Sunday, September 16, 2012

Our top contemporary artists

Let me preface this post by saying that in my opinion there is no such thing as bad classical music.  Naturally, I enjoy some pieces more than others, but there is none that I cannot stand.  Today we are looking at our top contemporary composers/performing groups.  What we consider to be contemporary music is as follows: Classical, opera, live performances of symphonic music, recordings of symphonic music, and film scores.  Here at ThinkMuzik, we love film scores particularly, but also enjoy performances from across the spectrum of Western Classical Music.  This is my list of the best contemporary composers/performance groups.

3. Nicholas Hooper.  He is a Brit who has an impressive selection of film scores to choose from.  Hooper's scores are soaring, emotional pieces rich in soulful, contemplative brilliance.  His pieces are as soothing as they are invigorating.  The following track is Dumbledore's Farewell from "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince."

2. Crouch End Festival Chorus and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.  Crouch End is a northern suburb of London and is the home of the Crouch End Festival Chorus.  This is a masterful choir.  All voices blend perfectly and they perform some uplifting pieces.  I was not able to find a track from them to share anywhere on the web, but you can listen to previews on Amazon here. The Greatest Cinema Choral Classics is a collection of symphonic choral pieces from 25 of the best film compositions.  Take a listen to Battle of the Heroes (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith) or Kyrie for the Magdalene (The DaVinci Code).

1. Hans Zimmer.  Zimmer is in my opinion, the best film composer in the history of the genre.  Time and time again, he composes incredible scores for great films.  Zimmer is one of the oldies, but is not afraid to try out new ideas and incorporate melodies from unconventional sources.  Listen to One Simple Idea from "Inception" below.

Kristy's picks are as follows:

I am excited about this post.  I am a huge fan of film scores and since they are a part of this genre they are what I am going to be sharing with you.  You know how sometimes you are trying to find the right thing to say and you just can't come up with the words; that's why I love scores.  The composer writes music that you can't put words to.  And so without further ado her are my top three choices.

3. James Newton Howard.  I think that he is a great film composer.  If you look at his list of scores they are quite impressive.  I chose a song off of the Tourist soundtrack.  It's entitled Bedroom Dreams and if you have seen this movie you know why I chose this song.  It's beautiful, its passionate, and it's addictive.  I think the violin towards the end of this track is amazing and makes you want more and more. Check it out below.

2. Moulin Rouge Soundtrack: Come What May.  This is one of those moments in a film where whatever has to be said is perfect through song.  This is an interesting musical because the composer has taken modern songs and puts a spin on them.  Then they are combined together to create most of the music in this film.  Come What May is different because it is one of the few tracks written for this movie.  It's perfect.  This track was written by David Baerwald.  I've never heard of him but this music is fantastic.  I think it might be a stretch for this genre but I think a song that is written for and performed in a film counts in my book.  So give it a listen :)

1. Hans Zimmer.  What can I say my husband and I have great taste and when it comes to contemporary music we completely agree hands down that Hans Zimmer is the best.  All of the music that he has written for the various films is unbelievable and each with it's own sound.  I chose And Then I Kissed Him from the Pear Harbor Soundtrack.  This track it hauntingly beautiful.  Yes sometimes I break into tears just listening to it.  This track has so many different layers to it.  The music is flawless.  I hope you enjoy it.  Thanks for reading and listening everyone :):)

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