Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taking Some "Leaps of Faith" with James Newton Howard

While most of the hype this year concerning James Newton Howard has surrounded his work for The Last Airbender, Howard also snuck in a children's fantasy score: Nanny McPhee Returns.  Patrick Doyle composed the music to the first film and despite crafting a beautiful, choral backed, majestic theme did not return for the sequel.  For those interested, Doyle's music is best represented in the beautiful final track of the score "Snow in August," which is available on the original soundtrack, but also Varese Sarabande's 30th Anniversary 4-CD set.  Howard's effort has met mostly lukewarm reception among film score fans including complaints of length concerning the release and too much mickey mousing in the score's mid-section.  Neverthelss, I decided to take a leap of faith and purchase the second to last cue, Leaps of Faith.  The suite features several different variations of Howard's theme including trumpet, strings, choral, and even a tender xylophone iteration at the conclusion.  While Howard's theme is not as majestic sounding as Doyle's original, it still packs an emotional punch.  I also enjoyed the use of choir even though it is similar to Doyle's.  Recommended.

Related Scores: Nanny McPhee, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium 

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Thanks for sharing!