Article by guest writer Ed Verner.
There are those who say that classical music is like a beachfront property, “They just don’t make it anymore.” Some say there are no more composers like those classics romantics with the emotion of opera, or the symphonic beauty of Brahms, or the childish wonder and purity of Mozart. However, there is a whole segment of the musical art and its composers have often denied each other respect, namely film music.
There are times when entire soundtracks of great movies are a seamless orchestral composition of exquisite beauty and complexity. And, like their ancestors who created music to accompany action in opera or ballet, these artist-composers sometimes transform a well-made visual scene to the level of the sublime with their music. But unlike their ancestors from the bygone days of royal cinema who were heralded in trailers and daringly cherished in a movie’s opening credits, they are sadly only rated in lowercase and behind the caterers of a film more often than not. film production team. Try to imagine films like “Braveheart” or “The English Patient” or “Dance With Wolves” without the sound of their music.
Original music in movies can be powerful and emotional, but you might have to choose. Some films cleverly use pop songs to create suspense, laughter, or to enhance the story, and so a modern composer can end up connecting the dots of music between pop songs. This coming together of musical styles across generations, race and culture sometimes produces a classic gem. However, the infusion of pop songs makes many soundtracks or movie playlists inappropriate to satisfy the frustrated romantic classical music fan, unless they’re willing to dig through the rotten oyster heap in search of. of the pearl. Many movie CDs (yes I’m that old) can be taxing on the ear as they go from rock and roll of the Goo Goo Dolls to a symphonic choir of angelic voices. It can be difficult to regard some original orchestral compositions from cinema as classics when nestled in such a company.
Another trap with some movie soundtracks is the tendency to give only a small fraction of a 70 minute soundtrack to composers who have performed hours of symphonic beauty for most of the screen time. Too often, these movie “soundtracks” shamelessly push sales of pop records, and unfortunately some soundtracks leave out entirely an orchestral part of the music that was essential in one film to make way for another track. pop that only plays for 10 seconds during the last three lines of the end credits. It’s even more of a parody when you realize how pop songs have so many ways to make themselves known both in mind-numbing repetition on the radio, but also through all kinds of marketing and media in our world. culture where symphonic work is mainly absent.
Even with the pitfalls of the genre and the risks one takes in browsing movie soundtracks, research can yield big rewards for those who complain that Brahms just isn’t making new music these days. . In the original compositions for the films, there are creations of orchestral music that are just as breathtaking and intricate in their simple beauty as anything written down.
If you are a fan of classical music from the Romantic era, you should try selected tracks from “Children of a Lessor God” or “City of Angels”, “Message In A Bottle”, “Somewhere in Time” or “Gladiator” “. Or you can find my Spotify playlist titled “Film Score Greats – IMHO” to sample a few of my favorites. Know that there are hundreds more to discover.