You voted in your thousands for your favourite film score – now it's time to reveal the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame 2016 with RadioTimes. How did your favourite film music do? Check out the chart below...
All images from Photoshot or Rex Features.
Making it into the Top 100 is Thomas Newman's music for this 1998 fantasy film, starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins. Pitt plays Death himself, enjoying what life's like here on earth. Newman's approach is lush and romantic, with the occasional bit of blues or jazz thrown in. The credits roll over a medley of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and What a Wonderful World. It's cheating a bit – but so effective.
Johnny Depp played a sensitive young man who just happened to have scissors for hands – hence his unusual name. This was the fourth collaboration for director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman and it's by far the most haunting and magical of them all. Elfman mixes quirkiness with enchantment, unusual rhythms with sumptuous, wordless, choral harmonies. And you've been hearing it ever since in live theatre shows and adverts on the TV.
Young Macaulay Culkin became a global superstar after playing a boy mistakenly left behind when his family flies off for their Christmas holidays. Bruce Broughton was originally signed up to write the music but pulled out because of other commitments, and John Williams was brought in to produce the final score. Favourite Christmas songs feature prominently in the film, as well as the film's theme song Somewhere in My Memory. Williams received Oscar nominations for both score and song.
Henry Mancini and his lyricist Johnny Mercer won the Oscar in 1962 for Best Original Song for 'Moon River' while Mancini's symphonic jazz music won him a second for Best Original Score. The album also stayed on in the US charts for almost two years. But it's for 'Moon River' – used at the beginning and end of the film, and sung by Audrey Hepburn – that everyone remembers this soundtrack.
This is a score that initially owed its success to the monumentally successful end title song, 'Everything I Do, I Do It for You', co-written by Michael Kamen with Bryan Adams. As the song chalked up 16 weeks at No.1 in the UK, and won a Grammy award and an Oscar-nomination, interest grew in the rest of Kamen's rollicking, brassy soundtrack. The overture remains a favourite with school and military bands.
There's a timeless beauty to Nino Rota's music for Zeffirelli's lavish 1968 interpretation of the Shakespeare tragedy. The Love Theme has since become a by-word for romantic angst and, perhaps unfairly, has been used countless times in an ironic fashion on TV and in other films. From Andy Williams to André Rieu, many have committed this delicate melody to disc, but no-one has given it quite the same simplicity as Rota did in the original.
Director Wes Anderson and composer Alexandre Desplat continued their fruitful collaboration with this quirky tale of a 1930s European hotel concierge (Ralph Fiennes), who gets embroiled in murder and intrigue. Desplat delivered a catchy confection of Hungarian styles and instruments, including cimbalom, zither and balalaika. Nostalgic and wistful, with a touch of eccentricity mixed in.
John Barry's small number of cues – and the late-1960s rock songs he selected to include – contribute enormously to Midnight Cowboy's particular poignancy. The main theme is all languid harmonica, played by the recently deceased Belgian virtuoso, Toots Thielemans. With added Mantovani-esque cascading strings and country twangs, Barry created something melancholy and atmospheric.
Christopher Nolan's brooding excursions into Gotham City are given a bleak, atmospheric sound world by two of Hollywood's movie music A-listers. Zimmer's trademark percussion and electronics thunder throughout, while James Newton Howard slips in the more poignant – but equally bleak – piano moments, which he plays himself. Dark and ominous, like Batman himself.
This 1965 British comedy tells the story of an air race from London to Paris, set up to prove that Britain was 'number one in the air'. Ron Goodwin embraced the film at face value and used his music to reinforce the various cultural stereotypes. So listen out for national anthems, marches, waltzes and folk songs. The theme song also became a best-selling single, despite – or perhaps because of – the inane lyrics.
When veteran composers Jerry Goldsmith and Miklos Rozsa were considered too expensive to score the USS Enterprise's second big screen outing, an eager 28-year old named James Horner was brought in. The producers told him they didn't want a John Williams epic sci-fi score but called for something more nautical and swashbuckling. Horner delivered a magnificent, thrilling, Holstian soundtrack – and made his name.
The music to A Clockwork Orange mixes classical extracts and electronic music composed by Wendy – at that time still Walter – Carlos. The main theme is a synthesiser version of Purcell's Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, while the march - based on Beethoven's 9th - was the first ever recorded song to feature a vocoder for the singing. Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade was used by Kubrick originally as a temp track but he ultimately chose to stick to it rather than the piece Carlos composed for that section. Carlos was so insulted by Kubrick's decision to drop most of the synthesiser score that she refused to work with Kubrick again until The Shining.
Whatever you may think of the blockbuster book, and the less-successful movie, Hans Zimmer's score for 'The Da Vinci Code' is among the finest film scores ever written by the composer. Using a huge orchestra and chorus to give weighty religious significance to the story, Zimmer creates an evocative and mysteriously beautiful sound world. The stand-out moment is 'Chevaliers de Sangreal' which has been put to use more recently for the TV art detection series Fake or Fortune, where it's still incredibly moving and exciting.
