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Monuments Men - O.S.T. [Import]

Alexandre Desplat Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 10.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography

After composing the music for over 50 European films and being nominated for 2 Cesar Awards, ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2003 with his evocative score to GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING (starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth), which earned him nominations from the Golden Globes, BAFTA and European Film Awards.

His reputation was solidified by his critically ... Read more in Amazon's Alexandre Desplat Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Feb 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Masterworks
  • ASIN: B00HDG4XEI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,837 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I recently saw “The Monuments Men” in the theater. I enjoyed the movie more than I had expected, and very much enjoyed the orchestral score. I made a mental note to check out the soundtrack.

“The Monuments Men – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (25 tracks; 61 min.) is the movie score composed by French composer Alexandre Desplat. He is a veteran movie guy, having previously scored films like the recent “Philomena”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, and the previous George Clooney movie “The Ides of March”. As you can tell from the number of tracks and the total running time, many of these are very short, in the 1 to 2 min. frame, some not even that. But it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the album. From the opening sounds of “The Roosevelt Mission”, you can feel a certain military undertone to it, and that comes back time and again. “Opening Titles” is the optimistic-sounding opening march, reminding me of John Williams’ opening song for “1941” of Steven Spielberg all those years ago. “Ghent Altarpiece” plays at an early crucial moment in the film, when Jan Van Eyk’s masterpiece is whisked away. As is often the case with these orchestral soundtracks, you can almost make out the entire plot of the movie by looking at the titles of these songs (“Sniper”, “Into Bruges”, “Jean-Claude Dies”, etc.). I suppose it’s unavoidable but it’s irritating at times nevertheless, certainly if one hasn’t seen the movie yet. Pointing out a couple more highlights: “Claire & Granger” is beautifully romantic, with a sweeping orchestra sound. “Castle Art Hoard” is nicely restrained but still evocative. My least favorite track on here is the 9 min. “Finale”, which is tied directly to the dramatic conclusion of the movie. After a nice 1 min.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful orchestral movie score with a military undertone 10 Feb 2014
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I recently saw “The Monuments Men” in the theater. I enjoyed the movie more than I had expected, and very much enjoyed the orchestral score. I made a mental note to check out the soundtrack.

“The Monuments Men – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (25 tracks; 61 min.) is the movie score composed by French composer Alexandre Desplat. He is a veteran movie guy, having previously scored films like the recent “Philomena”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, and the previous George Clooney movie “The Ides of March”. As you can tell from the number of tracks and the total running time, many of these are very short, in the 1 to 2 min. frame, some not even that. But it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the album. From the opening sounds of “The Roosevelt Mission”, you can feel a certain military undertone to it, and that comes back time and again. “Opening Titles” is the optimistic-sounding opening march, reminding me of John Williams’ opening song for “1941” of Steven Spielberg all those years ago. “Ghent Altarpiece” plays at an early crucial moment in the film, when Jan Van Eyk’s masterpiece is whisked away. As is often the case with these orchestral soundtracks, you can almost make out the entire plot of the movie by looking at the titles of these songs (“Sniper”, “Into Bruges”, “Jean-Claude Dies”, etc.). I suppose it’s unavoidable but it’s irritating at times nevertheless, certainly if one hasn’t seen the movie yet. Pointing out a couple more highlights: “Claire & Granger” is beautifully romantic, with a sweeping orchestra sound. “Castle Art Hoard” is nicely restrained but still evocative. My least favorite track on here is the 9 min. “Finale”, which is tied directly to the dramatic conclusion of the movie. After a nice 1 min. “Closing Titles” comes the only sung track, a cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, in an a cappella rendition that plays as the troops are in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 in Belgium and it will give you goose bumps. It is a great moment in the movie and I am very happy it is included in this collection.

A few words about the movie: if you don’t like art or history, do yourself a favor and catch a different movie. If on the other hand you love art and history, you are in for a treat. This is a solid historical drama that gave me some insights on WWII, and in particular the preservation/recovery of art in WWII, which I didn't have before.

