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Argo (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack for the 2012 film Argo does amazingly well at expressing the tension of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. His symphonic architecture for Argo crackles with a palpable intensity starting right from the opening song, “A Spy in Tehran.” Increasingly propulsive rhythms are colored here with foreboding melodies played on Middle Eastern instrumentation. More tone-setting than narrative-driving, the following “Scent of Death” draws the listener into the plot’s snowballing suspense with a hyperventilated vocal performance by Iranian singer, composer, and dancer Sussan Deyhim. Similarly, “Held Up by Guards” layers ominous drones with stark piano notes and dramatic orchestral swells to build a strong feeling of uncertainty (even though anyone familiar with the real story knows the outcome). The lilting “Missing Home” uses sublime textures to convey the melancholy of homesickness. Conversely, “Cleared Iranian Airspace” slowly unknots the tension with grand, sweeping movements.

Customer Reviews


perfect arrangement


The 4th track is epic. Beautiful arrangement

Willy Wonka!

Moving score, but it does sound like the theme to Willy Wonka.


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. Beginning with Ki Lo Sa? in 1985, his scores for television and film totaled 100 by 2007. In these...
Full Bio

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