A Terrence Malick Retrospective

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Director Terrence Malick seems to have an unusual way of working with music and composers for his films. Rather than punctuating the action, as many film scores do, music for Malick's films operate on a larger, grander scale, overlaying, underlying, and surrounding the story with mood and emotion. Host David Garland presents scores from four of Malick's films, including the newest, The Tree of Life.


Hans Zimmer - The Thin Red Line - Light - RCA

Ennio Morricone - Days of Heaven - Harvest, Days of Heaven - Pacific Arts

Alexandre Desplat - The Tree of Life - Circles, Light & Darkness - Lakeshore

James Horner - The New World - The New World, Of the Forest - New Line

Below: The Tree of Life Trailer

Comments [10]

yichihara from NJ

Thank you so much! I cannot help but wonder how you were able to find the site. Simply I admire you : )

Looking at the loooong list, my mouse was wide open. That many??? Even more than I thought, there were pieces I did not even recognize as existing classical (and non-classical?) music pieces. I also realized my bad memories. Yes, as David mentioned surprisingly few original scores written by Desplat are used. Are all the works on the original sound track is used in the film???

It is sort of understandable as the father’s lost dream was becoming a classical music pianist. But I feel very much like asking Malic how he and Desplat chose these individual pieces to use.

Jun. 02 2011 03:03 PM

I saw "The Tree of Life" this weekend, and was interested to hear how LITTLE of Desplat's score seemed to be used. As "yichihara" points out, a lot of preexisting music is in the film, and here is a loooong list of those pieces. I found this list on the Web, and can't vouch for its accuracy, but I think it's probably correct: http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2011/05/bach-respighi-berlioz-smetana-and-many-more-the-music-of-the-tree-of-life.html

May. 31 2011 03:55 PM
yichihara from NJ

David and all,

Did anyone find the list of classical music pieces used in The Tree of Life?
I did not expect that that many familiar classical music pieces are used in this movie. But I could not identify all of them. After watching the movie on the opening day, Fri., May 27, I googled to find them out, but not successful.

The first piece used - too familiar melody, but I just can’t recall the exact title. Second, Smetana’s Ma Vlast Moldau. Third? Bach Cantata (the scene Brad Pit was playing a pipe organ at church). Guitar piece - the second son plays. Chopin piano - Brad Pit plays. The old LP record symphony conducted by Toscanini. Beethoven piano piece from the radio or record in the family dining scene, where the second son says ‘Quit,’ and then the father gets angry and drives kids away from the table … pretty wild family scene.

As I get older I cannot hold recent memory well. If anyone finds them out, please share it with us. I really appreciate that.

May. 29 2011 01:42 AM

Wonderful program tonight. Malik is brilliant to maintain such a consistent sound across so many different composers.

May. 23 2011 11:10 AM

*Sigh* Tonight's has been one of the loveliest musical hours. Those scores are incredible ... Thanks so much for the enlightening commentary!

May. 21 2011 10:01 PM
Bill Strachan from The City

I'm so glad I went to bed last evening listening to PDQ Bach's "UnBegun Symphony."
Perhaps we can get some music from "Creation" or "Paradise" movies. Still time for the "Apocalypse."
Thanks for all the great music you've given us in the past and looking forward with anticipation to the future.

May. 21 2011 09:38 PM

Er, is anybody else listening???

Ooooh, now that Horner sounds like Dances with Wolves meets Glory ...

May. 21 2011 09:23 PM

Hmmmm... That James Horner bit for The New World reminds me of John Barry's score for the arrival of Eleanor of Aquitaine at Chignon in The Lion in Winter.

Lovely, really ...

May. 21 2011 09:21 PM

Yes, it IS possible and practical to compose movie musicbefore the movie is finished, as Alexandre Desplat did for The Tree of Life. I happened to do just that for an indie film back in 2003.

May. 21 2011 12:37 PM

Am looking forward to this program ... if the Rapture doesn't get us, first ... :P

May. 21 2011 06:00 AM

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