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Hugo: Original Score

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 22 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Howe Records
  • ASIN: B005QW1FKG
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,620 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a family adventure drama based on Brian Selznick's novel 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret.' Hugo tells the story of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. With the help of an eccentric girl, he searches for the answer to a mystery linking the father he recently lost, the ill-tempered toy shop owner living below him and a heart shaped lock, seemingly without a key. Hugo, Scorsese's first film shot in 3D, also marks his fifth collaboration with Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore, whose sweeping score captures the sounds of 1930s Paris and is as multi-dimensional as the picture.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa806ca08) out of 5 stars 28 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b8a4d4) out of 5 stars This Soundtrack will bring back moments from the film you saw even weeks later Dec 27 2011
By Steve Ramm - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The film "Hugo" tied with the other new film "The Artist" as my favorite movies of 2011. I guess it's no coincidence that both are about "silent movies" and both have scores of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. And I see both contending for the Best Picture Oscar.

"Hugo" was filmed - and must be seen - in 3-D and the special effects and acting keep your eyes glued to the screen. But, all this time, your ears are hearing the score and subconsciously helping you relate to the characters. All I remembered after the film was over - and I was watching the final credits roll on the screen with the one vocal track, "Couer Volant" performed by a singer named Zaz - was that I had to hear the score by itself. When I got the CD today and sat down to listen to it, the "theme" for "The Thief" brought back images of the massive train station in Paris and the orphaned boy living among the clocks. Over the next 67 minutes (the recorded score is over half the length of the film) scenes came back to me. The accordion that composer Howard Shore uses prominently puts you right back in Paris as the 19th century was rolling into the 20th.

This album is not on one of the major labels - a surprise to me! - but Shore's own Howe Records. (At least I think it's his label!) If that is the case, he has done us all a great service in releasing it with such great sound. The CD comes with a 8-page booklet which contains just a track list and photos,; no discussion of the film.

If you've seen the film, you know what a wonderful score it is. If you haven, then go out and see this wonderful film NOW - and then come back and buy the album.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b8a8dc) out of 5 stars Dazzling, emotive masterpiece of a score Dec 13 2011
By Storylover - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I must say that my expectations for this soundtrack were very, very high because my affection for the source material is so strong. Howard Shore has the capacity for greatness (Lord of the Rings) and for sensitivity and sublimated emotion (Doubt). With Hugo, he brings his sensitive brand of grandeur into the heart of 1930's Paris, with all its wonder, romance, poverty, desperation and glamour all mixed together. If you have loved the pictorial novel on which this was based (as I have), then this music will send you back to the book with pleasure--all the sounds somehow evoke the music that I wanted in my mind but didn't know how to express. Lucky for us, Howard Shore does know how to express it. French cabaret music blends and informs the orchestral writing, and the wonderful "Coer Volant" realizes this in a simple yet grand waltz. Zaz (the delightful Isabelle Geffroy)has a voice of perfection--velvety, rich, smooth and so so perfect here. A wonderful gem of a soundtrack for a wonderful gem of a story.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b8a954) out of 5 stars Shore Composes A Character Rich Score With Brisk Youthful Energy Dec 22 2011
By Kaya Savas - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Scorsese and Shore are one of the industry's best director/composer teams. Since Gangs Of New York the two have formed a formidable team and Howard Shore is now the voice of A Martin Scorsese picture. For Hugo the two really get to flex their creative muscles. Hugo is a grand old fashioned adventure with what has to be Scorese's most visually stimulating film. For the score Howard Shore matches that wonderment with piano and strings, and of course the accordion which gives everything a French twist.

The score is definitely a refreshing and mesmerizing journey. The music whisks you into fantasy within the first track and doesn't let go. The structure while maybe not technically a waltz definitely has that feel, and I found myself swaying my head to the beats as I listened. The music can be delicate when it needs to be, and even when it's bold it's never aggressive. It lulls you into a state of being that is just plain wonderful. I can't imagine anyone not having a warm smile on their face while listening to this. The music is young at heart so it feels rejuvenating. I felt love and admiration at every point in the score and that transcends into something very special. Howard Shore hasn't composed something like this in a while. It's nothing that will blow you away emotionally, but it is perfect when it comes to crafting a state of mind and guiding the audience through it. For some reason it reminds me of sitting by a warm crackling fire while there's 2 feet of snow on the ground outside.

It's nice to hear a Howard Shore score for a Scorsese picture again since Shutter Island opted for non-original music. Shore definitely composes one of his most character rich scores in some time and the brisk youthful energy in every note is something to make everyone smile. The score embodies setting, atmosphere, character and pure inspiration to create a memorable experience.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b8ace4) out of 5 stars Coeur Volant Dec 13 2011
By Matches Malone - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The very pleasant soundtrack opens with "The Thief". A somewhat playful and beautiful cue that sets up the mood very nicely. The sheer amount of imagination contained in this one track is something to behold. One second you're hearing strings, the next an accordion comes in, then guitars towards the end, and something I thought was a pan flute. An incredible track and a great way to start the soundtrack.

There is a lot of beauty to be found in this soundtrack. Everything from the aching beauty of the first track, to the somewhat odd beauty in "Purpose" works very well in creating a very relaxed and pleasing atmosphere for the world the movie takes place in. The sort of careful playfulness of the score in tracks like "A Ghost in the Station" and "The Invention of Dreams" are done very well. Makes me want to see the movie to see what they go with. Hopefully on blu someday.

The location of the movie would be the reason for the accordion I'm guessing. Shore weaves the instrument into several cues without ever being too distracting. It falls comfortably into the ensemble and along with the guitar that Shore employs, gives the soundtrack a very unique feel. "Coeur Volant" has my favorite use of the accordion. Works very well on that track as it accompanies the piano.

The lack of choir is a very welcome touch for me. Shore has more than proved that he can write great choral material, but I really like their absence here. Movies of this nature are usually buried with soft choir which works fine, but does gets a bit tiresome. Their absence here is a refreshing change that I'm very grateful for.

I couldn't quite put my finger on anything that I could identify as a theme. There is a familiar melody for the piano on the first track that is played a couple of times on other tracks so I'm guessing that must be the theme? Not sure about that though. I'm sure after I see the movie the themes will become clearer, but for now I'm having hard time pin pointing which one could be the movie's theme.

There is a song featured on "Coeur Volant" sang by Zaz, which just might be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Don't know what she's saying but it is very pleasing to listen to so no complaints from me.

Those expecting a bold epic score in the vein of his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy will be disappointed, but anyone looking forward to hearing Shore create some of truly beautiful and imaginative music will definitely be in heaven.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b8ae1c) out of 5 stars lush, happy, haunting, dreamy, playful and wonderfully nostalgic March 9 2012
By Jesus follower - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Score to Hugo is (like the movie) lush, happy, dramatic, haunting, dreamy, playful,fun and wonderfully nostalgic. Seeing this really nice film in the theaters made me notice about halfway through the movie how the music is a main character! There are many scenes in Hugo that have little dialog. That must be a dream for any film composer! It has wonderful French/European hues to it. Now that I saw the film twice and heard the CD about 3 times, I just cant get these wonderful magnetic themes out of my head! Hugo was Academy Award nominated for Best Score, but it lost to 'The Artist'...Didnt hear that...The score to 'The Artist' must be phenomenal!

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