Modern Composers

Epic Hollywood film scores aside, over the last couple of years I’ve discovered some remarkable modern composers and orchestral works. They’re wonderful to listen to when you’re writing, or even when you’re sitting alone in room, brooding. The more you listen to them, the more little quirks you discover in the score. I’ll maybe post some more when I get the time, but here are two whose music should be explored.

Zbigniew Preisner is one of Poland’s leading film composers, but the album I want to mention is Requiem For My Friend, which you can listen to on Last FM. Veering away from the darker side of Karl Jenkins, Presiner mixes orchestral and choral works, drawing deeply from that great tradition of the requiem. There is something distinctly gothic about the resulting album; and in some places the songs soar, in others they bring a deeply meditative quality.

The next composer I want to mention is a much more famous chap, Ludovico Einaudi. His amazing piano works can be heard in the odd television commercial here and there, and most if not all the snippets are taken from the album Divenire. The melodies are soothing, profound and elegant. If you’re reading this whilst stressed out in your office, then plug in some headphones, take a few deep breaths and listen to this:


By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

5 replies on “Modern Composers”

I’m a huge fan of film scores and orchestral music. Being a pianist myself I’m particularly fond of any with prominent piano. Divenire is beautiful – you can feel the stress melting away as it’s played.

I find orchestral music is great to write to as well. It doesn’t invade the brain like songs with lyrics – which I invariably end up singing along to and not doing any writing at all – but can really help to set the mood a particular scene is meant to evoke.

Thanks for the introduction to these two – I will definitely be adding them to my library!

Nice. I have to have orchestral works to write otherwise I start transcribing lyrics and pretty much have an album for any mood or tone. It means my ipod is – quite frankly – a mess and I envy people who can shuffle.

Because I write epic stuff, I do like my big over-the-top pieces and I’ve recently been looking at the movie trailer sub-genre. There are these companies that produce music purely for movie trailers. You’d think it would be rubbish but I recently got Two Steps From Hell’s Invincible album and it’s probably one of the finest orchestral albums I’ve ever heard. Maybe not so subtle in the way Newton Howard or Glass can be, but for big stirring numbers they can’t be beat. I’ll put some up on the blog if people are curious

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