Composer: Alexandre Desplat.
Personnel: David Walter (programming).
Audio Mixer: Andrew Dudman.
Liner Note Author: Chris Weitz .
Recording information: Air Studios, London; Studios Guillaume Tell, Paris.
Virtually every aspect of the Twilight saga was taken to a grander scale with New Moon, the second film in the series of screen adaptations of Stephenie Meyers' books. This reflected not just the success of the first movie, but the wider scope of New Moon's story, which encompassed werewolves and Italian vampire royalty along with girl-falls-in-love-with-vampire, vampire-breaks-girl's-heart drama. The film's score, which is composed and conducted by Alexandre Desplat and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, is certainly bigger, but not always better, than Carter Burwell's music for Twilight. Desplat takes a more traditional approach, favoring soft string passages highlighted by flute, piano and occasional brass for his cues, which are lush and often lengthy: "To Volterra" hovers around nine minutes. Given that the film's heroine, Bella Swan, spends most of her time grieving her breakup with her vampire ex Edward Cullen, it's not surprising that much of the score is mournful, and that the most distinctive melodies belong to the cues that evoke Edward. However, the most interesting moments in New Moon's score belong to the werewolves and other vampires. "Blood Sample" uses tablas to mimic heartbeats, a motif used on other menacing tracks like "Wolves V. Vampire" and "Victoria," while the delicately creepy "Werewolves" leaves listeners feeling ambivalent. At times, Desplat's music feels a bit overwrought, but that's only fitting for a story as dramatic (and occasionally melodramatic) as the one New Moon tells. Even if this score is arguably less unique than Twilight's was, it provides plenty of perfectly gloomy backdrops and conveys New Moon's lovelorn atmosphere just as ably. ~ Heather Phares