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Water For Elephants Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, April 19, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

In addition to five Depression-era songs, The Water for Elephants score is by Grammy®-winning composer James Newton Howard whose film music has been nominated five times for an Academy Award® (Michael Clayton, The Village, My Best Friend s Wedding, The Fugitive, Prince of Tides). Howard has recently collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the record-breaking Batman series; their score for The Dark Knight won the 2008 Grammy® for Best Score Soundtrack Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 19, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B004Q56748
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Water for Elephants is a romantic drama based on a popular novel by Sara Gruen. It stars Twilight's Robert Pattinson as Jacob Jankowski, a young veterinarian during the great depression who leaves his Ivy League school and takes a job with a travelling circus looking after the animals after his parents are killed. It is there that he meets and falls in love with Marlena Rosenbluth (Reese Witherspoon), the circus's star performer - despite the fact that she is married to August (Christoph Waltz), the circus's head animal trainer and ringmaster, who has a deeply cruel streak. The film was directed by Francis Lawrence, co-stars Hal Holbrook, Paul Schneider and Jim Norton, and has a quite lovely score by James Newton Howard, reuniting with director Lawrence after their collaboration in I Am Legend in 2007.

A gentle, intimate work written for the most part for a full orchestra, Water for Elephants is a bit of a departure from Howard's most recent works, many of which have tended to emphasize action and tension over romantic passions, and as such this score comes across as a breath of fresh air. Howard hasn't been able to get out this particular bag of tricks to this extent in many years, and it's a timely reminder that he is a much more well-rounded and versatile composer than his recent filmography suggests.

There's quite a bit of Alexandre Desplat, quite a bit of Thomas Newman, and a little bit of early James Horner in this score, in terms of tone, structure and orchestration, and although these elements clearly represent a little bit of temp-track bleed-through on the part of director Lawrence, the music does not suffer because of it - on the contrary, the blending of his own style with that of these contemporaries makes the score a very engaging listen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
They may not write movie scores like they used to, but James Newton Howard comes pretty darn close, with his excellent score to WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. The music here is wistful and yearning, exciting and poignant. With its clarinet solos, it is reminiscent of moments in Bernstein's masterpiece, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. This is a very satisfying and evocative score, but I DO have one quibble: Where's the memorable love theme? Come on! This is a big romantic story and could easily support a love song a la "Lara's Theme," or "Three Coins in the Fountain." I know, I'm hopelessly old fashioned, and this is a great score, song or no song. Just can't help but wish . . .
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Format: Audio CD
Soundtracks are the evolutionary heirs to the symphonies and operas of the past centuries. Some are good, others are bad, a rare few are timeless masterpieces. This is one of those rare cases when the music that accompanies and compliments a movie manages to escape the silver screen and stand on its own.

James Newton Howard manages to capture an era and an atmosphere; the desire and the desperation; the hope and the apprehension. I have not seen the movie yet (I will definitely do so now) but this mesmerizing music is able to create an endless imagery in my mind, an imagery composed from a full set of emotional colors.

The album sets off with the romantic "Did I miss it" which defines the theme and the pace. In between, the instrumental pieces pay around the theme, using it as a spring board to complete their own dive into our soul.
I disagree with the notion that the five Big Band and Gospel period songs are out of place. I found most of them to fit nicely and give a reprise from the instrumental narration.
The very last track, "The Stampede - I 'm coming home", ends in a majestic note.

This is one of the best soundtracks I have ever owned - and that is neither an exaggeration nor a small feat.
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By C. Grant on April 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful soundtrack. My favorites are Circus Fantasy and Rosie, but all of the songs take you right back to the film, which I loved.
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Format: Audio CD
the music wants to make you cry a beautiful masterpiece in the film and the music that goes with it
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very beautiful, romantic, haunting and fun music for this super great movie!! The CD was in excellent condition, as promised, and it arrived lighning fast!!! I would recommend this music to classical fans and fun music fans...it is so great. I will buy from this seller again anytime. I have no complaints only praise!! Nice to work with people who mean what they say and say what they mean in descriptions. Thanks so much!Bought this thru AMAZON and always do!!
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I truly enjoyed the book and adored the movie...The music of course
correspondes with that era of the late 20's and early 30's. If you are
as eclectic in your music choices as I am, you will truly enjoy this
beautiful CD...It is very calming and a treat for the ears after a long
day at the office...Do yourself a favor and try this out...You will not
be sorry...Water For Elephants
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Format: Audio CD
James Newton Howard is one of those composers who can make magic out of nothing. He's had his fair share of stinkers like any composer, but his work always exists in his body of work as an important piece. Did anyone really care about Nanny McPhee Returns, Gnomeo & Juliet or Salt? Not really, but he always gives it the best he's got and his best is pretty damn good. Water For Elephants is an elegant and somber score with a slight twinkle of fantasy. It's the kind of score that I would love to score my dreams with and it's definitely one that will go on my playlist of music to fall asleep to (in a good way).

The music doesn't sound like it's a fairy tale score by any means. The strings bring the bulk of the emotion to the score. The music gives the sense of a lively spirit wanting to be free and at times we drop into dreary atmospheres but the twinkle never dies. The style sounds a lot like Lady In The Water but definitely a lot more subdued. Many people will probably compare this to Alexandre Desplat's score to The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which is pretty valid actually. The first thing I noticed when the trailer came out was that they used the same piece that was used in the Benjamin Button trailer. That's usually a sign. I would be willing to bet money that some of that score was used in the temp because some of the early tracks remind me of Desplat's score. That's not to say that James Newton Howard copied or ripped anybody off. The music is definitely all James and if you are a fan of his you'll pick up on his signature sounds. As the score paces towards the end the strings bellow and create a deep and darker sound. The music gains a significant amount of weight and at that point it really took me; all the way to its beautiful conclusion.
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Song on the Trailer
'Cosmic Love' by Florence + The Machine
Apr 22, 2011 by CHI-town_girl25 |  See all 2 posts
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