Alexandre Desplat's The Monuments Men
Sony Music has announced the release of the original motion picture soundtrack
of The Monuments Men, featuring new music by the leading film composer Alexandre Desplat.
Billed as “the greatest treasure hunt in history”, The Monuments Men was directed by George Clooney,
who has a starring role alongside a distinguished cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray,
John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Dimitri Leonidas, and Cate Blanchett,
and a cameo performance by composer Alexandre Desplat.
The French composer Alexandre Desplat burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2003 by composing a
much-admired score for The Girl With the Pearl Earring. By that time he was already an experienced
writer of movie music. He has contributed to over 100 films, both commercial and independent,
in France and Hollywood, received five Oscar nominations, and won Golden Globe and Grammy awards.
Desplat has also composed for the theatre, including the Comédie Française. He has conducted
performances of his music by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
as well as giving master classes at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Royal College of Music in London.
His movie music was written for a variety of highly successful films, including Twilight Saga: New Moon
and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (parts 1 and 2), and includes five Oscar-nominated
soundtracks: for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Queen, The King’s Speech,
The Fantastic Mr Fox and Argo.
The compositions for The Monument Men demonstrate the full range of Desplat’s talent at creating big orchestral sounds and evoking many emotions, in this case with recurring themes and a generally upbeat mood. The opening track, “The Roosevelt Mission”, is a call to arms emphasising brass instruments, followed by an “Opening Titles” track that marches along cheerfully. “Champagne” introduces variety, with a sparkling music-box sound and waltz rhythm that gradually becomes more dramatic, while “Stokes Talks” is a beautiful little set-piece of keyboard melody over serene strings. Suspense and excitement (“Sniper”) and tenderness (“Jean-Claude Dies”) are also present. “Stahl’s Chalet” is a short burst of jolly dance music, contrasting with a nine-minute “Finale” that shows Desplat’s ability to write a prolonged piece in symphonic style. “End Titles” features a whistled tune that harks back to older war movies, and the soundtrack ends with a touching rendering by Nora Segal of the classic song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.
Desplat's Harry Potter soundtracks released on Sony Classical reached a wide audience.
The high-quality music of The Monuments Men and the attractive theme of George Clooney’s film with its all-star cast give this soundtrack, too, the potential to be extremely popular.
About the movie
Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men focuses
on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by the Allies with going into Germany to rescue artistic
masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible
mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy
everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys – seven museum directors, curators, and
art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 gun – possibly hope to succeed?
But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid
the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend
mankind’s greatest achievements.