever. So, as you can see nothing changes and things are not always straight forward for this family. The original theme from the 1970’s was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, and it is probably one of the most familiar TV themes of all time. Composers Tena Clark and Tim Heintz do make use of Goldsmith’s theme or at least elements of it within their score for the movie. But we don’t get a full-on rendition, instead they very subtly incorporate it into the fabric of the score, so we hear out of nowhere the familiar six notes that we remember as being The Waltons theme.
The score itself is quite low key and delicate, and at times I was reminded somewhat of the style that composer James Newton Howard employed on the movie The Man in The Moon back in 1991. This is an emotional sounding work, with strings, guitar, woods, and piano creating wistful and touching melodies, with these being supported by effective use of subdued brass. A magical score that radiates a feel-good aura. One for the collection. Available on digital platforms.
And so, to another vintage TV series that has been brought back to life, but this time set in rural England. All Creatures Great and Small, was another series that was extremely popular in the UK during the 1970’s, and first aired in 1974. It told the story of the day-to-day life of a country vet James Herriot. Music for the original series was the work of composer Johnny Pearson, well the theme was at least. I think the series scores were the work of several composers but don’t quote me on that, the theme that Pearson penned even managed to get into the British singles charts, but there again back in those days the charts were so much more varied and entertaining than now.
The new series of All Creatures Great and Small has a delightfully charming soundtrack provided by composer Alexandra Harwood, who wrote a just as entertaining and supportive score for the movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society back in 2018. She is a gifted composer and has a knack of writing delightfully melodic themes that also work so well with the images and enhance and elevate scenarios in films and TV series. This is a release that you should check out, issued by Silva Screen in the UK and available on digital platforms now. Enjoy.
June Again is described as an emotionally devastating drama, where we see June Wilton having a brief period of lucidity from her dementia. When she realises that she has so little time to bring back together her estranged children and save the family business as well as rekindling an old flame.
The movie is a poignant and sensitive piece of cinema, the musical score is the work of Christopher Gordon, who is a composer who deserves to be working on so many more movies, he has created a beautiful score for the film, and one that works so well with the unfolding storyline and the introduction of various characters. It’s a very brief score and runs for just over twenty-one minutes, but has some affecting moments, with the composer utilising solo piano, violin, and strings. Another one for your collection when it is released.
Another score to watch out for is Benadette by Anne Dudley which is not released as yet, but it is said that there will be a compact disc and a digital release. Which is also publicised on the composer’s web site. The movie directed by Paul Verhoeven, I am sure will raise a few eyebrows, set in 17th-century Tuscany, Italy where the threat of the Plague casts its shadow over Europe, a devout eight-year-old novice, Benedetta Carlini, is brought into the Theatine Convent of the Mother of God in Pescia as a bride for Jesus. When she is twenty-six a test of faith awaits deeply pious Benedetta in the form of Bartolomea: a young girl who enters the convent to escape the beating and abuse of her Father. It’s a typical Verhoeven film, filled with irreverent, and scandalous happenings and overflowing with, violence, sex and shocking scenarios. One to watch out for.