Part of the score's power is that Wojciech Kilar makes no concessions to 20th-century music. When you hit "play," the comfort of the sunlit world is gone. Kilar takes a Philip Glass minimalism and bends it to his own relentless, spooky ends. The music for "Dracula" alternates among three main tactics:
1) Hopeless Dread
In "Dracula - The Beginning," "The Storm," and "The Hunt Builds," there's a steady buildup of voices and instruments dragging you from "Uh oh" to "This is the sound of apocalypse." The use of crescendo and the choir's abandon make it clear something awful is happening at these points in the movie. These pieces have a neo-martial power that makes the heart quicken. Particularly in "The Storm," the horn attack almost sounds like "You're DEAD...you're DEAD...you're DEAD..." As for "The Ring of Fire," there's no structure - just a blend of cackling and wrong notes leading to a moment of pure cold shock.
2) Elegant Dischord
"Lucy's Party" and "The Brides" seem nice and flowery at first, but after about ten seconds you can tell that something's wrong. There are off-key notes and melodies that don't blend with the strings; it's a melodic signature for Dracula's presence in the story.
3) Disarming Beauty
The brutality of "The Storm" leaves you stunned and vulnerable to "Love Remembered." No wrath, no sucker-punch climax...just a sad and beautiful song. This approach, also used in "Love Eternal" and "Ascension," reminds us that the only reason Vlad became Dracula was the hope of being reunited with his wife.
Annie Lennox's tacked-on "Love Song for A Vampire" is a nice finale, but it pulls us out of the red-skied decadence made so vivid during Kilar's score. Get this album and Kilar's score for "Death and The Maiden." You'll hear some of the same tricks, and they work just as well.