David Bowie and Tom Conti starred in this World War II prison drama, as did Japanese electronic music wizard Ryuichi Sakamoto, formerly of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, who also composed the music. He won a Bafta in 1983 for the score, which is filled with atmospheric synthesiser washes and ominous pulsing. The brilliantly original title song 'Forbidden Colours' featured the silken vocals of former Japan frontman David Sylvian.
An heroic offering from genre-skipping composer Harry Gregson-Williams, with an almost quasi-religious quality, appropriate to the metaphorical nature of the story. But it's tempered with all the fantastical bluster you would expect from a blockbuster featuring a talking lion. It's to Gregson-Williams's credit, too, that the temptation to make the soundtrack sound too serious is avoided.
Director Sam Mendes seems to bring out the best in composer Thomas Newman, and the score to Road to Perdition is one of Newman's finest. There are echoes of their American Beauty partnership here, with Newman deploying his icy, spacious, atmospheric approach to instrumentation. At other times it's mesmerising, and then tragic, and there's even a piano duet played by Paul Newman and Tom Hanks, which is a cinematic and musical first.
Alan Silvestri is one of the best action composers of all time, and it's his partnership with director Robert Zemeckis that brings out the best in him - think Back to the Future trilogy. For Zemeckis's Forrest Gump, Silvestri produced an Oscar-nominated score which chimes perfectly with the simplicity and naiveté of the eponymous hero. There's hardly a moment here that won't leave you feeling inspired and uplifted.
Ten years after James Horner's career went stratospheric with Titanic, expectations were high for his next collaboration with James Cameron on Avatar. The composer delivered a superb score that fused sweeping orchestral sounds with tribal percussion and synthesised sounds. The mystical world of the Na'vi is captured with tinkling chimes and the closing battle is one of Horner's greatest with a huge choral climax.
Director Sam Mendes returned to his composer of choice after their previous two James Bond outings together – Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Skyfall broke the formula of Bond with more domestic locations and a tense, surprising story line. Adele's title song continued the grand tradition of dramatic Bond themes, while Newman evoked the tension and ambiguities of the plot.
This Richard Gere-Julia Roberts romcom was a massive hit, generating a hugely successful soundtrack album, that ranged from Roy Orbison's hit of the same name as the film through to Roxette's It must have been love. Opera gets a look in too with a dramatic moment from La Traviata (which is kind of the inspiration for Pretty Woman's story) and Richard Gere played his own piano piece. But it's James Newton Howard's incidental music that captures the soundtrack lover's ear. The piano pieces are touching and sweet, and just a little bit sad.
Hans Zimmer's music for this Tom Cruise epic incorporates traditional flute sounds and many more Oriental touches, aiming to provide a synthesis between Western and Eastern cultures. Which is apt, seeing as the plot was inspired by the culture clash caused by the Westernisation of Japan in the 19th Century. Given that less-than-traditional blockbuster inspiration, you'd expect there to be some unease between the differing musical styles, but Zimmer is a pro at this kind of thing. The musical balance is impeccable, with the composer using subtle hints at the Eastern culture rather than beating the listener over the head with it.
Most people remember Love Actually's soundtrack as essentially a collection of classic love songs, from pop acts of the time such as Sugababes, to classics including The Beach Boys' God Only Knows and the Pointer Sisters' Jump (For My Love). Classic FM listeners love the score for its touching Craig Armstrong cue, Glasgow Love Theme, which has the same kind of effect that his Balcony Scene romance had in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.
For Master and Commander, Australian composers Iva Davies and Christopher Gordon eschewed the brassy bombast one might expect from an action picture set at sea. Instead, the score is largely ethereal and atmospheric, featuring the use of a percussive, taiko drum ensemble, and ambient electronics. The real depth of the soundtrack is provided by a number of famous classical pieces, from Mozart, Bach, and Boccherini.
So, you stop at a motel, fancy a shower and the next thing you know a madman in a wig is trying to attack you. What do you think that might sound like? Well, Bernard Herrmann knows, and he shows us brilliantly in the soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The screeching violins of the shower scene remain Psycho's most famous cue, but there's much else to enjoy here, including the urgent prelude music with its Stravinsky-esque chopping strings. Every horror film composer since 1960 owes Bernard Herrmann big time.
Director Martin Scorsese has said that Hitchcock's Vertigo is about obsession "which means that it's about circling back to the same moment, again and again... And the music is also built around spirals and circles, fulfilment and despair. Herrmann really understood what Hitchcock was going for - he wanted to penetrate to the heart of obsession." For the strangely detached Scène d'Amour, Herrmann evokes Wagner's Tristan und Isolde to suggest an obsessive love that is only in the mind of the main character.
