Audio: On the Score with Alexandre Desplat
ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records
French composers have been busy before in Hollywood as musical auteurs like Maurice Jarre, Francis Lai, Michelle Legrand and Georges Delerue stepped from scoring on their side of the pond to write such studio soundtracks as “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Summer 42” “The Happy Ending” and “Steel Magnolias.” While Alexandre Desplat has certainly picked up their richly melodic mantle in his ability to navigate from the intimacy of foreign films to the commercial demands of the American multiplex, not even those past maestros could imagine an ever-increasing, yearly workload that’s seen Desplat’s resume grow from his breakthrough English-language pictures “Girl With the Pearl Earing” and “Birth” to encompass “Twilight: New Moon,” “Tree of Life,” “Ghost Writer,” “Julia and Julia,” the last two “Harry Potter” movies and Oscar nominations for “The Queen,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The King’s Speech.”
Alexandre Desplat just might be the hardest working composer in show business. But in his case, quantity is a thing of quality, as he again proves this year with cross-continental work on eight features and one short. It’s a measure of Desplat’s ability to go from the no-holds barred holiday action-adventure of “Rise of the Guardians” to the pensive, barely whispered emotional devastation of “Rust and Bone” soundtracks that not only shows his ability to master any style, but to also sound completely different from score-to-score. Where “Cloclo” has the rich pop strains to match France’s enfant terrible singing superstar Claude Francois, “Moonrise Kingdom” had a charmingly stripped-down, tinkertoy sound to match precociously ironic pubescent characters. Desplat’s painted rich musical colors for “Renoir,” taken off “Reality” TV, as well as the playful neuroses of a psychiatrist’s kinkily lush longing for the Prada commercial “A Therapy.” And he’s also heard two sides of the same, Middle Eastern coin in the flashback suspense of “Argo’s” Iranian escape, and the intensely immediate, throbbing search for Osama Bin Laden in “Zero Dark Thirty,” with both thriller scores expressed in unique, and subtly intense ways.
Now on a new episode of “On the Score,” Alexandre Desplat vocally counts down from 9 for the creatively unabated musical year of 2012.
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