Epic/Emotional Soundtrack Music?
February 19, 2011 1:38 PM   Subscribe

I want more soundtrack music like Hans Zimmer - Time and Gattaca - The Departure -- really emotional, sweeping orchestral songs that tug at the heartstrings...
posted by empath to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Anything by Clint Mansell - but I find the soundtrack to The Fountain to be particularly emotionally evocative, melancholy and hauntingly beautiful.
posted by iconoclast at 1:49 PM on February 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Look for the soundtrack from The Gladiator.
posted by mhoye at 1:58 PM on February 19, 2011

I also came in to recommend Clint Mansell. He's done all of Darren Aronofsky's movies.

Here's the theme from Requiem for a Dream. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you've probably heard this piece.
posted by auto-correct at 2:03 PM on February 19, 2011

The Human Stain is exactly what you want. But skip the movie and read the novel.
posted by venividivici at 2:05 PM on February 19, 2011

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven or, I believe, many other songs from their oeuvre.
posted by itstheclamsname at 2:13 PM on February 19, 2011

... which is not a soundtrack but should be.
posted by itstheclamsname at 2:14 PM on February 19, 2011

Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings. Its use in Platoon made it and similar pieces ripe for parody.

Arvo Pärt - Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten (probably what people are thinking about when referencing Requiem for a Dream)

Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus is pretty epic. The YouTube clip is noisy, but when I hear it live (and when it isn't played fast), I feel chills down my spine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:20 PM on February 19, 2011

How about The Mission, whose soundtrack is composed by Ennio Morricone?
posted by ccl6yl at 2:21 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Clint Mansell, especially his work on The Fountain. Some specific recommendations:

The Last Man - slow, sad, elegant, beautiful
Tree of Life - pulse-pounding and action-packed
Death is the Road to Awe - starts slow, builds up to a gloriously epic climax

I'd also check out John Murphy's score for Sunshine, which shares Inception's combination orchestral/electronic vibe. "The Surface of the Sun" was particularly good.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:28 PM on February 19, 2011

Best answer: Consequences and Loss - Antonio Pinto (from Lord of War)
For Home, Country, and Family - Brian Tyler (from Battle: LA)
Machinations - Brian Tyler (from The Hunted)
Hero's Hallway - Brian Tyler (from Bubba Ho-tep)
Invocation - Brian Tyler (from The Killing Room)
Something to Think About - Christopher Young (from Hellraiser II: Hellbound)
Lullaby Elegy - Elliot Goldenthal (from Alien^3)
Adagio and Transformation - Elliot Goldenthal (from Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within)
Funeral, Code - Elliot Goldenthal (from Michael Collins)
Finale - Elliot Goldenthal (from Titus)
Corynorhinus - Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (from Batman Begins)
A Dark Knight - Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (from The Dark Knight)
Terms - Harry Gregson-Williams (from Kingdom of Heaven)
The Tree of Knowledge - Jeff Beal (from Carnivale)
In The House A Heartbeat - John Murphy (from 28 Days Later)
Kiss of Death - John Murphy (from 28 Weeks Later)
The End - John Powell (from United 93)
Suite (Amid a Crowd of Stars) - Nathan Barr (from Hostel: Part II)
Goodnight, Sweet Prince - Patrick Doyle (from Hamlet)
Carlito's Way - Patrick Doyle (from Carlito's Way)
Laura's Theme - Pino Donaggio (from Don't Look Now)
Collapse and Rescue - Steve Jablonsky (from Steamboy)
Following Instructions - Zacarias M. de la Riva (from Imago Mortis)
Beyond the Shadow of Death - Trevor Jones (from Hideaway)
Sleepwalkers - Klaus Badelt (from Rescue Dawn)
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:34 PM on February 19, 2011