John Powell was best known for scoring animated films, such as Shrek and Chicken Run, before getting the job to bring Robert Ludlum's action hero to the screen. The composer's a master at merging synthesisers with the traditional orchestra and that comes across in this high-octane score, in which the orchestra takes the back seat, reduced down to a string section and a bassoon. Luckily for Powell, the subsequent films in the series allowed him to develop the material further, and more successfully.
Dire Straits' guitarist/frontman Mark Knopfler provided an introspective guitar-based score to Bill Forsyth's wistful comedy. His approach incorporates hints of Scottish music, but a lot of the cues are more or less Dire Straits tracks without the vocals. The main theme is played at Newcastle United FC and Aberdeen FC home games as the players run out onto the pitch. The track was also played at the end of Dire Straits concerts so fans knew it was time to go home.
Hans Zimmer's remarkable African-influenced score for the Disney classic turned animated drawings of lions into living, emotionally alive creatures. Hired because of his work on The Power of One and A World Apart, both set in South Africa, Zimmer infused his score for The Lion King with many elements of traditional African music and choral arrangements from South African composer Lebo M. The Lion King soundtrack, with a little help from Elton John, went on to be phenomenally successful, winning Zimmer an Oscar for the music, and becoming a blockbuster stage show too.
Williams went from an iconic two-note motif in Jaws to an iconic five-note motif for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He reportedly had to compose around 350 five-note phrases before he and director Steven Spielberg settled on the famous one heard in the 1977 sci-fi film. Eerie and haunting, it's a fitting soundtrack for a film exploring the life-changing encounter between an ordinary American man and a UFO.
Ron Goodwin's score to this World War II thriller opens with a quiet, terse and repetitive drumbeat before a bombastic brass section joins in. It's a simple theme tune for a film with a storyline that is anything but. Ascending scales evoke the cliffs below the Schloss Adler, the German castle that a team led by Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood must penetrate to fulfil their objective, and the film's climactic fight on the roof of a moving cable car.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin explored the relationship between Greeks living on the island of Cephalonia during World War II with their enemy occupiers . The mandolin is central to the story and, in an unusual move, composer Stephen Warbeck conceived the score before shooting even began, making the music the basis around which the film was edited. This is a delicate emotional score, pitting the sweetness of the mandolin against the darkness of war.
John Barry's popular theme song for the true story of Elsa the lion cub nearly didn't make it into the film. The producers thought it uncommercial and cut it from the print shown at the film's royal premiere. Singer Matt Monro and lyricist Don Black lobbied the producers to restore it and succeeded; it finally appeared over the closing credits, which enabled it to qualify for an Academy Award. It won, as did Barry's expansive soundtrack which gives just a hint of his Out of Africa score 19 years later. Born Free even pops up in the 2012 video game Silent Hill: Downpour.
This moving Roman Polanski film saw Adrien Brody giving an Oscar-winning turn as the Polish-Jewish musician, Wladyslaw Szpilman, stuck in the ruins of Warsaw during the Second World War. After hearing Szpilman play Chopin, a German officer took pity on him and kept quiet about his presence. Polish composer Wojciech Kilar – most famous for scoring Bram Stoker's Dracula – contributed additional music, which is simple, atmospheric and Klezmer-inspired.
Miklós Rózsa conducted research into Greek and Roman music of the period to give his score an authentic sound while still being modern. Rózsa himself directed the 100-piece MGM Symphony Orchestra during the 12 recording sessions, which stretched over 72 hours. The composer won his third Academy Award for his score, which is considered to be the best of his career. It remained deeply influential into the mid 1970s, particularly on the epic scores of John Williams .
Frenchman Alexandre Desplat was thrilled and somewhat terrified to score the final instalments in the Harry Potter franchise, and determined to revive some of John Williams's iconic original themes, much to the relief of fans who felt bereft of them during Patrick Doyle and Nicholas Hooper's contributions to the series. Desplat is such an intelligent and subtle composer that his references to past motifs will be missed by most. Additionally there are some typical Desplat characteristics to enjoy: full scale symphony orchestra, diverse choirs and the deployment of novelty instruments, including lutes, recorders and the Japanese shakuhachi.
This sweeping epic told the true story of the relationship between a young German man – played by Brad Pitt – travelling through Tibet in the 1930s, and the Dalai Lama as a boy. For it, John Williams provided one of his most lushly romantic scores, featuring a haunting cello solo performed on the soundtrack by Yo-Yo Ma.
The highest new entry in this year's chart is also the winner of the 2016 Academy Award for Music. At 87, Italian composer Ennio Morricone became the oldest ever recipient of an Oscar for his gorgeously mysterious score. Director Quentin Tarantino had asked Morricone on several prior occasions to write original music for his films but the composer had always rejected the offer. It was the composer's wife who eventually convinced him to tackle The Hateful Eight. Not all of the music is original – Morricone incorporated themes from his scores to The Thing and Exorcist II, but the composer eventually came through with some 50 minutes of new material.
