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The King's Speech - Soundtrack [Soundtrack]

Alexandre Desplat Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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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
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00474AB7W
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,224 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely music, especially the Beethoven. 19 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A useful addition to the film DVD.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desplat's music gives the king a voice 15 Dec 2010
By Jon Broxton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The United Kingdom suffered one of its worst constitutional crises in living memory in the early 1930s. Following the death of King George V, his eldest son David ascended to the throne as King Edward VIII, but his insistence on marrying Wallis Simpson - a commoner, a divorcee, and worst of all an American - brought criticism from the political and religious leaders of the time. Forced with a choice between his kingdom and the woman he loved, Edward chose the latter, leaving his younger brother Bertie to reluctantly take over as King George VI. However, suddenly becoming the monarch of over a third of the world's population did not sit well with the new king, who was forced to deal with two issues at the beginning of his reign: firstly, the growing influence of German chancellor Adolf Hitler threatening peace in Europe, and secondly the King's own terrible stutter, which often rendered him literally speechless on important occasions. To counteract the latter, the King sought out the help of an unconventional Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Director Tom Hooper's excellent film The King's Speech tells the story of the unconventional friendship of the pair; it stars Colin Firth as George VI, Geoffrey Rush as Logue, and Helena Bonham-Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Guy Pearce as Edward, and Michael Gambon as the ailing George V.

The music for The King's Speech is by Alexandre Desplat, and is his fifth score of 2010, following the thriller The Ghost Writer, the comedy Tamara Drewe, the political drama The Special Relationship and the first part of the fantastical Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Despite having tackled five different genres in 2010 alone, Desplat is apparently becoming the go-to-guy when it comes to writing music for the British monarchy and British political life; having already written the critically acclaimed score for The Queen in 2006, he is now turning his attention to the life of her father. Clearly, should films be made of the lives of Edward VII and Queen Victoria, Desplat will be your man.

However, whereas The Queen dressed up the current British monarchy with contemporary rhythmic ideas more suited to depictions of modern life, Desplat treats the pre-WWII royals with a much more classical flavor. Written for a medium-sized orchestra with emphasis on strings, piano and the usual light woodwinds, The King's Speech is a delightful, occasionally quite whimsical score, in much the same vein as recent works such as Cheri and Coco Avant Chanel. Long-time listeners will be pleased to learn that there is nary a waltz in sight in The King's Speech, but the effortless sense of classicism, crystal clear orchestrations, precise tempos and charming warmth is still there in spades.

Desplat's elegant main theme, as heard in "The King's Speech", "The Royal Household" and at the end of "Fear and Suspicion", is lush and florid but just a little light-hearted. It's full of movement and grace, with a pretty piano line, sprightly pizzicato accompaniments, and occasional moments for effervescent chimes, and captures perfectly the hustle and bustle of 1930s London and the occasionally irritating pomp and circumstance of real royal life without coming across as stuffy or overly-officious. Similarly, the music which accompanies the numerous scenes between the two unlikely friends, best heard in the opening "Bertie and Lionel", is a charming and warm string and piano piece with occasional accents for soft flutes and harps, a tender reflection of their unusual relationship, Lionel's decidedly unconventional but engaging personality, and the apparent absurdity of his therapeutic techniques, which of course work like a charm.

As the central plot of the film deals with the King and his speech impediment, parts of Desplat's score mirror this through the music. One of the score's recurring motifs (first heard in "The King's Speech", elaborated upon "My Kingdom My Rules", and which features prominently in "Memories of Childhood" and "Queen Elizabeth") is intentionally unresolved and cyclical, insinuating a similar lack of resolution in the King's voice. Bertie cannot get his words out, stuttering over the same syllable repeatedly, and the music follows suit, never quite managing to develop beyond a brief thematic presence: a solo piano chord with a string sustain over the top. It's not minimalism in the same way that Philip Glass repeats the same phrase over and over again, but it has the same intellectual ideas behind it, and illustrates the core issue of the film well without being blindingly obvious. This theme finally breaks out of its shell in the lovely "The Rehearsal", when the stammering motif and the main theme play in counterpoint to each other as the King and Lionel make the final preparations for his coronation in Westminster Abbey. The addition of flighty woodwind accents and a more lyrical piano line to the music makes this cue an album highlight, albeit a brief one.

