TV and Records

Putting together a weekly radio show that’s wall to wall movie soundtracks, old and new, for Classic FM, it’s impossible not to sense the throb of the cultural leylines under the desk, tendrils attracted from the world of film that intertwine with those from the world of smaller-screen entertainment, and musical equilibrium is the result. It was never a guarantee that, say, Hildur Guðnadóttir from Iceland would have made an early leap from ambient sounds under her own name, and in collaboration with other like-minded Nordic souls, to soundtracks as saleable and blockbusting as Joker and Sicario: Day of the Soldado, while quietly cooking up the Geiger-counting terror of HBO’s Chernobyl and not for one moment selling her soul. And in the same year that we enjoyed the uninhibited old-school Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, which makes the decades between them melt.

It is with such crossover in mind that I list my favourite film scores of 2019. It’s too random to put them in order, so I shall do so without. Hopefully you’ll recognise a few from having seen the films or TV shows – maybe you just heard them on my show? That would be a pleasing outcome.

Here goes. (And bear in mind one or two of these might have come out at the end of 2018.)

Nicholas Britell | If Beale Street Could Talk
Alan Silvestri | Avengers: Infinity War
Max Richter | Mary Queen of Scots
Nicholas Britell | Succession, HBO
Hildur Guðnadóttir | Chernobyl, HBO
Dickon Hynchcliffe | Ben is Back
West Dylan Thordson | Glass
Frank Ilfman | Rory’s Way
Michael Abels | Us
Scott Walker | Vox Lux
Ilan Eshkeri | The White Crow
Martin Phipps | The Aftermath

Lorne Balfe, Rupert Gregson-Williams, Martin Phipps | The Crown, seasons 2-3, Netflix
Trent Reznor, Atticus Finch | Bird Box
Pinar Toprak | Captain Marvel
Ramin Djawadi | Game of Thrones (Season 8), HBO
Segun Akinola | The Last Tree
Clint Mansell | Out of Blue
Rolfe Kent | Stan & Ollie
Nicholas Britell | Vice
Kris Bowers | When They See Us, Netflix
John Lunn | Downton Abbey, the Movie
Thomas Newman | Tolkien
Randy Newman | Toy Story 4
Max Richter | Ad Astra
Alan Silvestri | Avengers: Endgame
Thomas Ades | Colette
Lorne Balfe | Gemini Man
Hildur Guðnadóttir | Joker
Randy Newman | Marriage Story
Marc Shaiman | Mary Poppins Returns

Enjoyed the climax of the fifth and final series of Poldark, too, thanks to Anne Dudley. But enough looking back. Forward.

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