For this film Hans Zimmer wanted to create a sound that nobody had heard before – the sound of hundreds of thousands of voices. Sourcing those voices involved tweeting to fans and asking them to upload their recordings to a website. The result was 'Gotham's Reckoning', the main theme for the film's villain, Bane. The voices are heard chanting 'Deshi basara', which means 'Rise up' in a language that Zimmer says exists, but that he doesn't want to reveal. As for the rest of the movie, Zimmer manages to keep the dark intensity without resorting to theatrics.
Patrick Doyle offered old chum Emma Thompson a touching, pastiche-Mozartian score for her faithful and hugely successful Jane Austen adaptation. Two songs are sung by the character of Marianne in the film, with lyrics adapted from 17th-century poems. The melody of 'Weep You No More Sad Fountains', Marianne's first song, appears in the opening credits, while her second song's melody features again during the ending credits. Doyle received his first Academy Award nomination for his score.
The most famous guitar riff in cinema has featured in every official Bond film since Dr. No (1962), when it accompanied the opening title. It appeared again over the opening credits for From Russia with Love, and from then on became as integral to the James Bond universe as corny one-liners and gadgets. The guitar riff heard in the original recording of the theme was played by Vic Flick, who was paid a one-off fee of £6 for recording the tune. More than 70 cover versions of the piece have been recorded by artists over the years, including Count Basie, Glen Campbell and Hank Marvin.
Following in the footsteps of John Williams in a series of spectacularly successful films was no mean feat for Scotsman Patrick Doyle, best known for scoring Kenneth Branagh's classic Shakespeare adaptations. Doyle delivered magnificently, with a sweeping, magical score that captures the darker, more sinister elements of the plot with sweeping strings, ominous percussion and powerful male voice chanting. There are some Irish and Bulgarian influences in there, too, particularly for the brilliant Quidditch World Cup sequence.
The reunion between Lord of the Rings dream team – director Peter Jackson and composer Howard Shore – on a series of prequels, was hugely anticipated and, for many, hugely disappointing. Whereas The Lord of the Rings was brilliantly conceived and tightly worked out, Tolkien's short book of The Hobbit seemed unnecessarily stretched to three films. The score, which doubtlessly had to be expanded countless times, has less coherence than the Rings trilogy, but nevertheless showcases Shore's brilliant talent at scoring epic adventure with specific motifs and themes.
Most people remember Butch Cassidy for the on-screen chemistry between Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and the hit song 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head'. American songwriter Burt Bacharach also provided a light and breezy soundtrack featuring Swingle-esque vocalising and other fun cues.
William Walton was originally commissioned to write the music for this World War II drama. When producers decided to drop Walton's score in favour of Ron Goodwin's, star Laurence Olivier stepped in and demanded his name be removed from the credits if Walton's music was removed. Goodwin's gripping score remained but Walton's cue for the battle sequence itself was re-instated. It is Goodwin's theme thought that became a favourite for military bands.
This Ron Howard-directed drama told the true story of the ill-fated 13th American mission to the moon. At a time when space flights had become routine to the American public, the impending tragedy and heroism of the astronauts and scientists suddenly grabbed headlines again. While overshadowed by Horner's music for Braveheart, Titanic and Avatar, Horner's Copland-esque score for Apollo 13 is possibly his greatest, understated yet stirring, patriotic but with a reverence and dignity which at times makes it feel more suited to a historical documentary.
Set during the Second World War, this epic romance tells the story of a mysterious Englishman found badly burned in the Sahara. Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared's score is filled with wistful, romantic love melodies, spanning time across the film's flashbacks. Against the musical accompaniment, some of these scenes have a serene beauty oblivious to the war that is being waged elsewhere in the story.
40-year old zither player Anton Karas was discovered by director Carol Reed and The Third Man's cast members playing in a wine cellar in Vienna. Reed immediately decided that this was the music he wanted for the film and Karas was enticed to London, where he wrote and recorded the soundtrack over six weeks. What became The Third Man Theme had already been in Karas's repertoire, but he hadn't played it in 15 years. The image of it being played on the zither's vibrating strings even provides the background for the film's title sequence. More than half a million copies of the tune were sold within weeks of the film's release.
Before his name became inextricably linked to the James Bond movies, John Barry gave us this stately, impressive score with a title theme that is as bombastic as anything that has come out of Hollywood since. Zulu made a then-unknown Michael Caine into a sought-after actor, and it could be argued that it did the same for John Barry's music career, too. This is one of Classic FM movie guru Andrew Collins's favourite scores.
