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1. The Grey Havens (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King) – Howard Shore

Peter Jackson’s epic masterpiece moved audiences around the world with stunning cinematography, realistic acting, unbelievable action sequences, absolutely emotional moments, and rich orchestral music composed by Howard Shore. It would be an understatement to say that the soundtrack is epic, just like the trilogy is. In one of the last film’s most emotional sequences, Shore’s painfully melancholic track pulls at your heartstrings with sweeping flute music (played by Sir James Galway) and the use of the signature Fellowship Theme. As the last film ends with this track (on the official album – not really in the film though or the Complete Recordings as there is one last scene with new music remaining after this track), it can be said that this track in particular is in some ways, cathartic, and undoubtedly beautiful.

2. Love Letters (Atonement ) – Dario Marianelli

Dario Marianelli’s soundtrack for the 2007 film Atonement is unique in every sense, using the sounds of a typewriter to add to the musical score. What remains is a beautiful tapestry of music, sometimes dramatic and epic, and sometimes personal and emotive. This track in particular is one of the more dramatic tracks with piano and cello music opening the door to a long-gone era. As the two protagonists face unimaginable changes in their lives, they remain together spiritually through their correspondence. This track acts like a transition between one day and another, one month to the next, and years in between.

3. Love So Alike (Tristan + Isolde) – Anne Dudley

For Tristan + Isolde’s score, Anne Dudley incorporates some Celtic music elements to give us a feel of the time and the setting for the film. This track is a love theme for the protagonists and can be best described as a soft, emotive piece which perfectly encapsulates the beauty and tenderness of love. However it also has a slightly foreboding feel to it as a reminder of doomed love. The piece starts off with beautiful piano music and halfway through to the end, a mournful violin completes the track.

4. Meeting Laura (Perfume, Story of a Murderer) – Tom Tykwer and others

Perfume is a film I haven’t watched. However, this piece from the soundtrack is one of the most haunting and ethereal tracks I’ve heard. This is mainly as a result of the unforgettable vocals provided by Chen Reiss. The track, which stands at around 4 minutes and 15 seconds is filled with a single operatic voice touching higher and higher notes as the track progresses. Due to its operatic quality, it might not stand well with a lot of listeners. However, I am sure that the track stands perfectly in the film. There is something about this piece that is melancholic, welcoming, ominous and haunting all at the same time.

5. Oogway Ascends (Kung Fu Panda) – Hans Zimmer and John Powell

Hans Zimmer is no stranger in the world of soundtracks. This man has an impressive list of film scores and though Kung Fu Panda may not be usually counted among them, it features some amazing themes. Zimmer collaborated with John Powell for this film, so the credit for these beautiful compositions also goes to Powell. Kung Fu Panda is filled with laugh-out-loud moments and many memorable characters. Though the soundtrack is mostly epic and is laced with elements from Chinese music, this particular piece is near perfect and leaves one desiring a longer track time. Oogway Ascends is played during a major character’s most defining moment and it stands beautifully in the film. Featuring a traditional Chinese instrument called the Ehru, the track is emotional and has an ethereal quality as it starts out softy and then gains a slight orchestral feel as it progresses, and then finally fades out.

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