Happy Easter and Passover to those who are celebrating. To my fellow Christians… Happy Resurrection Sunday! I just realized I didn’t post anything for Easter the last two years, though I have done quite a few blog posts on Easter such as this blog-a-thon GOD IS IN THE MOVIES and a collaborative post with my friends Terrence (who’s no longer blogging) and Keith (of Keith and Movies) on 10 Redeeming Films for Easter. What I haven’t done is a Music Break relating to films about redemption/forgiveness. Well, since the last time I did a Music Break was for Valentine’s Day last February, I think it’s the perfect time to post in that category!
Instead of a Top 10, I’m going with 7 as it’s a holy number that often represents ‘completion’ or ‘divine fulfillment,’ so here goes:
The Passion of the Christ
The score by John Debney is beautiful and poignant, but my favorite of the score is no doubt in the final scene of Lord Jesus’ resurrection. The scene itself is minimalistic, yet the emotional impact is undeniable… as it’s God’s ultimate victory over sin and death, the music captures the mystery and majesty of the moment. It starts out sorrowful but slowly grows powerful and grand… it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. This score is one of the three categories nominated for Oscars in 2005, but sadly it didn’t win.
One of my all-time favorite classic scores is Miklós Rózsa‘s soundtrack to the Biblical epic. The entire soundtrack is wonderful to listen to, but I also love the final theme where Judah Ben-Hur is finally redeemed as witnessing Christ’s crucifixion ‘took the sword out of his hand,’ that is his vengeful quest towards Mesala who still haunted him even after his death. I love that it mixed in part of the gorgeous love theme from the movie. Rózsa won one of the eleven Oscars for Best Music in 1960.
Road to Perdition
I love Thomas Newman‘s work and he’s been nominated for 15 Oscars though he has yet to win one. This is one of the nominees and it’s definitely an outstanding, memorable score. I think this Sam Mendes film is underrated, it’s no doubt one of the best crime dramas ever made.
I have dedicated an entire post on this particular theme by Ennio Morricone, but I simply have to include it again here. This Roland Joffé film only won a single Oscar (for Best Cinematography) out of the 7 nominations including Best Score. This one is undoubtedly one of the most stirring pieces of music I’ve ever heard, it has such a soul-piercing quality that makes me tear up every time.
Joe Wright films have such memorable soundtracks. This one is by his longtime collaborator Dario Marianelli who won an Oscar for his astounding work. The English Chamber Orchestra features French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and it just fits the heart-wrenching themes of the film.
Few scores are as heart-rending and emotional as the maestro John Williams‘ score featuring Itzhak Perlman‘s violin performance. Like Gabriel’s Oboe, the evocative score just pierces your soul… so beautiful yet so heart-rending.
You might have heard of the story when Steven Spielberg first showed Williams a cut of Schindler’s List. Apparently, Williams was so moved that he told Spielberg he deserved a better composer. Spielberg replied, “I know, but they’re all dead.” It’s astounding how humble Mr. Williams is, as he is truly one of the greatest composers in the world, living or dead.
Now, all of the scores I’ve listed so far have been nominated for Oscars, which I didn’t plan on until I started working on the post. Well, all except for this one by David Arnold. The score, as well as the film itself by Michael Apted is severely underrated. The film centers on William Wilberforce who maneuvered his way through Parliament in order to end the British transatlantic slave trade. I love this movie that boast an amazing British cast, so if you’re looking for a good film to watch on Easter Sunday, I highly recommend this one.
Hope you enjoy today’s Music Break, have a blessed Sunday!
Feel free to list your own favorite scores from redemptive movies.