Sunshine - John Murphy (from Sunshine)
The Wind, The Scream - Ennio Morricone (from The Professional)
Man With A Harmonica - Ennio Morricone (from Once Upon a Time in the West)
Ecstasy of Gold - Ennio Morricone (from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)
Love In The Morning - Ennio Morricone (from Lolita)
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:37 PM on February 19, 2011

These tend to get used over and over in movie trailers and award show montages:

"To the Stars" - Randy Edelman (from Dragonheart)
"Prime Minister's Love Theme" - Craig Armstrong (from Love, Actually)
"End Theme" - Ennio Morricone (from The Untouchables)
posted by jgfoot at 2:51 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like the soundtrack from Henry V
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:57 PM on February 19, 2011

Thin Ice - Mychael Danna (from The Sweet Hereafter)
All That Is Good - Tyler Bates (from The Watchmen)
The Hill - Mychael Danna (from Hearts in Atlantis)
The Doctor's Theme Series 4 - Murray Gold (from Doctor Who: Series 4)
The Sad Man With A Box - Murray Gold (from Doctor Who: Series 5)
Welcome to Lunar Industries - Clint Mansell (from Moon)
Dead Reckoning - Clint Mansell (from Smokin' Aces)
Fire To The Stars - Angelo Badalamenti (from The Edge of Love)
Dumbledore's Farewell - Nicholas Hooper (from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Elegy - Alexandre Desplat (from Birth)
Opening Titles - Michael Kamen (from The Dead Zone)
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:10 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Last of the Mohicans is a good example.
posted by beowulf573 at 4:28 PM on February 19, 2011

I would add the band: Explosions In The Sky. They were the soundtrack to Friday Night Lights.
posted by LudgerLassen at 5:34 PM on February 19, 2011

Dances With Wolves fits the bill.
Not as sweeping and more synthy, but Hans Zimmer's Rainman sountrack tugs at the heartstrings.
posted by Mr Mister at 7:03 PM on February 19, 2011

You might like James Newton Howard's scores to "Unbreakable" and "Snow Falling on Cedars."

The Orange Man
Can I Hold You Now?

For something more subtle (but still very sentimental), I recommend Jean-Yves Thibaudet's score the "Pride and Prejudice."

Liz On Top of the World
Your Hands Are Cold
posted by Maxa at 11:01 PM on February 19, 2011

I'll link one track I like from each of my recommendations, as a sample:

Philip Glass, "Qatsi Trilogy" (i.e., Koyaanisqatsi/Powaqqatsi/Naqoyqatsi)
Pruit Igoe

Michael Giacchino, Lost: The Last Episodes (limited release on CD so that may be hard to find, but also available on iTunes)
Our Lady of Perpetual Labor

Danny Elfman, Edward Scissorhands
The Grand Finale
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:41 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yann Tiersen has done some great stuff. Tends more to the lovely than the epic, but a good starting point would be his soundtrack for Amélie.
posted by threeants at 3:24 PM on February 20, 2011

In no particular order:

Philip Glass's score for The Hours. Track 1: The Poet Acts

Joe Hisaishi's work for Hayao Miyazaki. They're all beautiful.
Princess Mononoke Symphonic Suite
Howl's Moving Castle Main Theme

Michael Kamen's Band of Brothers theme

Alexandre Desplat's score for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Track 6: Meeting Again

Howard Shore for Lord of the Rings. All of it.
The Return of the King - Fields of Pelennor
The Two Towers - Isengard Unleashed

Dario Marianelli's collaborations with Joe Wright.
Atonement - Elegy for Dunkirk
Leaving Netherfield

Bear McCreary's breathtaking score for Battlestar Galactica.
Season 1 - The Shape of Things to Come
Season 2 - A Promise to Return

I've included some TV. The pieces I've linked to are ones I particularly enjoy, but I recommend watching the films/shows in their entirety. The music is especially heart-wrenching when heard in context.
posted by therewolf at 10:24 AM on February 21, 2011

Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)
posted by Afroblanco at 11:24 AM on February 21, 2011

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