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The Hours

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Garmin Back to School

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 10 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • ASIN: B00007BH3Y
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,778 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Poet Acts
2. Morning Passages
3. Something She Has to Do
4. """For Your Own Benefit"""
5. Vanessa and the Changelings
6. """I'm Going to Make a Cake"""
7. An Unwelcome Friend
8. Dead Things
9. The Kiss
10. """Why Does Someone Have to Die?"""
11. Tearing Herself Away
12. Escape!
13. Choosing Life
14. The Hours

Product Description

Product Description

The superb orchestral music for this powerfully affecting film is by Philip Glass, whose spellbinding 1999 score for Martin Scorcese's Kundun (also on Nonesuch) added an aura of portent and sweep that contributed significantly to the film's impact. The film stars Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman & Ed Harris. Slipcase. 2002


How better to score a movie that takes place in three tangentially related time periods than with music that strives for timelessness? The hallmarks of Philip Glass's minimalism serve The Hours well. The film, based on Michael Cunningham's novel, tells the stories of three women--Virginia Woolf in the early 1920s, a housewife just after World War II, and a book editor in the present--whose days relate in different ways to Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway. Yet rather than construct a sonic montage of these three time periods (perhaps some Ravel for Woolf, some Max Steiner for the housewife, some Enya for the editor), Hours producer Scott Rudin turned to Glass, a contemporary-classical composer who has had a substantial side career in film, most notably with Koyaanisqatsi. The familiar Glass sounds--the endlessly layered violins, the static melodies, the glacial rhythms--all lend a consistent aural foundation to a story that moves fluidly back and forth in time. The music is scored for orchestra, string quartet, and piano. Those plentiful strings lend a thick cushion, a triumph of tonal suspension, for the piano part, which Michael Riesman plays coolly, emphasizing what are often single notes separated by thoughtful silences, as well as short sets of scales cascading in slow motion. Not only will these compositional themes be familiar to fans of Glass's work, so too will several of the melodies. Some sections of the score are derived from his albums Glassworks and Solo Piano and from his opera Satyagraha--which, incidentally, involved the stories of three legendary men active in different eras. --Marc Weidenbaum

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
His music inspired the movie-literally. Michael Cunningham, the author of The Hours, was inspired by Glass in the writing of this novel and adeptly describes his influence in the leaflet of this soundtrack.
To begin with- he breaks all the rules. I bought the piano sheet music to "Dead Things" and where I naturally felt I should crescendo, he purposely demands pianississimo- very, very quiet. He purposely silences the most moving elements, as if to say "wait. just feel it first- dont take it."
I hate when people think his music is plain - if one understands music, they know that his work is composed of silk-thin layers of delicated melodies- triplets with one hand, doublets with the other. For those of you out there that dont read music, try to divide a second into 3 equal time frames and tap that beat with your left hand. Then take the same second and divide it into 2 equal time frames and tap that beat at the same time with your right hand. Intuitively, its difficult to do. This is his trademark- he forces musicians to play against their intuition.
As another example, try to tap your pinky and middle finger at the same time. Then tap your ring finger and thumb at the same time. Now alternate quickly. Try to do it for 5 minutes and when you have got that down- do it with your other hand. But use different fingers. And do that 3-2 ratio beat thing.
Confusing? I would certainly think so.
It seems as if such a product could only be made by an eccentric and unyielding mathematician- but when you listen, it has a depth of emotional delicacy that could only be compared to trying to hold onto something you truly love over the edge of the world, with a gradually thinning silver string.
I guess what Im saying is- pay the 10, 15 bucks. Its worth it.
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By A Customer on July 8 2004
Format: Audio CD
I am still not sure how I feel about the movie (nicole kidman was odd as virginia wolf, what was with the nose makeup?) yet, but from the moment the dvd started I was hooked on the music. I kept expecting that perfection to suddenly end - such intense and profound music couldn't possibly last a whole movie could it? It must just be a catchy aural hook like in so many other movies - a brilliant theme to lure you in, but no! This genius music continued through the entire movie!
I am not a fan of Phillip Glass - simply because I had never really heard of him. Now that I have heard this I will HAVE to check out his other works.
I am not a writer (and I am not sure really how one can accurately translate the transcendant majesty of music into words anyway) so I am not sure that I can review this music in a just way. But it definately speaks directly to your spirit! There is nothing cliche in this work, nothing old and stale. It is fresh, profound, transcendant, breathtaking! Morning Passages makes my DNA swoon!
If you haven't seen the movie, I am not sure I can reccommend it or not, but this music stands alone! Pure genius! Buy it! NOW!
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Format: Audio CD
I find it rare when a score really catches my attention while watching a film. Philip Glass creates an absolutely beautiful and haunting score, which is wonderfully appropriate for this film. I've been a fan of Glass' work for years, and I would count this among his best. He captures the differing moods of the film perfectly. And while intense, the score does not over-shadow the film, but compliments it perfectly; the score itself is able to tell the story of the film. "The Hours" is predominantly composed for the piano, violin, and cello, which leaves it free of being over-burdened and heavy. This also allows the music to be extremely fluid, which is an important element in the cohesion of the film (with respect to the three overlapping plot lines).
Furthermore, unlike some film scores, when you listen to "The Hours", you're not consumed by the emotion of the film, but you're made very aware of it. I make the differentiation, because a score like "Requiem for a Dream" easily puts you into an intense emotional state, practically throwing you into that despair. But with "The Hours", that emotion is present, but it doesn't burden the experience of listening to the score.
I would higly recommend this to anyone -- even if you're not a fan of Philip Glass, this is different from many of his other works (specifically film scores).
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Format: Audio CD
I know a lot of people who don't like the soundtrack for THE HOURS because it is minimalist and skeletal, rather like a Debussy composition or a Monet painting of morning mist on the Seine at Giverny, however, that's exactly why I do love it. It is minimalist in composition (the empahsis is on a pianist and a string quartet) but Glass explores so many variations of his musical theme that the score, to me, sounds lush yet meditative and quite evocative of the harrowing stories the book tells. I think it must have been very difficult for Glass to compose a seamless score that encompasses three different periods in time. One might expect three very different styles of music, but Glass gives us instead one seamless tapestry of gorgeous beauty.

A lot of critics of Glass say he is boring, but I don't think so. I think he is meditative and melancholy, haunting and introspective, and even tragic, and that is exactly what this score needed. Every time I listen to this CD I am awed by the depth of feeling Glass was able to achieve with so little. That, I think is the mark of a genius.

Water is an important element in the film, THE HOURS, and Glass' score is a fluid as water, moving back and forth through time with seeming effortlessness. The cello and the violin are especially flowing and beautiful. I didn't find this music a bit intrusive when I saw the film at the cinema, yet I find it stands on its own as well. I listen to it often, especially when I want to achieve a very calm and balanced state of mind. I don't find it in the least depressing, yet I do find it very introspective and very sad. But even the best loves contain an element of sadness, for all lovers will eventually be parted...by death, if not by some other means.
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