Music from Stieg Larssonís Millennium Trilogy

Musical Score By: Jacob Groth

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Stieg Larrson was a Swedish journalist and writer best known for his crime novels featuring Lisbeth Salander, a dark, socially inept young woman with a photographic memory and a painful past.  The books were adapted to movies in Sweden in 2009 by the Yellow Bird movie company, who, in a partnership with Sony Pictures will be releasing an American version of the first novel, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2011.  On September 14, 2010, Silva Screen Records released Music From Stieg Larssonís Millennium Trilogy featuring themes heard without all three of the Swedish film adaptations.

            The music for the Millennium Trilogy was composed by Jacob Groth, a celebrated Danish composer whose work in film scoring has spanned decades.  Although he has worked on the musical scores of numerous films and television series, the Millennium Trilogy is considered his international breakthrough.

            Having read that The Millennium Trilogy of books - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornetís Nest - were dark and rather gruesome novels, I expected a soundtrack with heavy dark undercurrents.  I was not disappointed.  Instead, I found myself pleasantly surprised.  The music found in each of the eleven tracks is eerie and discomfiting as would befit a musical score for films of such nature.  And yet, the music is also beautifully captivating in its intensity featuring a distinct orchestral sound as performed by the Slovak National Orchestra and mixed with electronic sound and reverb.  Thus, we achieve beauty with a distinct undercurrent of danger.

            My favorite tracks are Millennium (Main TV Theme) which sets the tone for the rest of the soundtrack - dark and deadly, yet devastatingly beautiful and intriguing; Would Anybody Die for Me? (Version 2), an extremely sad song hauntingly performed by Jacob Grothís wife, Misen Groth; and Running Out of Time, an action-packed track with music rising in crescendo and pace which offers up a nice adrenaline rush and implies the need for haste in the face of danger.

            It is no wonder that the compositions by Jacob Groth for this trilogy of films are considered some of his best work.  Music from Stieg Larrsonís Millennium Trilogy is everything you would expect in a soundtrack for a film of this genre and more.  It leaves a lasting impression on the listener.  I may never see the films this music was written for, but I know that I will most definitely listen to and enjoy this soundtrack again and again in the future. 


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