Bottom line: "The Monuments Men", both the movie and the soundtrack, is definitely worth checking out.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Festival of nostalgia 15 Feb 2014
By Jon Broxton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Monuments Men is a World War II action-drama-comedy, directed by George Clooney, based on the real-life escapades of a group of art history scholars who were assigned to find and protect the priceless artworks of central Europe, and stop it from falling into the hands of the Nazis. With an all-star supporting cast that includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban and Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, the film certainly has pedigree, but many people have complained about the unusual tone the film adopts, veering from comedy to serious drama and back again, often within the same scene. The deliberate pacing and intentionally old-fashioned style of the film has also been criticized for being out of touch with modern audiences, but these were some of the reasons I felt the film succeeded: the film is less about moving from one action sequence to another and is more about the camaraderie between the men at the center of the story, and about the importance of the art they are tasked with protecting.

The score for The Monuments Men is by Alexandre Desplat, working for Clooney for the third time after The Ides of March in 2011 and Argo in 2012, which Clooney produced. Desplat’s score, much like the film, is intentionally old fashioned, and may sound dated and cliché to some listeners less attuned to this sort of music. Written for a full symphony orchestra, Desplat’s main theme is a belter: it intentionally channels those great old British war movie themes that people like Ron Goodwin and Malcolm Arnold used to write, like Bridge Over the River Kwai or 633 Squadron, and has the same militaristic, slightly pompous, upbeat, can-do attitude that those scores all had in spades. Not only that, the score also seems to have a little bit of Americana to it too, mostly via classics like 1941, Midway, The Great Escape or Stripes, from John Williams and Elmer Bernstein. While this might sound something of a mish-mash, Desplat handles it all perfectly, weaving his main theme in and around several set-pieces, changing up the tempos and altering the emotional content masterfully.

After a subtle opening in “The Roosevelt Mission”, Desplat sets his cards on the table in the second cue, “The Monuments Men”, which presents full performances of the A and B sections of his main theme: the A section is the jaunty march, all warm horns, light strings, trilling flutes and parade ground snares, while the B section (which starts at 0:37 and lasts for around 20 seconds) is more serious and martial, imbued with heroism and sense of adventurous purpose. These two themes form the cornerstone and backbone of the entire score, featuring in one form or another in virtually every cue thereafter.

In “Basic Training” it flits in and out of a more straightforward comedy cue, accompanying the slightly ridiculous scenes of Goodman and Murray attempting a military obstacle course. Later, in both “Stokes Talks” and at the end of “Jean-Claude Dies”, the A-section is re-imagined in a much more serious, reflective tone for piano and strings, while at the end of both “Sniper” and “Heilbronn Mine” it is heard, subtly, on a solo piano in amongst all the frenetic action. Meanwhile the B section appears, on soft warm horns and a distant-sounding piano, in “The Letter”, underscoring one of the film’s more poignant death scenes.

In addition to the main theme, there is a more serious theme that seeks to underscore the enormity of the task the men must undertake; it appears briefly in the opening “The Roosevelt Mission”, and re-occurs in both “Normandy” and “Deauville”, although in the latter it has a more mischievous air with use of plucked pizzicato strings. A Gallic-flavored love theme for Claire and James, Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon’s characters, underscores their relationship in Paris. It first appears as a subtle music-box motif for harp and glockenspiel at the beginning of “Champagne”, before getting a much more fulsome recapitulation during the first half of the lovely “Claire & Granger”, in which soft, warm strings and harp glissandi carry the melody. The second half of the cue then revisits the Mission theme, for adventurous French horns, strident strings and light metallic percussion.

