13 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, portrays the relationship between Bertie, the future King George VI (Colin Firth), and the speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who helps Bertie overcome his debilitating stammer. Composer Alexandre Desplat, one of the hardest working men in show business —The Ghost Writer and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1 are just two of the other movies he scored in 2010 — provided the film’s music. You might think a movie that deals with royalty would feature bombastic accompaniment, but Desplat took a subtle approach to the project. He’s careful not to overpower the intimacy of the story of a man struggling to make meaningful sounds. Melodies are delicately etched on piano as strings often float in an almost ambient manner. (“The Rehearsal,” with its chugging rhythm and flute interjections, is probably the perkiest piece here.) The album also includes excerpts of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and the “Emperor” Concerto performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Terry Davies, with Steven Osborne at the piano.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, portrays the relationship between Bertie, the future King George VI (Colin Firth), and the speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who helps Bertie overcome his debilitating stammer. Composer Alexandre Desplat, one of the hardest working men in show business —The Ghost Writer and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1 are just two of the other movies he scored in 2010 — provided the film’s music. You might think a movie that deals with royalty would feature bombastic accompaniment, but Desplat took a subtle approach to the project. He’s careful not to overpower the intimacy of the story of a man struggling to make meaningful sounds. Melodies are delicately etched on piano as strings often float in an almost ambient manner. (“The Rehearsal,” with its chugging rhythm and flute interjections, is probably the perkiest piece here.) The album also includes excerpts of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and the “Emperor” Concerto performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Terry Davies, with Steven Osborne at the piano.

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2:10
3:54
2:51
2:06
3:36
3:05
1:43
3:35
3:24
1:42
3:56
5:02
3:56

About Alexandre Desplat

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 works, he developed a contemplative style that did not attempt to respond beat by beat to the action onscreen, but rather set its own complementary mood. He began to attract attention in the U.S. with The Luzhin Defence in 2000, which had a soundtrack album released in America by Silva Screen Records. His music for Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) earned a Golden Globe nomination, and with that recognition, he began to work increasingly on English-language films distributed by the Hollywood studios, including but not limited to Birth (2004), The Upside of Anger (2005), Syriana (2005), and The Painted Veil (2006) (a Golden Globe Award winner), several of which produced soundtrack albums.

The Queen (2006) earned him his first Academy Award nomination. He received his second Oscar nomination in 2008 for his work on David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his third in 2010 for Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. More high-profile film scores followed, including both installments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Argo, Philomena, and, in 2014, both The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel, the latter of which became his first Academy Award win. Subsequent score highlights included 2015's The Danish Girl and, in 2016, the animated feature The Secret Life of Pets and American Pastoral, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel. ~ William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    Paris, France
  • GENRE
    Soundtrack
  • BORN
    August 23, 1961

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