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Snow Falling on Cedars: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Soundtrack]

James Newton HowardAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 7, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: December 7, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Decca U.S.
  • ASIN: B000038IDY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lost In The Fog
2. Carl's Fishing Net
3. Moran Finds The Boat
4. Hatsue And Ishmael Kiss
5. Kendo
6. Driftwood Hideaway
7. The Strawberry Field
8. The Worst Kind Of News
9. Seven Acres
10. The German Soldier
11. Snowstorm
12. Coast Guard Report
13. Typeset
14. The Evacuation
15. Courtroom Montage
16. Susan Marie Remembers
17. The Defense
18. Snow Drive
19. Typing
20. Tarawa
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Thanks to the success of pioneering musician-scorers like Hans Zimmer, the symbiosis of traditional orchestral tones with synthesized electronic elements has become one of film-scoring's most popular working methods. The underlying reasons, however, haven't been always been particularly altruistic; a music software program doesn't have to work for scale. Composer James Newton Howard's score for director Scott Hick's telling of novelist David Guterson's interracial soap opera cum murder mystery is one of the best of the new genre, a seamless sonic wedding of the orchestral/choral/electronic, replete with appropriate ethnic instrumentation (is it real or is it Microsoft?). It's music that ranges dreamily from delicate flute passages and ethereal choral work to understated solo cello and percussive flourishes. This is what New Age music should sound like. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heads Falling Over Heels January 20, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If you love the film, it's a difficult stance not to become critically biased over the soundtrack.
Here, Howard's work is such an integral part of the film's emotive feel that it can pull you back into the visual realm within a mere snap of the fingers. It's that good.
Offered here, is a mix of tracks ranging from synthesized layered textures to that full orchestra sound one has come to cherish. At times, a violin or cello 'solo' against either of the two backgrounds aforemenioned resonate the film's unrequieted love and a longing for innocence gone by.
With reference to Japanese aesthetics - a subtle hybrid (Western orchestra and Japanese flute/blocks/gongs) form underlies the soundtrack. It's not a radical concept but one that works successfully under slick production.
With 27 tracks and a sparse 67 minutes - many tracks are short. 'Carl's Fishing Boat' is the first of the tracks to place a series of 'echoing' strings found in later tracks. One moment the track is tender and then it leaps into a 'full sound' without becoming overbearing and still remaining true to its tenderness.
Other goodies are: 'The Strawberry Field', 'The Worst Kind of News', 'Snowstorm', 'The Evacuation', 'Snowangels', 'Can I Hold you Now?' just to name a few.
Do yourself a favour - run a bath, light some candles, hang up the phone, and enjoy some moments of true tranquility.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More moving than even the movie or the book! February 28, 2000
Format:Audio CD
After reading the novel and seeing the film, it took me about two seconds to realize that I had to have this score . . . and I was not disappointed. What an amazing piece of work by Howard! I thouroughly enjoyed the novel by Gutterson and was moved to tears watching the movie, but the score outshines both of these. The music invokes a broad spectrum of emotions, from wonder (Hatsue and Ishmael Kiss) to heartache (The Strawberry Field--the best track), and sadness (The Evacuation and Tarawa) to bittersweet happiness (Snow Angels and Can I Hold You Now?). It is one of my favorite new soundtracks, and I'm positive it will remain in my collection for all time. Buy "Snow Falling On Cedars"--it's worth every penny and you certainly won't regret it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Score! December 8, 1999
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This soundtrack is a real pleasure to listen to - you get a LOT for your money here. Beautiful, tender, haunting music. Newton Howard is once again proving himself to be one of the best contemporary film composers. I highly recommend this CD - haven't seen the movie yet but if it is as good as the music we're talking Oscars come March 26, 2000.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and visceral. March 2, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Combining new age influences with traditional string pieces, the score composed for "Snow Falling on Cedars" is yet another piece of music making that truly inspires its listeners. It contains emotion throughout the entire album, adding so much to the brilliance of the movie is was made for. James Newton Howard has done a masterful job in giving us cutting-edge vocals combined with deep bass penetrations and haunting strings to convey the melancholy and depression the film is so wonderful for. I found myself crying just thinking of the different scenes in the film as the music played, and was completely satisfied with the score. A true winner, for those in the mood to depress themselves or listen to excellent music!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music for an equally gorgeous film. January 12, 2000
By Casey
Format:Audio CD
After seeing Snow Falling on Cedars and having my breath stolen by the incriticate shots and the music that accompanied them, I hurried out and bought the CD. The CD is wonderful. It soothes me, nice for just relaxing. I can almost see the Pacific Northwest rains falling outside my window, as some of the tracks play. I love tracks 4, 9, 20, 27, and some others... but they are all wonderful and nice to listen to at different times. I highly would recommend this CD, especially if you liked the movie as much as I did!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Powerful. January 5, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This Soundtrack is a hauntingly beautiful blend of sounds, utilizing New-Age music instrumentation, full orchestration, and Choral choruses. It is best appreciated if one has seen the movie first. The selection of instruments, voices, and phrasing, are expertly blended to draw the listener into the various moods and messages of the movie. Having purchased the CD after seeing the film, I have listened to it dozens of times, and can still see the beautiful movie images in my mind each time. I have visited these islands where the film is located , and have sailed the same waters, so the music and the images are very real.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the music suits the movie December 16, 1999
By Sarah
Format:Audio CD
I have not listened to entire CD, but I had the chance to see a special screening of the movie. The music completed the film. The kabuki drum would bang at the correct moments. The cello and the organ fit the movie perfectly. This soundtrack completed the already very sensual movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Howard's best! February 25, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I've been a big fan of James Newton Howard for years now. I believe that what makes him one of the best composers of the modern era is his great variety in styles. Although he is probably mostly known for his (very) dark, heavy, bombastic compositions (e.g. King Kong, A Perfect Murder, Devil's Advocate), he has also composed light, cheery scores (e.g. Peter Pan), energetic, captivating music (e.g. Waterworld), romantic (e.g. The Prince of Tides) as well as sensitive and emotional scores (e.g. The Village).

