Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Danny Elfman’s Music

By David Luhrssen
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Tim Burton and Danny Elfman are almost as inseparable in the imagination as Batman and Robin. Most of Burton’s films have featured original scores by Elfman, whose music is integral to the mood of the pictures.

Elfman will be audible throughout Burton’s upcoming film, Alice in Wonderland (opening March 5). On the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD (released by Walt Disney Records) Elfman continues in his role as the last of the great Hollywood composers. Drawing from the deep well of the European symphonic tradition, Elfman bathes Burton’s sequel (Alice is 19 and returns to Wonderland) in urgent orchestrations, tense with expectation even when the tempo relents. Swirling cycles of strings and voices suggest the influence of Philip Glass in a subtle postmodern touch to a score that could otherwise have been written in Hollywood’s golden age.

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