23 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Composer James Newton Howard confides that the Maleficent production team spent a considerable amount of time discussing the tone his score should take. “It’s a fantasy. A classic story. It’s quite a dark movie, yet a fairy tale,” he notes. “At first there was an emphasis on being darker. But my perspective all along was that it was a beautiful fairy tale.” Newton-Howard says that director Robert Stromberg requested a “classic” film score, and so he employed a massive studio orchestra and several choirs to produce a symphonic epic that often recalls Hollywood’s golden era and its European classical roots. “The ‘angry’ Maleficent was the most fun to write,” James says, “done in the Wagnerian tradition. A lot of the movie has that scope visually, and I tried to achieve the same with the music.” Yet he’s also quick to point out "the movie has terrific heart. You can write all the action music you want, but unless there’s a human connection to the story and characters it’s going to leave you feeling empty.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Composer James Newton Howard confides that the Maleficent production team spent a considerable amount of time discussing the tone his score should take. “It’s a fantasy. A classic story. It’s quite a dark movie, yet a fairy tale,” he notes. “At first there was an emphasis on being darker. But my perspective all along was that it was a beautiful fairy tale.” Newton-Howard says that director Robert Stromberg requested a “classic” film score, and so he employed a massive studio orchestra and several choirs to produce a symphonic epic that often recalls Hollywood’s golden era and its European classical roots. “The ‘angry’ Maleficent was the most fun to write,” James says, “done in the Wagnerian tradition. A lot of the movie has that scope visually, and I tried to achieve the same with the music.” Yet he’s also quick to point out "the movie has terrific heart. You can write all the action music you want, but unless there’s a human connection to the story and characters it’s going to leave you feeling empty.”

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6:38
1:05
4:39
4:58
1:04
2:26
2:28
5:30
2:29
4:35
2:26
1:47
4:41
1:06
1:21
2:10
1:28
2:20
1:35
2:33
7:42
3:25
3:20

About James Newton Howard

Pianist, producer, and composer James Newton Howard scored over 60 films beginning in the mid-'80s, including The Fugitive, The Prince of Tides, Pretty Woman, Glengarry Glen Ross, Batman Begins, Michael Clayton, and the Hunger Games series. Howard began taking classical piano lessons at the age of four, playing on a piano owned by his grandmother, who was the Pittsburgh Symphony's concertmaster and violinist during the 1930s and '40s. He went on to study at the USC School of Music and at the Music Academy of the West (in Santa Barbara, California) with Reginald Stewart and Leon Fleisher. He also studied under orchestrator Marty Paich, who would later conduct some of Howard's scores. After graduating from college, Howard joined a short-lived rock band, then worked for a couple of years as a session musician with artists including Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, and Harry Nilsson. In 1975, he joined the band of the most popular artist of that time, Elton John, toured with them during the mid-'70s and later re-joined for a tour in 1980 and again in 1986. Over the years, Howard has worked as a songwriter, producer, or arranger with the such artists as Cher, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rickie Lee Jones, Olivia Newton-John, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Toto, and more. He has received numerous Oscar nominations, and won an Emmy Award for his theme for the television show Gideon's Crossing and a Grammy Award in 2009 for his work on The Dark Knight. Those accolades brought continued high-profile film work, such as 2012's The Bourne Legacy, the Hunger Games franchise, and the Huntsman film series. He made his debut in the J.K. Rowling wizarding universe with 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. ~ Joslyn Layne

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