This delightful French comedy set in Montmartre became an unexpected global smash. It tells the story of the whimsical, shy waitress who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better. Yann Tiersen provided a charming Gallic score, with touching piano moments, and not a little accordion making it all very authentic.
The relatively unknown British composer Nicholas Hooper followed John Williams and Patrick Doyle into the Harry Potter franchise. Hooper incorporated Williams's Hedwig's Theme into his score but mainly focussed on his own personal approach, adding two new main themes - for the character of Dolores Umbridge and for Voldemort's invasion of Harry's mind. A Japanese Taiko drum was even used for a deeper sound in the percussion. The soundtrack was criticised for its break with the past films and probably is the least popular of all the Harry Potter soundtracks.
This blockbuster animation won the hearts of children and adults alike, but John Powell's soundtrack is pure action movie class. Something of a minor Hollywood legend, Powell has provided the soundtracks to some incredible money-shifting blockbusters throughout the years (try The Bourne trilogy, for starters). But with How To Train Your Dragon, he earned his first Academy Award nomination. It's a soaring, adrenaline-pumping score – a bit like riding on the back of a dragon.
Christopher Reeve played a playwright who becomes smitten with a young woman he sees in an antique photograph of an actress. Through self-hypnosis, he travels back in time to the year 1912 to find her. John Barry's touching, romantic score has had a longer life than the film itself. Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini – the famous variation – is also used throughout the film.
Alan Silvestri's Back To The Future is right up there with Star Wars and Indiana Jones as one of those iconic Hollywood themes – brassy, bombastic and thrilling. Silvestri's score flits around Marty McFly's increasingly wacky adventures, but amongst all the chaos and the pop culture references that run throughout the movie, at its heart it still all comes back to that one main theme.
With all the hype, excitement and relief that surrounded the release of JJ Abrams' acclaimed re-boot of the Star Trek franchise, perhaps one of the least talked-about aspects was Michael Giacchino's score. But now that it's had a few years to bed in (and indeed been followed by two sequels), those energetic action sequences and that lithe, heroic main French horn theme have become part of the lexicon, surely to be considered alongside the likes of John Williams in the future. Giacchino and director JJ Abrams have worked together closely for a number of years and on various projects, and that dynamic really pays off.
This epic masterpiece from the team that invented the Spaghetti Western tells the story of Jewish immigrants in New York's underworld over 60 years. Arguably one of Ennio Morricone's greatest scores with haunting pan pipes, Prohibition-era jazz, and the wordless vocalising of Deborah's Theme all contributing to the film's mood of nostalgia and regret.
Bernstein happily lived off the royalties from his jaunty, triumphant, catchy and extremely hummable theme to The Great Escape. It's one of the most memorable and catchy of all film themes, and Bernstein would probably have been bemused at its appearance at England football matches, where it has been a fixture since the mid-1990s. Bernstein's music is the perfect accompaniment to the Second World War film, in which Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough mastermind a mass escape from a German prisoner of war camp.
Shakespeare's timeless play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona Beach. Director Baz Luhrmann's collaboration with Craig Armstrong led to an enduring partnership, including the musical spectacular Moulin Rouge. An unconventional soundtrack to the very unconventional interpretation, the touching piano theme for the Balcony Scene has become the standout moment.
One of the most iconic pieces of film music, the two note shark motif that made going in the sea terrifying almost becomes a character in its own right. Rarely has a piece of film music so perfectly captured a film's atmosphere. When Williams first played the two notes to Spielberg on a piano, the director initially laughed, thinking it was a joke. Williams described the theme, performed on the tuba, as "grinding away at you, just as a shark would do, instinctual, relentless, unstoppable".
For his 1968 epic – his first for a major Hollywood studio – Sergio Leone called upon his countryman Ennio Morricone to provide the score. The composer finished the score before filming had even begun so that the music could be played to the actors during shoots. An integral part of the film, with various leitmotifs relating to each of the main characters, the 'Man with the Harmonica' cue is particularly recognisable and has been put to use in other productions.
Composer Stanley Myers and guitarist John Williams collaborated on this memorable soundtrack for the 1978 Vietnam war film directed by Michael Cimino. The most famous piece to feature in The Deer Hunter is the classical guitar piece 'Cavatina'. However, despite becoming synonymous with the film, 'Cavatina' was not written specifically for it. In fact the first time it appeared in a movie was eight years previously, when it was featured on another film called The Walking Stick.
British composer Ron Goodwin created an iconic theme for this World War II saga of heroism and bravery in which an RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway. Goodwin's big tune - with its rhythm of 6-3-3 - has become an evergreen piece for brass bands and remains one of British cinema's catchiest themes.
Thomas Newman used a range of percussion to create a complex rhythmic soundtrack for Sam Mendes's award-winning movie, including marimbas, pianos, xylophones and bongos, as well as more unconventional tools such as metal bowls. The pensive and thoughtful music perfectly encapsulates the ennui of the mid-life crisis being experienced by Kevin Spacey's lead character. Newman's soundtrack doesn't so much drive the narrative forward as float it along and it's one of the reasons that American Beauty 's denouement is so powerfully shocking.
