Alan Silvestri

Beowulf [Music from the Motion Picture]

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Alan Silvestri has scored many of director Robert Zemeckis' films, which have spanned genres, their most consistent theme being cinematic innovation. Beowulf is one of the several films of the early 21st century that were hybrids of live action and animation, but perhaps more important for purposes of the score is that it is, of course, a medieval tale of monster fighting based on the ancient epic poem. That obliges Silvestri to write lots of music expressing violence and foreboding, with plenty of tympani (or drum programming) and choirs soaring in wordless apprehension. The action clearly lets up here and there, however, enough for actress Robin Wright Penn to get to carefully sing a couple of period ballads, "Gently as She Goes" and the more anthemic "A Hero Comes Home" (later given an even more bravura reading by Idina Menzel in a clear play for Oscar consideration). Silvestri actually does better with the softer passages, particularly "I Am Beowulf," a big romantic theme. But such cues are only interludes in a score that must support the outsized battle sequences primarily. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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