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The Golden Compass (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Alexandre Desplat

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Album Review

French composer Alexandre Desplat, who took on an assignment to score a period Asian drama with The Painted Veil, returns to the same sort of milieu for director Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, set in Shanghai in the 1940s. Desplat has no interest in evoking traditional Chinese music; rather, his is a thoroughly European approach. He employs almost all strings and lots of them, adding only the occasional piano, his own flute, and "programming." This is slow, contemplative music with strong melodies, all contributing to a dark, romantic tone. Alain Planes' performance of Brahms' "Intermezzo in A-Major, Opus 118, No. 2" fits right in, and, surprisingly, Lee himself takes to the piano on "Nanjing Road." This is a restrained, low-key score for a film of mystery and naunced feeling.

Customer Reviews

Average...

Despite being a huge fan of Desplat, I found this music very unexciting. It works rather wlel in the movie but alone, it just doesn't stand up...I think for huge movie like this, a bigger composer (in terms of orchestrations and such) was needed.

Biography

Born: August 23, 1961 in Paris, France

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

French composer Alexandre Desplat is the son of a Greek mother and a French father who met in the U.S. while both were attending the University of California at Berkeley, married in San Francisco, and settled in France. He began studying the piano at age five, later switching to trumpet and then flute. Fascinated by both music and film, he decided to pursue a career as a composer of movie scores. Starting with Ki Lo Sa? in 1985, his scores for television and film had reached a total of 100 by 2007....
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