Soundtrack Review: Winter’s Tale (2014)

Soundtrack Review: Winter’s Tale (2014)

Winter’s Tale Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Winter’s Tale by Hans Zimmer & Rupert Gregson-Williams.

At a glance:

14 tracks
59 minutes of score
Geek Score: 82.8
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 12.07
Album Excellence: 20%
Buy or stream? Stream

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

I am surprised by the lack of hype for this score. It’s like everyone knew it was coming, but just let it happen in silence. The weird part is that Hans Zimmer is co-composing it with Rupert Gregson-Williams. Just the mere mention of Zimmer’s name should have half the internet in a frenzy, but for once it wasn’t to be. Winter’s Tale is a romantic fantasy drama and I have to admit I was curious to what it sounded like. It sounds pretty much like most modern RCP scores. Some nice themes, some full-on action scoring, the RCP way. Is it bad that I kind of enjoy this score? It’s not great by any means, but it is very nice at times, just to listen without too much afterthought. I don’t like to overanalyse scores like this to ruin what could be a very nice listening experience so I won’t.

I will say this though. Originality be damned. This is pretty much what scores sounds like today, just with added accessories and glitter. It’s shiny alright, and you can’t fault the production, but after listening to some other scores this year, it will not be close to being among the best. In a normal year, this would stand up pretty well, but 2014 has been extraordinary good so far in my opinion.

Winter’s Tale, meh or yeay? A bit on the yeay side for me.

1. Look Closely
5. What’s The Best Thing you’ve ever stolen?
8. Can You Hear Your Heart?

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: Winter's Tale (2014), 5.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings


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  • brightchrist97

    I am not familiar with Rupert’s style, but Zimmer’s and Harry G-Williams? Like the keys of my piano! Just to let you know, I haven’t heard this soundtrack yet, this is just my reactions and past experiences.

    I was a bit surprised to see Zimmer’s name on a Romance film score but the name Gregson-Williams caught my attention (Sorry Rupert, not your name). I’ll assume that the G-Williams brothers have similar styles in my opinion-in-a-review, because I simply did not hear enough Rupert’s scores.

    After Narnia blew my socks off some fiveish years ago,I am certain that a romantic G-W score would be magical and powerful (A variation of the Children’s theme is more than a starting point, keep the Heroic theme out though, that’s too sacred), Harry’s relaxing yet stimulating and seemingly more traditional use of orchestral sounds sings wonders to me in a score like Narnia. What else? The range of emotions the score can impose on you: innocence, wonder, fear, heroic, they are all there. Harry’s Shrek colab with John Powell was also magical.

    However, the countless Zimmer highlights over the years (For me: Last Samurai, The 2nd, 3 and in some cases the 4th Pirates film, Da Vinci Code, King Arthur and Man of Steel) tells me that Zimmer is not a love composer. His style is full-on explosions of sounds with rumbling bass that served well as a massage-chair. Even in the perhaps most toned back and relaxing film score the Last Samurai , the battle cues were epic. In fact, EVERY TRAILER EPIC MUSIC reminds me of Zimmer: His style is appealing and just amazing for a teen male like myself. He literally invented the Battle-waltz; though I’m sure that wasn’t the reason why Zimmer decided to dip his toes in the romance waters; surely he’s not trying to do a battle-waltz the other way around right? A heroic French horn with Dark-knight style alternating strings and percussion are simply not love-material.

    The only cues from Hans I can associate with a little love was in Pirates. I keep on coming back to that notorious cue ‘Dinner is served’. First 50 seconds: typical Hans-style, drums and beats. After that 50 sec mark? I’m basically rolling around the floor laughing, EVEN WITHOUT THE MOVIE ON. The circus-waltz was spot-on and SO unexpected. By far not a romantic cue, but relatively close in Hans’ record. Second? Easy, The third-film’s Love or the entire movie’s main theme. Even there, Hans couldn’t resist the action jingle. In the main battle track ‘I Don’t Think Now Is the Best Time’ Zimmer (cleverly, I admit) fused the Will-Elizabeth love theme with an intense battle Symphony-length cue seamlessly for a love-filled action piece. Don’t think Hans’ doing that here. My point? Hans is possessed by the action genre: He can’t shake it off! Not that I want him to though (but Hans can learn new tricks right? Let’s hope he can).

    My final thought. Rupert and Harry could’ve done a bro’s team-up, or a Rupert solo (Rupert needs the publicity in my view). The G-William style appeals in a romantic and magical movie. Hell, maybe Hans’ best bud James Newton Howard could have made a perfect choice as well! His score for King Kong and (Flow Like Water!) Last Airbender spoke to me: “Magical! Majestic!”

    Overall, I thought Hans was an unwise choice for this score (Haven’t heard it! Just some doubts) Judging by your brief review, action did creep in (Hans…Really?). I’ll be taking this score with a grain of appetite for action; of which I have a LOT of anyway.

    • Jørn Tillnes

      Rupert’s style is different from Harry’s, but I don’t think I have heard him do a score like this before. It feels more RCP, more Zimmer, but my guess is that Zimmer did the themes, and Rupert adapted a RCP style when composing the rest. Halli Cauthery and David Buckley did some additional music as well.