Unlike many other great composers, Howard not only uses large orchestras with the traditional instruments for his compositions. For example The Grand Canyon and Primal Fear have as main instruments synthesizers and/or electric guitars.

Snow falling on Cedars is one of those compositions that involves traditional as well as non traditonal instruments and at times choirs singing like it's the end of an opera. The atmosphere of the different tracks can change from frightening or theatrical to peaceful and relaxed to emotional and sensitive. All tracks have a slightly depressing undertone but in a beautiful way.

Although this soundtrack is probably best compared to The Village, in a sense it's almost a 'best of' cd because in the melodies you'll find many similarities to a great lot of his other soundtracks. But because it also has a very distinct flavour this soundtrack stands proudly on its own.

When listening to it, already during the first few seconds the music captivates you and you'll experience moodswings from the beginning to the end. After listening to it a couple of times, I discovered the music really grows on you.

Definitely one of my favourites from Howard!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For Rabid JNH Fans Yearning For His Glory Days
I held off buying this score since JNH usually infuses the ethnicity of the picture he's scoring (African for "Blood Diamond", etc. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sassa Frass
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'm a big James Newton Howard fan, but I found this to be rather disappointing. Too loose, new age in style without the rich themes and scope JNH ususally brings to his film... Read more
Published on November 23, 2000 by Alan Steinberg
5.0 out of 5 stars As Haunting and Mesmerizing as a Snow Storm
I recently had the pleasure of viewing the film (a work of art in itself) and soon after I went out and bought the score. It's a marvel! Read more
Published on August 19, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have...
As soon as I saw this movie, I immediately decided that I had to have the soundtrack. The score is absolutely amazing, as you can feel the mood that was very evident throughout... Read more
Published on April 3, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Way Tie
Read the book and loved it, saw the movie and loved it, bought the soundtrack and loved it. Like the book and movie, this music rewards close attention--how the parts fit together... Read more
Published on January 20, 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Heads Falling Over Heels
If you love the film, it's a difficult stance not to become critically biased over the soundtrack.
Here, Howard's work is such an integral part of the film's emotive feel that... Read more
Published on January 20, 2000 by anthemic
5.0 out of 5 stars I didnt see the movie....
...and yet i found this CD amazing. Beautiful to listen too, very 'ambient' which is why i think some of the regular soundtrack buyers will have trouble with it. Read more
Published on January 13, 2000 by "badwisdom"
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