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Comments about the soundtrack for Restoration (James Newton Howard)

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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
• Posted by: Tim T   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, April 22, 2007, at 3:19 p.m.
• IP Address:

(The following donated review by Tim T was moved by Filmtracks to this comment section in April, 2007)

Restoration: (James Newton Howard) If anything can be said about James Newton Howard is that he is a real chameleon when it comes to film scoring. No matter what the subject or mood Howard can camouflage into any style; Rock, country, action, horror, atmospheric, romantic comedies, and westerns etc. Now with Restoration, Howard's once again transforms, this time into a classical composer of the 17th Century!

With strong inspiration from Henry Percell, Howard adapts and composes one of the best of his dramatic scores yet. What he has done is created beautiful inspired score that interweaves lush modern orchestrations with 17th century baroque compositions and instruments for some of the music. Howard explains "...we felt that the sound of contemporary instruments would have a greater emotional value to contemporary ears, and so, would be more effective as a dramatic underscore."

The CD opens with Percells's "If Loves A Sweet Passion" and followed by Howard's own variation for contemporary instruments. Several pieces of the score are inspired by this composition. The main theme composed by Howard is a romantic one with many variations reflects the change of the films main character (Merivel). "I think this theme reflects his potential, and ultimately represents his fulfillment." says Howard. You can hear this theme in the trailer for The Messenger in the stand alone dramatic track "The Fire". "Katherine Sleeps" has another note worthy lyrical theme.

Lush, elegant, and romantic are the best words to describe this master piece. Not to mention the haunting choir used later in the score. Running over 60 minutes, there are about 35 minutes of Howard's original score, and the rest is various classical arrangements. Restoration is very moving even outside the film. Bravo! *****

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