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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Co-Conducted, and Produced by:
Carter Burwell

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Conducted by:
John Ashton Thomas

Co-Orchestrated by:
Sonny Kompanek

Additional Original Music by:
Chistopher Willis
Adam Smalley

Summit Entertainment

Release Date:
November 27th, 2012

Also See:
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Conspiracy Theory

Audio Clips:
1. Twilight Overture (0:32):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

6. Sparkles at Last (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

24. Gathering in Snow (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

31. Exacueret Nostri Dentes in Filia (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

Regular U.S. release.


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
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Buy it... if you were impressed by Carter Burwell's embrace of mainstream orchestral fantasy techniques in Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and desire an even greater dose of such tones uncharacteristic of his traditional writing style, including impressive choral additions.

Avoid it... if you never bought into Burwell's assignment of electric guitars for vampires, warlike percussion for werewolves, and elusively meandering piano lullabies for the romance, all of which carried to their natural conclusion here.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2: (Carter Burwell) Fortunately, for the intellectually curious citizens of the planet we call Earth, the "small but perfect piece of our forever" known as Stephenie Meyer's "The Twilight Saga" comes to an overdue conclusion on screen with 2012's entry, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. There really is no understating just how ridiculously stupid this franchise's writing has always been, whether in book form or for the movie adaptations, both consisting of an abundance of conversational romance or discussions of the vampire/werewolf mythos without a smidge of intelligence beyond the author's keen ability to tap into the mindset of disgruntled teenagers. The movie versions of "The Twilight Saga" have milked these hapless fools of billions of dollars despite a monumental, worldwide economic recession, Breaking Dawn - Part 2 returning its budget within days and surpassing half a billion dollars in grosses within two weeks. The plot of this final film includes more conversational brooding and starry-eyed young fornicators accomplishing little in the practical realm, a lack of satisfying displays of flesh at least countered by CGI werewolf effects that aren't as laughable as they had been previously in the franchise. The leading love triangle and their allies spend much of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 attempting to hide from the vampires that run the worldwide show, but director Bill Condon, Meyer, and co-writer Melissa Rosenberg are sure to throw in a massive battle sequence at the climax that, with its major, deceptive twist at the end, is sure to displease many viewers. The music of the movies in this franchise has always been dominated by song placements, and Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is no exception. More than a dozen, mostly innocuous pop insertions exist in this film, five of which reserved for the end credits. Over the course of these films, the score composers involved have made varying attempts to blend the tone of their contribution with the songs, Carter Burwell among the most adept at that synchronization. His music for the initial film in 2008 was a challenging listening experience in these regards, the contemporary elements detracting from his orchestral half, though by Breaking Dawn - Part 1 in 2011, he had found a much better (and remarkably impressive) balance of the two disparate musical identities in the overarching story. On the other hand, singular, more classically inclined scores tendered by Alexandre Desplat and Howard Shore proved to irritate concept purists who had embraced Burwell's more natural fit with the prevailing style of Twilight.

Burwell returns to handle Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and build upon the tremendous progress he made in the previous score. The composer's career has always been defined by awkward meters, disjointed chords, and harmonies that are difficult to grasp, but in these final two Twilight scores, he has managed to transition that personal preference towards the needs of the rather straight-forward fantasy elements in these stories. Ten years prior, it would have been inconceivable to think that Burwell would unleash harmonically satisfying, resounding orchestral and choral music of the nature heard especially in Breaking Dawn - Part 2. There are his traditional stylistic fingerprints still evident throughout the work, in part because of the continuation of his primary theme from the 2008 movie, but multiple sequences reveal a side of the composer that emulates the unashamed fun of Christopher Young's Priest, a cheap but in this case effective choice. Several cues in Breaking Dawn - Part 2 utilize ear-friendly gothic magnificence, some of which, as in "Exacueret Nostri Dentes in Filia," raising the deeply chanted choral hell from Jerry Goldsmith's The Omen scores (though in this case with appropriately funny Latin lyrics). Emphasis on brass muscularity over bombastic percussive ramblings is impressive in many cases, though equally derivative in parts, such as the reference to Don Davis' The Matrix in "Chasing Renesmee." Some of the outrageously massive battle music at the end was co-written by two of Burwell's assistants, however. The instrumentation of the remainder of the score continues to be the key to the effectiveness of Burwell's return to the saga. The piano is again the emotional heart of the tale, performed on screen once more during another affectionate scene, rotating between the original "Bella's Lullaby" and a new, related identity for the character's daughter, Renesmee. Various guitars continue to represent the coolness of the vampires in the concept, and the Japanese Taiko drums and associate stick-banging is reprised for the werewolves. The mixing of these elements continues to improve with each Burwell entry, "Cloud Forest" particularly impressive in its layering. Even the pop-like cues, best exemplified by "A World Bright and Buzzing," are more palatable than before, the electric guitar performances of the lullaby over varied percussion and electric bass yielding to a resounding Basil Poledouris-like brass conclusion in that cue. The most intriguing emphasis in Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is the addition of the choral mix, a rarity for Burwell and one that provides an invaluable identity to the baddies in this tale. Heard first in "The Immortal Children," this material flourishes in "Gathering in Snow."