Some darker string-led material features in "The King is Dead", "Memories of Childhood", "King George VI" and "The Threat of War", parts of which are a little reminiscent of the more choppy and dissonant material from his Harry Potter score, and which reminds us that the life of a monarch can be as tragic as anyone else's. The final two cues, "Speaking Unto Nations" and "Epilogue", do not feature any Desplat music, and instead are relatively straightforward performances of two Beethoven classical pieces, the Allegretto from the Seventh Symphony, and the Adagio from the Emperor Piano Concerto. Desplat and director Hooper apparently decided to score the finale with these two pieces as a reflection of their place in British public consciousness alongside the King's famous broadcast rallying the nation behind Prime Minister Winston Churchill against the forces of Nazi Germany.

Another interesting aspect of the score is its recording. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times Desplat revealed that his engineer, Peter Cobbin, located the original personalized microphones that were made for the royal family (replicas of which actually appear in the film) in a storeroom at Abbey Road in London, and used them in order to capture an authentically "old fashioned" sound during the recording session. Although the end result is a recording which, in parts, sounds a little distant (especially in the opening cue, "Lionel and Bertie"), one has to applaud the clever little ways Desplat and his team approach the score, and the lengths to which they go to make the music sound as appropriate as possible.

The score for The King's Speech has been roundly praised by many mainstream critics, and is likely to be a strong contender for an Oscar nomination when the names are read in 2011. It's not Desplat's best score of 2010 - that accolade remains firmly in the hands of Harry Potter - but it is an enjoyable little work which compares favorably with earlier scores such as The Luzhin Defence, Girl With a Pearl Earring, and the aforementioned The Queen, Cheri and Coco Avant Chanel. If you're not already a fan of Desplat's work in the genre, The King's Speech is not going to convert you, but his admirers will enjoy it immensely.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Story, Beautiful Music! 8 Jan 2011
By Joy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I just saw this film a week ago, and I was so impressed that I immediately bought the book and the sound track. It just arrived yesterday, and I immediately started listening. The remarkable thing is that I could see the various scenes in the film..as clear as day. You don't find that very often in contemporary films. Just listening, I could "hear" the spirit of this quiet, diffident and honourable man. As the score built, I could "hear" the King finding his voice. When the Speech was read...(To the glorieus music of Beethoven) I could "hear" both triumph and release.

It was truly magnificent...to hear a man painted in notes of music.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Emotional And Evocative 19 Jan 2011
By John D. Cofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Alexandre Desplat created the perfect soundtrack for the magnificent The King's Speech, in which an Australian speech therapist becomes the unlikely friend and support of a British monarch. The film beautifully depicts both sides of life for a Royal: the public pomp and panoply and the private fears and miseries. Desplat's compositions also reflect these contradictions. Some tracks have a sparkling, bustling feel to them with some jazz and swing overtones appropriate to the era. Others tend to be darker, with overtones of crisis and looming conflict.

Desplat's music is excellent, but my absolute favorite tracks on this CD are the last two, from Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and the Emperor Piano Concerto #5. The grandeur and forboding so well depicted in the Seventh Symphony was an excellent choice to accompany the speech King George VI made at the outbreak of World War II, while the piano concerto mades a beautiful epilogue. There's just no way to surpass Beethoven!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting and triumphant 27 Jan 2011
By M. Pope - Published on Amazon.com
Until the movie is released on DVD, we'll have to remember it via this wonderful soundtrack. I'm listening to it now. Some of it reminds me of the music from "A Beautiful Mind"; some of it sounds like music from some of the great "period pieces" from the last few years like "Sense and Sensibility" with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant (wonderful actors all, of course). The scene in the "The King's Speech" in which the next to the last piece -- from Beethoven's 7th -- is the background is one of the most powerful and moving scenes in any movie I've ever seen. I certainly agree that Colin Firth deserves as Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the movie, and though Geoffrey Rush has already won an Oscar, he deserves one for this movie as well. I hope the great soundtrack will also be recognized by the Academy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i can't get this out of my head... 14 Jan 2011
By nhilario - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
i saw this movie earlier today...and although the movie itself is splendidly done, the soundtrack is what absorbed me into the film.the music is the silent heart of the film; it gives depth to the characters and rouses the soul of the viewer...my sister slept through the film but we both were humming the music throughout lunch...
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