Producers of the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight had their eyes on Rachmaninov to write their score. The lugubrious Russian wasn't that keen, so the job of penning the music went to Richard Addinsell. Despite all that, it's fair to say that even he passed on much of the work, too: it fell to the arranger and orchestrator Roy Douglas to knit together the melodies and turn them into a fully orchestrated, heart-on-your-sleeve concert piece, known as the Warsaw Concerto. Full of indulgent harmonies and grand Romantic gestures, the piece remains hugely popular today.
Combining charm and wit from Jane Austen's novel with Dario Marianelli's effortlessly delicate tunes, this score captures the Romantic spirit of the charming film adaptation. Using the piano sonatas of Beethoven as his springboard, Marianelli set about writing a soundtrack that sounds as if it could actually have been heard by any of Jane Austen's characters. Indeed, given that several scenes involve some of the characters playing a piano, Marianelli found himself in the unconventional position of actually having to have music ready well before the film's completion.
The movie and the special effects may have dated since Christopher Reeve's Superman first flew onto our screens in 1978. But the music hasn't. If anything, it's grown and become iconic, and that's probably down to Williams's ability to capture the essence of the movie in his music. This is John Williams in grand, brassy Star Wars fanfare mode, helping us truly believe that a man could fly.
The Shawshank Redemption centres on one man convicted of murder but, despite the circumstances, the film focuses on themes of hope and redemption. This 1994 movie was written and directed by Frank Darabont and based on a Stephen King novella. Nominated for an Oscar in 2004, Thomas Newman's score reflects the emotional intensity of the film. A particular highlight of the movie was the beautiful 'Sull Aria' from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera 'Le Nozze di Figaro', which was broadcast live to the prisoners.
Zimmer had previously scored Christopher Nolan's Batman film trilogy as well as Inception, before delivering magnificently for Interstellar. His soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award. Painstakingly composed over two years, Zimmer visited London's Temple Church to record its historic organ. An ensemble of 34 strings, 24 woodwinds, four pianos, and a 60-voice mixed choir were later added. The feeling of air and breath resonates throughout the music as Zimmer explained, the film involves a lot of astronauts in spacesuits.
For the biggest film of its time, composer Horner turned his back quite deliberately on the traditional idea of what a film score for a Hollywood blockbuster should sound like. Instead, he focused on the Irish background of Leonardo di Caprio's character, Jack Dawson, and created a sound world somewhat reminiscent of the likes of Enya and Clannad. Titanic earned Horner a fortune and two Oscars. And it also made Celine Dion, who sang the theme tune, a few pennies too.
Before embarking on the score, Zimmer was told to let his imagination run wild. What emerged was a densely constructed, imaginative, electronic sound world, incorporating a guitar sound reminiscent of the music of Ennio Morricone played by Johnny Marr, former guitarist of The Smiths. Édith Piaf's hit, 'Non, je ne regrette rien', which appears in the film, is also integrated into Zimmer's score. The film's iconic brass instrument fanfare even resembles a slowed-down version of the song.
Vangelis's soundtrack jumps 21 places as excitement grows around 2017's Blade Runner sequel. Though we're fast approaching the year in which director Ridley Scott's seminal sci-fi classic is set - 2019 - it still seems as if modern movie soundtracks, and contemporary music itself, have yet to catch up with Vangelis. Composed in 1982 and presaging the ambient music genre that would follow in the wake of house beats by almost a decade, Vangelis's music perfectly captures the mood of the dystopian, rain-lashed Los Angeles in which the film is set. Evocative and seductively melancholy.
It could have ended up being an electronic score if director Michael Mann had his way, but thankfully this glorious 1992 soundtrack from Trevor Jones ended up as an orchestral affair. The film's main character Hawkeye - played by Daniel Day-Lewis - had little to say, but the music spoke volumes. The jaunty fiddle of 'The Kiss', used to score a scene of horrific violence in which a character is burned to death and Hawkeye chases and hunts down a band of Indians, is a particular high point. A majestic, thrilling but ultimately simple soundtrack.
John Williams's close relationship with Steven Spielberg and the director's own meteoric career meant that he was the composer for many major films of the period, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman and of course, E.T. for which Williams won his fourth Oscar. No one does the magic and wonder of childhood better than Spielberg, and no one could have produced more sympathetic and timeless scores.
As Mel Gibson, playing Scottish nationalist William Wallace, cried "Freedom!", James Horner's stirring score helped transport us back to the 13th century. There were Horner's trademark traditional Celtic and Scottish influences, and not a few eyebrows were raised at the inclusion of some Irish themes, and a Kena flute from the Andes. Combined with the orchestra and a spine-tingling boys' choir, they create a stirring and beautiful, romantic score.
