Mr. Magorium’s Emporium/Desplat/Zigman

November 28, 2007


magorium-emporium.jpgConsidering the extremely busy schedule these days of both of these composers it is a minor miracle that the two of them were able to get together and work on this soundtrack. The film starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Eric Mills is written and directed by newcomer Zach “Stranger Than Fiction” Helm and can be classified as a definite kid’s movie. Mahoney (Portman) as manager of the Wonder Emporium is bequeathed the store by the 243 year old Magorium (Hoffman) and the story begins. Mostly a fantasy, with a lot good old fashion fun from Hoffman, the story as it unfolds does have an important message or two about life itself.

Since this score is a duel effort there has been discussion as to which composer did what part. Did Desplat write the themes and Zigman the arranging and some of the less thematic material? Who did what? Whatever the case, the score was composed in such a way that one cannot really tell where one began and the other finished. All we know for sure is that it was conducted by Zigman and there were no less than 9 orchestrators including Zigman, Desplat, two orchestra members Higgins (reeds) and Reichenbach (trombone). The “Main Theme” is a wonderful one beginning cartoon like using the tuba, saxes, and reeds before introducing the 8 note melody with the strings. Not only is this a great theme but a very good arrangement/orchestration. Same theme but much more lush and romantic is “Mahoney’s Debut”. The “Thomas Newman Sound” is offered in “A Substantial Offer”, that quirky sound he made famous, and the “Euphonium”, another reed solo sounding very much like Thomas. “Triscadecaphobia” is a classical sounding cue all too brief, written in allegro di molto tempo. “Magorium’s Apartment” is a statement to the Hawaiian music, “Love The World You Find” performed and written by The Flaming Lips is quite modern, “Bellini” a waltz, “Temper Tantrum Part 1” more classical, and “The Flight of Magorium” a new theme with the main title later on soft piano with romantic strings. The overall score is one of classical in nature with excellent themes from Desplat, our modern day Victor Young as far as tunesmith is concerned. Soft and romantic, bouncy and upbeat, are all words to describe this soundtrack.

Desplat fans have likely already purchased this and the up and coming Zigman has put his mark on this piece for people to take notice who haven’t already done so. Superbly performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony and well orchestrated by many this is one for many of you to add to your collection especially if your taste lends itself more to the classical style.


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