Saturday Soundtrack # 10
This film, directed by Chris Weitz, is based on the second book in the string of unfathomably popular novels by Stephanie Meyer. It continues the ongoing story of the relationship between moody, introverted Bella and brooding, sensitive vampire Edward. However, in a twist, native American teen Jacob has stepped to the forefront, revealing that he has fallen for Bella himself, and moreover that he holds a dark secret of his own: he and his family are werewolves, and have been at war with the vampires for generations.
Whether the (probably inevitable) success of the film will translate to an appreciation of the film’s music remains to be seen. Carter Burwell (composer of the disappointing score of the first film, Twilight) was replaced for this film by Desplat. I like much of Desplat’s music, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, Casanova, The Painted Veil,(for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (see Saturday Soundtrack # 5) and his score for director Weitz on The Golden Compass in 2007. So I had high hopes for this score.
Desplat’s music is better than the previous film’s in every way; orchestrally, technically and thematically, and in likeability. There is very beautiful string writing and some vividly dark moments, almost dissonant, which capture the romance and danger depicted in the film.
The main theme, as heard in the opening “New Moon”, is a simple melody. Using piano and a string wash Desplat deftly expands it to the full orchestra giving us a memorable, sweeping theme. Later, in the cue “Edward Leaves” another use of piano theme is employed to convey the bittersweet nature of the relationships. This is a lush, romantic score. I’ve listened to it many times, and the themes and interactions of them are revealing themselves to be nicely woven together into a most pleasing whole.