For a soundtrack that needed to be as sweeping as the action and location, director William Wyler turned to Jerome Moross who had orchestrated dozens of movies and had extensive experience composing for the concert hall, ballet and theatre. While Moross's Oscar-nominated score is somewhat reminiscent of the wild west ballets of Aaron Copland, The Big Country became his most important contribution to film music, clearly influencing many of the great western scores that followed.
The Dam Busters can now barely be thought of without Eric Coates' famous melody coming to mind. Still a firm favourite as a military band number at flypasts, Coates's popular theme to the classic British war movie from 1955 is a great example of a piece of music that has become just as famous as the film it comes from. Despite its success, Eric Coates had a profound dislike of composing for film, and his son Austin claimed in a radio interview that The Dam Busters March was not actually written for the film and had in fact been completed a few days before he was contacted by the producers.
The second, incredibly successful Pirates romp picks up where the first movie left off, at the wedding of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. Before either can say 'I do', Captain Jack comes between them again in his quest to save his soul from Davy Jones and a watery grave. Hans Zimmer's score is just as over the top as Depp's portrayal of Jack Sparrow. It's music with its nostrils flared, its chest out and its tongue in its cheek.
This touching 1988 Italian film celebrates both childhood and cinema. In keeping with the film's study of a relationship between a child and a father figure, composer Morricone collaborated with his son Andrea for the film's score and their work won them a Bafta. While Morricone is best known for the experimental nature of his earlier work scoring westerns for Sergio Leone with natural sounds, electric guitars and harmonica, Cinema Paradiso is a more traditional orchestral score. However, it is a perfect accompaniment to the sentimental and romantic nature of the film itself.
A woman, her daughter and her piano arrive in 19th-Century New Zealand for an arranged marriage. But her future husband refuses to move the piano from the beach. In order that she might get her piano back she agrees certain favours with an illiterate neighbour. Michael Nyman's profile rocketed following the success of The Piano and his film score went on to become a classical best seller. He didn't write the central tune that runs through the film - that's actually called 'Bonny winter's noo awa' - but he did create the rest of the film's evocative score.
Saving Private Ryan won five Oscars in 1998 but Best Soundtrack was not among them. Spielberg wanted to keep much of the film silent, to concentrate on the true horrors of war and to make sure that the harsh and real atmosphere was heard (and it clearly worked, hence winning the Best Sound Oscar). This put considerable limits on Williams, but he still managed a moving theme, played over the end credits and soon becoming a stand-alone hit, Hymn to the Fallen. The wordless chorus with a trumpet and snare-drum combination certainly tugs at the heart strings.
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have a knack for producing great cinematic adventures, and this was certainly the case with Raiders of the Lost Ark, which introduced Indiana Jones to delirious audiences around the world. John Williams's blistering Raiders March, first heard on Raiders, went on to symbolise the reckless antics of Harrison Ford's Indy for three more cinematic outings. The score received an Oscar nomination but lost out to Vangelis' score for Chariots Of Fire.
Jarre became involved in the 1962 epic after both William Walton and Malcolm Arnold had proved unavailable. Despite this, and the brief six weeks he was given to write the score, Jarre came through with music that perfectly captures director David Lean's vast desert setting and Peter O'Toole's Oscar-winning turn as Lawrence. One of cinema's most famous themes, Jarre's mix of orchestra and exotic percussion captures the romance of the desert. It earned him an Academy Award.
The score of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is packed full of gunfire, yodelling, and even howling coyotes, but Morricone's punchy music is anything but ugly. He created one of the most iconic pieces of film music with his main theme, revolutionising film music, and sending Westerns in an entirely new direction. The main theme became a big hit in the charts, with the soundtrack album staying in the Billboard charts in America for over a year.
David Lean's screen version of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago was a sumptuous, sprawling, epic about the life of a Russian doctor-poet who, although married, falls for a political activist's wife and struggles against all the odds to survive the turmoil of war. It won numerous Academy Awards including one for Maurice Jarre's moving score. While the music largely lets the movie speak for itself, the memorable love theme Lara's Theme is a constant reference point and became a worldwide hit.
Rota's score for Francis Ford Coppola's gangster epic was removed at the last minute from the list of 1973 Academy Award nominees when it was discovered that Rota's famous 'Love Theme' used the same melody as one he had used previously in Eduardo De Filippo's 1958 comedy Fortunella. Confusingly, his score for The Godfather Part II went on to win the Oscar in 1974, even though it featured the same Love Theme that made the 1972 score ineligible. Whatever. It's an all-time classic.
Jerry Goldsmith's theme jumps 53 places up the chart off the back of the 50th anniversary of the sci-fi franchise. Released in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture marked the emotional return of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the other familiar faces of the crew of the USS Enterprise. Goldsmith's pulsing, anthemic theme was later used in the TV series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and in subsequent movies.
