A vampire movie, or should I say another vampire movie! Yes it is but it’s an intelligent and well made vampire movie, I am pleased that filmmakers are at last taking the story of these creatures mythical or real? Seriously. Last year we had LET THE RIGHT ONE IN which was excellent, and now the second instalment of the Twilight sage in the form of NEW MOON, Carter Burwell’s score for the first outing of these tales entitled simply TWILIGHT. Were I thinking serviceable, but really not that special or even outstanding? This score by French film music Maestro Alexandre Desplat however, is quite a different story. The award winning composer shows us why he is such a master of his craft with this highly rich, romantic and sensuous sounding work, ok yes there are obviously the action cues as well, but even these are not purely atonal crash’s, bangs, bumps and booms they have real substance and musicality. The CD opens with the title track ‘New Moon’, which begins with low and subdued almost swirling strings that act as an introduction to a piano solo which is underlined by rich and full bodied strings and laced with woods giving the composition a warm and romantic feel, also in the background there is delicate usage of harp and triangle that are played in unison with the piano creating an almost magical and mysterious atmosphere, add to this faraway sounding French horn and we have the recipe for a stunning and breathtaking theme, a theme that builds, gathers pace and increases in volume till it reaches its crescendo of sorts. Desplat is so good at creating melodies, passages and motifs such as this and has I think fashioned a theme that is splendidly spectacular. Its one of those cues that once heard has to be heard again and again, it is infectious, inspiring and so emotionally charged, a real delight. Track 2, ‘Bella Dreams’, is a slightly harder edged composition, again strings are in the forefront of proceedings with dramatic use of percussion, woods and muted brass being employed in a very Barry-esque style, creating a tension filled cue. In track number 3, ‘Romeo And Juliet’, we hear Desplat at his romantic best, a beautifully lush and full version of the scores central love theme is given a heartrending work out by the strings of the LSO, this poignant and highly charged emotionally composition is for me the real highlight of the score. Track 4,’Volture Waltz’, is a waltz macabre where Desplat employs strings and trumpet embroidered by percussion to relay to us an uneasy sounding slightly off kilter waltz that is pleasant but menacing at the same time.
Track 5, ‘Blood Sample’ is a more up-tempo and noisy affair, short lived but dramatically it makes its mark. Track 6, ‘Edward Leaves’ is again more of a romantic sounding cue, a well structured and wonderfully orchestrated piece that includes, the string section, graceful piano solo sombre sounding cello and light use of harp, again the central theme is fleetingly introduced almost teasing the listener as Desplat employs solo trumpet underlined by woods and meandering piano creating a poignant but powerful composition that ticks all the boxes for any film music collector. Track 7, ‘Werewolves’, begins with low strings and lone horn solo, which melt away leaving woods and trumpet which are played softly, until they are joined by percussion more woods and underlying strings, the tension builds but subsides as the cue reaches its conclusion, strings and percussion being replaced by delicate sounding woods. This is a score of great quality, the music on this CD is probably a contender for best original score award at the Oscars next year, if not there is certainly no justice in this world. Desplat has created a score of tremendous originality here and also one that will entertain and delight film music fans, other stand out cues include, ‘Wolves V Vampires’, ‘Dreamcatcher’, ‘To Volterra’ and the touching and vibrant tone poems ‘Almost A Kiss’ and ‘Marry Me Bella’. I recommend this release, I urge you to purchase it, it is you who will be the poorer for not experiencing this composer’s marvellous score.