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Film Soundtracks - Released December 1, 2017 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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How can music translate the idea of a natural element such as water? One Claude Debussy already tackled the subject, but Alexandre Desplat chose a different esthetics from the one of his elder—even if, just like with Debussy, the timbers are at the heart of Desplat’s idea. For this fantastic tale from Guillermo Del Toro, which tells the love story between a young mute girl, Elisa (Sally Hawkins), and an amphibian creature (Doug Jones), Desplat incorporated no less than twelve flutes to the legendary London Symphony Orchestra—alto flutes, bass flutes, transverse flutes. The partition integrates very few brass instruments, and it is the string and wood instruments that suggest the undulation and water’s fluidity. To this is added the delicacy of instruments such as the piano, the harp and the vibraphone, which reinforce this idea. From this uncommon orchestral canvas, Alexandre Desplat joins different themes and moods. Therefore, the title sequence is a solo whistling (performed by the composer himself), which represents the young heroine’s “voice”. As for the bandoneon (which symbolizes the creature), it accentuates the oneiric aspect of the pictures thanks to its sensuality and softness. Those two instruments graciously evolve together, just like the two movie protagonists, atypical heroes who dream of being the stars of a Hollywood musical. Because beyond this incongruous script premise, The Shape of Water most of all pays homage to cinema—mostly to classic American movies. Throughout the soundtrack, you will continuously find this feeling of nostalgia, especially in the choice to highlight the South-American percussion (bongos, congas…), evoking so many movies from the 1950s and 1960s (remember Touch of Evil, directed by Orson Welles and composed by Henry Mancini). For the end credits, and just like the movie’s subject, Alexandre Desplat plays the crossover card by calling upon soprano Renée Fleming to perform a brand new arrangement of the jazz classic from the 1940s You’ll Never Know. Finally, let’s note that with The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat won his second Academy Award, three years after his first one for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. ©Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Film Soundtracks - Released July 1, 2011 | Sony Classical

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 23, 2020 | Abkco Music & Records, Inc.

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 13, 2019 | Sony Classical

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 7, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Film Soundtracks - Released July 20, 2017 | Valérian S.A.S.

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 27, 2015 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 23, 2010 | WaterTower Music

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The seventh and penultimate entry into the internationally successful Harry Potter franchise is also one of the series’ darkest, and composer Alexander Desplat (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Queen, The Painted Veil) infuses the young wizard’s world with the appropriate amount of gravitas. It’s been a decade since John Williams set the tone for the films, and his original theme exists only in the shadows of Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1. Desplat’s score is both subtle and huge, lending quiet emotional depth (“Harry & Ginny”), playful wickedness (“Death Eaters”), and tense, robust action (“The Oblivation”) with masterful precision. Film series that employ this many different composers (and directors, for that matter) rarely find cohesion, and this first installment of Deathly Hallows does nothing in the way to tarnish that achievement. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released December 12, 2014 | Parlophone UK

French film composer Alexandre Desplat caps off a prolific 2014 season with his deeply resonant and uplifting score to Angelina Jolie's WWII drama Unbroken. The film chronicles the true story of Olympian runner Louis Zamperini, who survived a dramatic plane crash at sea and internment in several Japanese prison camps during his military service. The increasingly in-demand Desplat also scored the WWII caper The Monuments Men earlier in the year, but the tone he adopts for Unbroken is far different, relying heavily on warm, sentimental themes to accompany Zamperini's inspirational story. Playing back and forth between airy, atmospheric pieces and massive, theatrical swells, he uses far more light than darkness here and the result is a very melodic and motivational score. Heavy percussive sections accent the militaristic feeling and nimble wooden flutes accent many of the Japanese scenes. The overall feel-good tone is enhanced by the inclusion of Coldplay's slightly bland but pleasant original track "Miracles." © Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca (UMO)

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 9, 2004 | New Line Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 20, 2011 | WaterTower Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca (UMO)

Composer Alexandre Desplat provides discreet, restrained music to accompany The King's Speech, the drama about the struggle of Britain's King George VI to overcome his stuttering and speak to his people in times of war and peace. Desplat's piano figures tend to be at the fore, tinkling lightly, supported by the London Symphony Orchestra set to a low heat. Even a track with a title like "Fear and Suspicion" doesn't evoke much tension in the music. By the end, Desplat gives way to Beethoven, whose Symphony No. 7 excerpt and "Emperor" piano concerto fit right in. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2009 | Varese Sarabande

Film Soundtracks - Released June 1, 2018 | Abkco Music & Records, Inc.

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2010 | Varese

French composer Alexandre Desplat has scored over 100 films during his prodigious career thus far, including standard Hollywood fare such as Sweet Revenge, Home Sweet Home, Firewall, and Twilight Saga: New Moon; French cinema including Regarde les Hommes Tomber and Sur Mes Lèvresto; indies like Syriana, Girl with the Pearl Earring, and Coco Before Chanel; and children’s films including The Fantastic Mr. Fox. His score for Roman Polanski's 2010 motion picture The Ghost Writer, starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan MacGregor, is a highly animated work that brings in elements of vanguard classical traditions, late 19th century classical music, and well-traveled paths in composition for films pioneered by Georges Delerue and Bernard Herrmann. The 16 cues for The Ghost Writer's score are virtually all suspenseful, whether quietly as in “Investigation” and “The Predecessor” or more animatedly in “Travel to the Island” and “In the Woods.” Some of the longer cues, such as “The Truth About Ruth” and “Pr Paul Emmett,” are wonderfully narrative pieces that develop from one stage to the next seamlessly. That said, as a single piece of music The Ghost Writer feels very much like what it is, a series of cues rather than a unified whole as a score. It sounds as if it moves around one central theme: suspense, but does so choppily, though this is a small complaint overall. As film music, this works wonderfully; as listening fare, it's a tad monotonous because of its predictable dynamics and pacing. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 1, 2019 | Warner Classics

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Film Soundtracks - Released September 25, 2006 | EuropaCorp

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 8, 2019 | Warner Classics

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2011 | Varese