Based on the best selling novel by Nicholas Sparks ("A Walk To Remember", "Message In A Bottle"), "The Notebook" is the story of Noah and Allie, teenage lovers torn apart by WWII and Allie's parents' demands to marry a respectable lawyer. After 14 years apart, they meet again and rekindle their true love. Starring Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands. The soundtrack is a propelling force. In addition to classic WWII era pieces, Aaron Zigman's score suites enhance the record with beautifully dramatic themes. Score performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony.
Based on Nicholas Sparks' novel, director Nick Cassavetes film spins the bittersweet tale of a 60-year romance, as seen from the polar perspectives of its promising youth and the travails of an old age cursed by Alzheimer's. Its soundtrack effectively echoes those polar dramatic concerns, with composer Aaron Zigler's gentle orchestral score largely giving voice to the character's melancholy present, while a rich, well-chosen slate of vintage material by Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller imparts a restless energy to their youth. There's a certain schmaltz to much of Zigman's work here, yet cues like "House Blues/The Porch Dance.." and "Noah's Journey" argue he's achieved something more elusive than mere melodramatic wallpaper with the deceivingly difficult task at hand; it can't be easy to have your work seasoned with the likes of Ellington's sassy "Alabamy Home" and Goodman's still-vibrant "One O'Clock Jump." Sharply contrasting versions of "I'll Be Seeing You" by Holiday and Jimmy Durante bookend the soundtrack, perfectly evoking the story's alternating shades of hope and fading nostalgia and framing Zigman's understated work in the bargain. --Jerry McCulley