SONY MASTERWORKS RELEASES ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK OF: THE ARTIST
LUDOVIC BOURCE'S MUSIC
FOR THE SILENT FILM
HARKS BACK TO A GOLDEN AGE
OF THE MOVIES
Sony Masterworks is pleased to announce the release of the original soundtrack for The Artist, specially composed for director Michel Hazanavicius' acclaimed tribute to a bygone era in Hollywood. The original motion picture soundtrack recording is available on Monday, November 21, 2011.
Set in 1927, this film is the story of a love affair between George Valentin, a superstar of silent movies (Jean Dujardin in a role that earned him the Best Actor award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival) and the young extra Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). With the arrival of sound in the movies, the end of George's career is in sight, while Peppy is destined for stardom. The Artist has delighted lovers of classic silent cinema thanks to superb black-and-white photography – and also due to the quality of the music composed by Ludovic Bourse.
Bource has written the score for all four films produced by Havanicius to date, and this time, in the absence of spoken dialogue, his composition takes on the role of a leading player. Havanicius structured the film in narrative blocks to indicate what mood the music should achieve. Bource responded by producing brilliant and catchy original music in the spirit of great names of the past such as Chaplin, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman and Bernard Hermann. Both director and composer looked closely at the way film music created moods in the 1920s, and Bource refers both to the big romantic symphonic repertoire of the 19th century and to later composers – Prokofiev, Debussy, Ravel – who inspired film scores of that era. This is music that speaks and takes its own important part in the story.
The recording was made by the Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra in Brussels with all the resources needed to create powerful effects: 80 musicians, including 50 string players, 4 French horns, 4 trombones, 5 percussionists and a harpist. However, the variety of the soundtrack extends beyond the symphonic mode, as the tap dance scenes are played to lively big band music.
Critics have not been slow to praise the score: "Ludovic Bource's rousing music" (The Independent) and "[the] score is charming" (The Daily Telegraph) are typical reactions. Following its nomination for the Palme d'Or at Cannes in May 2011, The Artist has also made a big impact at the Moscow Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival – in fact it has been selected for more than 40 film festivals worldwide.
Given the outstanding role that the music plays in The Artist, this is one of those films where no one who loved it in the cinema will want to be without the soundtrack recording. In Ludovic Bource's words: "it's a tribute, a declaration of love to the great composers of great Hollywood films."