Film Music 2012
Composed by: Various Artists
Performed by: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and London Music Works
Distributed by: Silva Screen Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
For the past few years, Silva Screen Music has been releasing a “Year Book” concept album series, featuring musical scores from some of the biggest movies of the year. The year 2012 offered up many diverse styles and scores to choose from, but somehow the powers that be were able to compile an album of twelve songs from the vast amount of movies available. They are presented for the listener's approval in Film Music 2012.
Featuring music from Walter Murphy, Hans Zimmer, Patrick Doyle, John Williams, James Newton Howard and more from films like Brave, Prometheus, Hunger Games, Lincoln and more, I couldn't wait to check this album out. I had already heard some of these tracks in their original format as part of soundtracks I had reviewed or films I had watched, but I wanted to see how they would sound as performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and London Music Works.
I was immediately surprised by the opening track, Ted End Titles. Surprised not only by the idea that music from this comedic film would have been selected, but also surprised at the sound of the music. It was light as a comedy's soundtrack should be, but elaborate enough to attract my attention. Following this is New York City Surprise by Madagascar 3, an fun and adventurous track. Next is Fate and Destiny from Brave with its Celtic influences and its emotional ebb and flow - the music is upbeat as the main character moves toward changing her fate, but becomes more serious as she realizes that destiny is a hard cross to bear.
Following this is the somber violin-driven orchestral track Freedom's Call from Lincoln. Next is the theme from Snow White and the Huntsman, another unexpected selection, but a brilliant one with its hauntingly striking piano solo at the center of the track. In comparison to the rest of the album, Life from Prometheus seems to be a let down of sorts. The brass and strings mixed in with the choir eventually build in crescendo, giving the listener something quite interesting in the end, but the boredom of getting there may have you pressing the fast forward button.
Up next is Over Hill, an epic track from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This track also starts off somewhat quiet, but builds in crescendo, culminating in that epic feel expected when characters embark on an adventure. Following this is Imagine the Fire from The Dark Knight Rises. Once you hear the music from that movie, there is no way you will ever forget the harsh horns, the adrenaline pumping electronics, the strings and the choir which accentuates the seriousness of the situation at hand. I enjoy the hammer on anvil start to the next track, The Avengers from the action superhero film Avengers Assemble. Complete with horn fanfare, hard hitting percussion and fast-paced strings, this is a track designed to get the blood flowing.
Track 10, Young Peter from The Amazing Spider-Man, has a mysterious science fiction feel to it. Sure, there are the heroic horns, but undercutting it all is a track filled with ambient sound, letting the listener know that this man's transformation is anything but normal. Anyone who saw The Hunger Games knows that the next track is incredibly emotional. The guitar in Rue's Farewell is somber and heartbreaking on its own, but when used as background music to the scene it was composed for, it can render even the hardest of hearts inconsolable. Rounding it all up is Skyfall from the latest Bond movie, a track that starts off slowly, featuring a piano theme that, when combined with electric guitars, offers up that spy that loved me attitude.
This year's edition of Film Music is an incredibly fun album, although I wish the powers that be had added a few more scores to the track list. As much as I loved listening to Film Music 2012, I felt that the album finished way too quickly. There were so many good movies out there in 2012 with amazing scores that I wonder if, just this one time, the creators of this album couldn't have increased the amount of tracks available in this score compilation. That being said, I did completely enjoy Film Music 2012 and would recommend it to any move score collector as an example of some of the finest compositions of the year.