I love them. I love music of most stripes, but film scores, done well, awe me.
Last night, I watched "A Single Man," Tom Ford's directorial debut.
Given Ford's success in the world of fashion, it was no wonder that the film was beautiful, aesthetically.
Colin Firth's performance was staggering, oh so worthy of his Oscar nomination. And how is Julianne Moore not British and older? She embodied her character seamlessly.
And the score. Oh, the score. Never before have I seen a movie in which the score so perfectly supported the film. My vast appreciation to Abel Korzeniowski and Shigeru Umebayashi for the beauty and eloquence of their music.
I was tweeting, nay, raving, about the film and the score last night, and one of my Twitterpals replied to say that she's been wanting to listen to some new scores and asked for some recommendations.
There are so many I love. But I kept my recommendations to three tweetfuls.
In no particular order, I suggested:
♪ "Girl With A Pearl Earring" — "Griet's Theme" has a sense of wonder and trepidation and fantasy to it. Alexandre Desplat here. Outstanding.
♪ "The Painted Veil" — "River Waltz" takes my breath away for its simplicity and beauty. Desplat, again here, gets credit for the entire score, but Lang Lang performs this piece.
♪ "The Mission" — If I ever get married, I will walk down the aisle to "Gabriel's Oboe." From one of the elder statesmen of music, Ennio Morricone.
♪ "The Straight Story" — "Laurens, Iowa" is quintessential Angelo Badalamenti. Gorgeous.
♪ "The Wackness" — I wasn't really loving the movie, but I was loving the score. "They Trippin' " is especially good. I wasn't familiar with David Torn before I saw this film. I hope to hear from him again.
♪ "K-Pax" — "Grand Central," which accompanies the opening title sequence, is one of the best compositions I've ever heard. Listen all the way through. Thank you, Edward Shearmur.
♪ "Message In A Bottle" — I've never seen the movie. I never want to. I listened to this score on a trip to Big Sur. It is the perfect score to accompany the watching of the water and the light. "New Dreams" is lovely. Gabriel Yared.
♪ "The Insider" — Not the typical orchestral score, but oh so memorable. Lisa Gerrard's voice is amazing. "Exile" is particularly haunting. It sounds like it's underwater. Praise for Pieter Bourke, Graeme Revell, and Jan Garbarek, too.
♪ "Gangs Of New York" — The pairing of Peter Gabriel's "Signal To Noise" over a battle scene? Genius.
♪ "Charlie Wilson's War" — "Refugee Camp." Period. James Newton Howard is one of my favorites.
♪ "Memoirs Of A Geisha" — Really, any John Williams' score makes a "favorites" list in my book, but with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman? Every piece is lovely, but "The Garden Meeting" is particularly beautiful.
♪ "Gladiator" — More Lisa Gerrard vocals. "Now We Are Free" is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music. "Earth" is a another favorite. Hans Zimmer. Enough said.
♪ "Life As A House" — "I'm Happy Today." Pair a piano and strings and I'm done. Mark Isham.
♪ "Braveheart" — "The Gift of a Thistle" accompanies such bittersweet moment in the film. Lovely. James Horner.
♪ "American Beauty" — Thomas Newman here. I love that much of this score, like "Dead Already," doesn't sound like a traditional film score. But "Any Other Name" steps up to the traditional film-score plate.
♪ "The Shawshank Redemption" — And speaking of Thomas Newman, "Shawshank Prison [Stoic Theme]" is as sweeping and cinematic as "New Fish" is sparse. If I could only watch one movie for the rest of my life, it would be this one.