A mysterious, slightly religioso woodwind motif for the Ghent Alterpiece, one of the relics the Monuments Men search for, makes an brief appearance in the cue of the same name, parrying back and forth with the recurring motif for the Nazis, which is heard on muted horns atop a strident string ostinato. I wish there was more of the Alterpiece theme, as it’s really beautiful, but it only ever comes back once more during the meat of the underscore, at the very end of the lovely “Castle Art Hoard”. The Nazi motif is much more prevalent, however, reappearing forcefully in the dramatic and intimidating “I See You, Stahl”, the low-key but tension-filled “Siegen Mine”, and the militaristic “Heilbronn Mine”. Cleverly, the Nazi theme is completely flipped on its head in “Stahl’s Chalet” into a bumbling Bavarian oompah-band dance, as the former SS commander attempts to hide his identity from the Men.

There are a few action sequences too, including the exciting aforementioned “Sniper”, the bubbling woodwind-heavy “Into Bruges” (which has a heavy 1990s John Williams influence), the edgy and tempestuous “The Nero Decree” and the energetic first half of the aforementioned “Jean-Claude Dies”, which contains some fabulous call-and-response brass triplets and timpani hits reminiscent of Desplat’s score for Birth.

The nine-minute “Finale” is superb; it opens with a relentless staccato action sequence that reminds me of Michael Giacchino’s show-stopping ‘Taking Out the Railgun’ piece from the original Medal of Honor score, a celebration of flashing string figures, powerful brass calls and forward motion. A soft variation on the Main Theme for woodwinds, a couple of brief statements of the Ghent Alterpiece theme, moments of anxiety and intensity, stately performances of the Mission theme for brass and heavy strings, a lovely rendition of Claire & Granger waltz, and even a subdued version of the Nazi theme all play off each other excellently, providing a rich and full-textured overview of the score’s main thematic identities. This segues into a cheerful, whistled version of the main theme – more echoes of Malcolm Arnold and River Kwai – in the “End Titles”, before the score ends with a wholesome rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by vocalist Nora Segal that brings the album to a nostalgic close.

The Monuments Men is a superb throwback to an era when the music in films of this nature had personality, and weren’t afraid of emotion or sentiment. Alexandre Desplat, and apparently George Clooney, both understand the power good film music can bring to a project like this, which is intentionally designed to reflect a style of filmmaking that was less cynical. I can certainly see how less seasoned listeners who are not used to this manner of scoring might find Desplat’s merry main theme unpalatable at best, downright annoying at worst, but personally I loved it, and found it refreshingly memorable.

Also: for those of you who plan to see the film, watch out for Desplat’s acting cameo as Emile, a French resistance operative who helps Matt Damon sneak into Nazi-occupied Paris. He has several lines, including one moment of actual, proper emotional acting, and gets to drive a horse and cart, and fly a WWII-era bi-plane! How many film composers can say that?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uneven and too zany--and who needed the whistling? 7 Mar 2014
By Neo Noircat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Alexandre Desplat is uneven at best. His ambient score for Zero Dark Thirty was worthy of an Oscar,but other scores like The Upside of Anger are completely unmemorable. The Monument Men suffers from too much nostalgia: a retro Hollywood love theme, some faux Indiana Jones, a little Chaplin zany, and whistling that is supposed to be reminiscent of The Bridge on the River Kwai or something. The end result is a lame score that makes the scenes seem old and stale.

What frightens me most is that Desplat is reportedly doing the score for the 2014 reboot of Godzilla. Akira Ifukube must be trembling in his grave.
4.0 out of 5 stars Monuments Men's very catchy 18 Mar 2014
By Beverly M Cameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's not a 5 star but definitely close. It has a very catchy theme that runs throughout (it really enhanced the movie) and it will be one of those that I put up there with the noteworthy themes from movies such as "Patton", "Dirty Dozen" and "Stalag 17". It does have a few dull moments that are short spinets however it is an original sound track so one has to expect that.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just fantastic 16 April 2014
By M. N. Part - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The movie was one of the best we have seen in along time
as for the soundtrack it is just fantastic it is the best I have
heard since the great escape soundtrack it is a real toe
tapper their where many in the theatre tapping their feet
to it I know my wife and I were and it is great to listen too./
it is worth a ten in my book.
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