Warm, modern, slightly epic classical music?
March 16, 2014 9:03 PM   Subscribe

So there's classical music and then there's film score music, right? What I'm looking for is something in the middle that sounds modern, epic, but not overly bombastic (as cool as it can be, I'm not looking for Two Steps from Hell). Also, major bonus points if it's not actually from an existing film and not too purposely calming (by which I mean no whale sounds etc. the music I'm looking for would be calming but that shouldn't be it's reason for existing). A good example of what I'm looking for is this track from the second Thor soundtrack after the 50 second mark.
posted by sendai sleep master to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to check out the music from the film, Doctor Zhivago... Much of it is going to fit that mood.
posted by HuronBob at 9:09 PM on March 16, 2014

Go for the slow movements from Bruckner symphonies.

From the 6th Symphony, or the 7th, say.
posted by bertran at 9:33 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Try some Glass. He has a rep for cool, even clinical repetition, but a lot of his work is more lush than you would expect.


The Truman Show (The comments include a track listing with links: for example, Truman Sleeps starts here)

The Hours

Not soundtracks (cheating a little, as several of these have been presented as operas)

Satyagraha, which is capable of moving me to tears.

Aquas da Amazonia

The Photographer


The Light

Sadly, the Glass Engine, an online library of a huge chunk of Glass' work, has been discontinued. It would let you input the kind of emotions you were looking for, then serve up full pieces of music that met your criteria.
posted by maudlin at 10:11 PM on March 16, 2014

Best answer: Kayhan Kalhor and Brooklyn Rider - Beloved, Do Not Let Me Be Discouraged

I'm a big fan of the whole album Kayhan Kalhor and Brooklyn Rider did together, Silent City, but I think this is the song that best fits your criteria.

Also, maybe try Eluvium, particularly anything from the album Copia, like this.
posted by yasaman at 10:40 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Does it have to be orchestral? You might like bands like Russian Circles.
posted by fshgrl at 11:17 PM on March 16, 2014

Oh, yeah, Vaughan Williams. But more than the Sea Symphony, I'd try the Pastoral Symphony.
posted by bertran at 11:19 PM on March 16, 2014

Vaughan Williams, rimsky-korsakov, delius' Florida suite, possibly hovhaness' magic mountain. Some of these may be a little bombastic for you.
posted by smoke at 11:47 PM on March 16, 2014

I'd nth "Romantic" composers from a couple of decades either side of 1900: Dvorak, Vaughan Williams, Holst's Planets, etc.
posted by holgate at 4:58 AM on March 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Michael Nyman's score for 'Carrington', which incorporates some Schubert, is outstanding and quite possibly right up your alley. Here's a sample.
posted by h00py at 5:19 AM on March 17, 2014

The sample you linked to reminds me of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:07 AM on March 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Michael Nyman's score for The Piano is one of my favorite soundtracks ever and might be what you're looking for. It's heavy on piano, as you might expect.
posted by jquinby at 6:37 AM on March 17, 2014

Best answer: I'm currently preparing two pieces by Ola Gjeilo for performance in a couple weeks, Dark Night of the Soul and Luminous Night of the Soul. Everybody in my ensemble immediately thought they sounded both epic and "like a movie" (and several of us have recorded a lot of actual music for movie soundtracks!) and they've been a lot of fun to perform. Check 'em out!
posted by KathrynT at 8:15 AM on March 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love this kind of music. I liked "Sentinel Prime" from the Transformers 3 soundtrack. (Do not take this as my endorsement for the Transformers movies.)
posted by whistle pig at 8:45 AM on March 17, 2014

Very big fan of Alberto Iglesias' soundtracks, mainly for Pedro Almodovar films. Sounds like they might fit the bill.
posted by snarfois at 10:35 AM on March 17, 2014

You should look into the great Bernard Herrmann. Most people know him from middle-period Hitchcock (Vertigo, North By Northwest) but my favorites are his soundtracks to Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Day The Earth Stood Still and especially, Fahrenheit 451.
posted by Rash at 11:04 AM on March 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ooh--seconding Herrmann! His 1941 Symphony is also great.
posted by whistle pig at 11:38 AM on March 17, 2014

Maybe Gustav Holst, The Planets?
posted by yoHighness at 12:41 PM on March 18, 2014

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