Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Soundtrack: Lincoln

The partnership of Steven Spielberg and John Williams is now 40 years strong. Starting with The Sugarland Express and Jaws, Williams has composed the music for every Spielberg film except The Color Purple. And every time they work together, they magic. Both men have been very vocal about their admiration for each other's work, and the director has recut entire sequences to match the composer's music, rather than force the composer's work into an edit. Their collaboration is a testament to how film and music can work together, each there for the other, each augmenting and illuminating the other. •• Now that partnership is on display again in Lincoln. •• The score for this film is stunning. Recalling, in many ways, last year's War Horse score, Lincoln is a score made of simple themes used in big, emotional ways. At moments quiet and at others soaring, this score is one for the ages, a musical painting of Americana and struggle and war and resolution. Tough choices...and the knowledge that one is fighting the good and just fight. •• The main theme is presented on the CD right away in "The People's House," and it reaches its penultimate performance in an 11-minute cue called "The Peterson House and Finale," which weaves the theme into others and back upon itself in ways that left me breathless. •• This score seems is about the power of one's spirit. As Lincoln determines the fate and direction of our nation, he also determines the fate and direction of his life and the world for future generations. He feels the weight of his work -- and its grandeur. •• Lincoln's score will give you pause. And chills.

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