Nigel Hess struck gold with Classic FM listeners with his music for Charles Dance's 2004 film. Set in picturesque 1930s Cornwall, the sweeping, lyrical score perfectly matches the stunning scenery and ocean vistas. For the main theme, Hess employs a full symphony orchestra alongside a solo violin, performed on the original soundtrack by the star violinist Joshua Bell.
Max Steiner is one of the founders of film music as we know it today and his name is now attached to the annual 'Max Steiner Award' for film music which recognises his pioneering role in the early development of the craft. Steiner was drafted in to provide the music to Gone With The Wind and his sweeping score has really stood the test of time, still able to send shivers down spines and create goosebumps.
Written in the same year as Schindler's List , which was a major award-winner in 1993, John Williams's score for Jurassic Park may have been somewhat overshadowed. However the dinosaur blockbuster enabled him to use an array of compositional techniques which he employed in many of his 1990s film scores. The minute this theme was first aired, it sounded like it had been around for millions of years, instantly an old friend. Majesty is somehow written into the score and befits the wonderful, enormous creatures that Spielberg brought to life on the screen.
Morricone created his most successful score for the Oscar winning 1986 film. It tells the story of a Spanish priest who goes into the South American jungle to build a mission and convert a community of Guarani indians, whilst fighting off the dastardly Portuguese colonials, who are trying to enslave the community. Morricone's score skilfully mixes Amazonian rhythms with the Baroque style of the Jesuit missionaries.
Undoubtedly the greatest Western theme ever, Bernstein drew upon Copland's Wild West ballets, to create a galloping, expansive romp that has remained a worldwide favourite. Along with the iconic main tune, the score also contains allusions to twentieth-century symphonic works, including a reference to Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, in the tense quiet scene just before the shoot out.
Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer headed a team of 15 composers who worked on this score to get it completed quickly. Composer Alan Silvestri, who had collaborated with director Gore Verbinski on Mouse Hunt and The Mexican, was set to provide the score, but the producers went with Badelt instead. Johnny Depp swaggered and strutted as Captain Jack Sparrow, the music did too - thrilling, surging and just a little bit cheeky.
John Barry – with a little help from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto - provided tender accompaniment to Streep and Redford's doomed, sub-Saharan love affair. The soundtrack, evoking the expanse of the landscape, garnered Barry an Oscar for Best Original Score and also sits at No.15 in the American Film Institute's list of top 25 film scores.
Reflecting the movie's political and ecological themes, Barry rejected the usual western clichés for a gentle depiction of the story's wide-open plains. As well as the hugely popular 'John Dunbar Theme', the 'Love Theme' is eloquent and ever so slightly haunting; while the music used to accompany Two Socks (the 'star' wolf) is also beautiful.
John Williams conjures up another magical score reminiscent at times of Saint-Saens's Danse Macabre. The first film introduced the instantly recognisable 'Hedwig's Theme.' With its use of the celesta in its introduction, it evokes another magical moment from musical history, Tchaikovsky's 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' from The Nutcracker.
Greek synthesiser wizard Vangelis opted for a very modern, electronic score in contrast to the film's 1920s setting – a decision that worked. The famous theme has lived way beyond its original purpose and is widely used for sporting events in real life, forming a memorable moment at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, with Sir Simon Rattle, the LSO and Mr. Bean! Vangelis won an Oscar for his soundtrack.
An Oscar-nominated score for the epic that revived the sword and sandals blockbuster. For Gladiator, Hans Zimmer uses a simple but stirring melody throughout and, as a result, the film joins the ranks of those movies for which the music is a key part of its success. Lisa Gerrard's haunting voice added a timeless and atmospheric quality.
John Williams initially thought this heartrending movie would be too challenging to score, telling director Steven Spielberg: "You need a better composer than I am for this film." Spielberg responded: "I know, but they're all dead!" As it turned out, Williams captures perfectly the traditional music and sad plight of Europe's Jewry, and the shame of man's inhumanity to man.
John Williams has the highest number of entries in our chart - and his most famous score moves up two places thanks to last year's release of The Force Awakens. In 1977, Star Wars caused a revolution; Williams brought a new hope to movie soundtracks, reviving the golden age of grand symphonic scores. He's since composed for six Star Wars movies and is currently working on Episode 8. From that first trumpet blast to Rey's Theme in The Force Awakens, every one of Williams's themes and motifs is pure class.
This is the seventh year in a row that Howard Shore's epic soundtrack has topped the chart. The Canadian was an unusual choice for the most ambitious production in cinema history, but he triumphed. Nothing in recent years has come close for scale, drama, melody and skill. Shore's score - which features some 80 different themes and motifs representing the various characters and locations - won him three Oscars, four Grammys and three Golden Globes.