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Thematically, Burwell creates a more cohesive tapestry in Breaking Dawn - Part 2. The main theme, "Bella's Lullaby," one of immense personal meaning to the composer, is adapted to represent the entire clan of protagonists in the story. Its associated motif of happiness, heard once again at the very end of this score ("Such a Prize"), is still distractingly similar to the equivalent theme at the end of Conspiracy Theory, but at least it utilizes more of Burwell's traditional style of movement for veteran enthusiasts of the composer. The new theme for the daughter is a simple offshoot of the main lullaby as well, a logical choice and one introduced on flute in "Meet Renesmee." The developed theme for the evil vampires in "The Immortal Children" and "Reading Edward" is a guilty pleasure and resembles the monolithic, static stomping heard in Shore's franchise entry. Perhaps the most interesting and praise-worthy aspect of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is Burwell's choice to score the "Twilight Overture" with a combination of his themes and those by Desplat and Shore. This outstanding tribute to the entire franchise's music opens with flirtation between Burwell's main lullaby and Desplat's New Moon theme before affording the latter its piano-led solo dues. A prevailing action motif from Shore's Eclipse proceeds with expected dual-note expressions and slammed percussion. Remarkably, Desplat's theme and Burwell's lullaby both ramble out of this Shore insertion before "Bella's Lullaby," as intended by Burwell, receives a final performance that builds up to its Conspiracy Theory-like conclusion. This cue is among the best of 2012, in part because of the mere choice of included themes but also because of how well Burwell arranges them together. Thereafter, the Breaking Dawn - Part 2 album contains a few sequences of highly listenable material, notable in the first third and in the cues leading up to the final confrontation. The several minutes including and following "Sparkles at Last" (with a downright lovely manipulation of the main theme) is outstanding, "Catching Snowflakes" featuring a remarkable crescendo of string and brass pulsations perfect for the awe and suspense of the moment. Undeniable magic in "A Way With the World" is truly un-Burwell-like. That said, there are some unlistenable explosions of percussive blasting in the score, some of which abruptly opening album tracks that flow directly out of pretty, prior cues. The closing tracks, including "Such a Prize," are a bit understated, too. A fantastic twenty-minute compilation can be made of the highlights of Breaking Dawn - Part 2, ultimately, and although the brief, heart-warming performance of Desplat's theme may send listeners back for a full dose of New Moon, one could fill an entire CD album with engaging and memorable material from Burwell's three scores for the franchise. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Carter Burwell reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.84 (in 19 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.72 (in 10,140 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings: Total Time: 63:09

• 1. Twilight Overture* (3:02)
• 2. A World Bright and Buzzing (1:12)
• 3. The Lamb Hunts the Lion (1:59)
• 4. Meet Renesmee (2:43)
• 5. Here Goes Nothing (0:59)
• 6. Sparkles at Last (1:04)
• 7. Catching Snowflakes (1:41)
• 8. The Immortal Children (2:01)
• 9. Merchant of Venice (0:44)
• 10. Into the White (1:04)
• 11. Renesmee's Lullaby/Something Terrible (3:03)
• 12. A Way With the World (1:38)
• 13. The Amazon Arrives (1:00)
• 14. A Yankee Vampire (1:07)
• 15. Cloud Forest (1:23)
• 16. Witnesses (1:37)
• 17. We Will Fight (0:57)
• 18. Shield Training (2:09)
• 19. At Bedtime a Child Asks About Death (1:14)
• 20. Decoding Alice (1:45)
• 21. The Driving Question (1:09)
• 22. Present Time (2:11)
• 23. This Extraordinary Life (2:11)
• 24. Gathering in Snow (2:45)
• 25. She is Not Immortal (0:53)
• 26. Reading Edward (0:55)
• 27. Magnifica (1:10)
• 28. Irina Loses Her Head (2:52)
• 29. Aro's Oration (2:48)
• 30. A Kick in the Head (0:58)
• 31. Exacueret Nostri Dentes in Filia (1:48)
• 32. Chasing Renesmee (1:20)
• 33. A Crack in the Earth* (2:24)
• 34. Aro's End* (1:52)
• 35. That's Your Future (0:52)
• 36. Such a Prize (3:25)

* contains music by additional composers

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a list of performers (arranged incomprehensibly) and a note from Burwell about the score.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 are Copyright © 2012, Summit Entertainment. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/1/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.