With cinemas beginning to reopen, Emma Clarendon selects some of her favourite film scores…
Sense and Sensibility: Patrick Doyle’s beautiful score really helps to capture the romance and spirit of the story, with richly textured music that is really memorable. In particular, ‘Devonshire’ and ‘Throw the Coins’ are two particular favourite sequences of music that fit in with the gentleness of the story.
Pride and Prejudice: this graceful and immensely perfect sounding score by Dario Marianelli is very distinctive in its simplicity. it ebbs and flows with ease, never overwhelming the straightforward storytelling in Joe Wright’s effective retelling of this classic story. Particular favourite moments of the score include ‘Stars and Butterflies’, performed exquisitely by the English Chamber Orchestra and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and ‘Arrival at Netherfield’ which is delightfully playful.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: a John Williams score is always distinctive and this is no different with this immensely magical score that captures the mystery and fun of the story – particularly through the popular ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ which has to be one of the most recognisable pieces of music from film to have been composed. It is a score that gets the balance of playfulness to the darker and more dramatic moments spot on, blending each element perfectly.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: composed by Henry Mancini and featuring that instantly classic song ‘Moon River’ (which horrifically the film studio wanted to cut out of the film!), this score is so quirky in places particularly during ‘The Big Heist’ and actually captures the character of Holly Golightly so well – it is difficult not to picture Audrey Hepburn when listening to it.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Howard Shore managed to create an absolute epic score that stands out from many other modern day films scores. The richness and diversity of it from the haunting ‘The Prophecy’ to the bold and adventurous ‘The Ring Goes South’, it covers every possible emotion that the audience will feel while watching the story unfolding in front them, adding an additional layer of power.
The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: combining adventure, playfulness and romance into one score, Hans Zimmer has created a score that has so many highlights in it that it is easy to tell which part of the film each part of the music fits into. It is a consistently bold and fun score that of course captures the spirit of the story seamlessly.
Sherlock Homes: another distinctive and immensely quirky score is Hans Zimmer’s composition for this 2009 film. From the very first note, you understand that this score is completely unique to anything else heard before. Just like the central character it is rather eccentric in places but that only adds to its charm!
Shakespeare in Love: Stephen Warbeck’s instantly charming score is wonderfully filled with the warmth and romance that is captured on the screen. Again, it captures the heart and emotion of the story perfectly.
The King’s Speech: Alexandre Desplat’s quiet and understated score for this Oscar winning film, also manages to capture the spirit of the delicate relationship between Lionel and the eventual King George VI. It really is a charming score that is easy to appreciate.
Atonement: Dario Marianelli’s exquisite score is another one that is very much understated. It is filled with feeling that rises and falls with great grace. The parts of the score that really hit emotionally include ‘Elegy for Dunkirk’ and ‘Denouement’ – both are so perfectly pitched in tone that it is hard not to be moved when listening to them.