Jonny Greenwood’s score for the Paul Thomas Anderson film, ‘There Will Be Blood’, is commonly cited as one of the finest soundtracks for film of recent years. We are delighted that the concert suite from the film has been released by Deutsche Grammophon, in performance by the Copenhagen Philharmonic under André de Ridder.
The CD has received unanimous praise from the press:
‘Greenwood’s work expertly renders original interpretations of emotions that could easily come off as trite; “Henry Plainview,” for example, is a lush piece that explores a kind of sadness and despair, and shows how ugly emotions can be portrayed gorgeously. “Oil” also reveals great sensibility and a certain beauty, with a theme that brings to mind a long journey coming to its end, or the relief that comes with reaching one’s destination.
The album is an overall testimony to contemporary classical music being alive and well. Deutsche Grammophon is a label with an impressive reputation in the classical world, and the association with their business alone signals Dessner and Greenwood’s abilities, but the two composers’ extraordinary abilities speak for themselves.’
Audio Femme (Raquel Dalarossa), 5 March 2014
‘… fresh and inquisitive’
BBC Music Magazine (Benjamin De Diesbach), May 2014
‘… great news: Greenwood’s suite (based on his own critically acclaimed film score) is bloody brilliant. “Future Markets” is a fierce piece of work. Moreover, and unexpectedly, the impressive, haunting string-based “HW/Hope of New Fields” plays in the memory and clamors for repeated listening. “Proven Lands” cools things down a little, yet conveys a quiet playfulness. What is especially interesting to this listener is how concisely Greenwood has conveyed the drama from the film There Will Be Blood, conjuring up imagery of Upton Sinclair’s oil barons (greed, ambition and paranoia abound). The film, of course, is a modern classic, having reached the sacred status of being one of The 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
Guitar value of this suite is zero, while the musical value is exceedingly high. This is orchestral work through and through, not some guitar hero slinging hash while the timpanist crashes and strings swell and rock fans in their best jeans roar with delight at the sight of The Axeman Cometh. Greenwood is a seriously talented composer.
Radiohead fans will rejoice in the musical variety and invention that is so vividly on display here. The orchestra itself is superb under de Ridder’s direction, while the sonic sheen of this recording is everything you’ve come to expect from Deutsche Grammophon.
Highly recommended, even for non-classical fans.’
Vivascene (Brian Miller), 4 March 2014
‘The new Greenwood and Dessner album truly highlights the immense possibilities in textures, colors, and emotions that can be achieved when unhindered by the limitations of the rock medium.
Greenwood’s “Suite from ‘There Will Be Blood’” clearly illustrates just how amazingly versatile he is as a composer from the angry, aggressive march of “Future Markets” to the nostalgic, hauntingly beautiful strings in “HW/Hope of New Fields,” Greenwood’s multifaceted piece perfectly encompasses the many aspects of the film within the duration of a 20-minute suite.
This album showcases the immense complexity of two musicians not commonly associated with the world of classical music. Both Dessner and Greenwood display a mastery for the orchestral medium, and while Dessner’s compositions are lacking in some aspects, this compilation will certainly be a treat for The National and Radiohead fans interested in observing a different, more contemplative side of these two musicians.’
The Harvard Crimson (Ryan Song), 4 March 2014
‘Greenwood’s suite from There Will Be Blood may seem like an odd companion for St. Carolyn; after all, the movie was released in 2007, and this EP contains just a sample of the original score. The deep, haunting sound has lost none of its potency over time. Low, foreboding cellos still signal the nature of the film’s ruthless story, creating a tense, sometimes inhospitable atmosphere that perfectly evokes the noir Western tale of the early oil industry. Eerie strings rise and fall, coming in short, staccato bursts like an oncoming, runaway nineteenth-century locomotive belching black smoke into the arid desert air. Discordant violins screech then subside into symphonic waves, illustrating the decadence and the horror of the film and its cold-blooded antagonist.
… the pairing on this EP calls attention to the fact that there are rock musicians engaging in the classical genre, and it’s not an isolated phenomenon. Dessner and Greenwood are actively working at the boundaries of genre, using their composition skills and sensibilities in ways that benefit both their rock music and classical pieces, blurring the lines between classical and contemporary.
This EP and its conscious pairing argues, perhaps inadvertently, for the continued relevance of classical music and style that is beautifully and hauntingly rendered here. Dessner and Greenwood are definitely musicians to be watching, and hopefully they’ll continue to unleash new, genre-bending compositions to enchant us.’
Mxdwn.com (Charlee Redman), 8 March 2014
‘Never before have classical and rock converged in so organic, compelling and sensual a way. . . With this album, Bryce Dessner and Jonny Greenwood open up a new frontier for symphonic music.’
Music Industry News Network (Miscellaneous), 18 January 2014
‘These are no dabblers or interlopers; they take the development of classical "chops" very seriously . . . [in Greenwood's] Suite from "There Will be Blood", I'm particularly smitten with the overlaid glissandos and chordal intensity of the movement "Henry Plainview." Where there is repetition or the use of ostinato, as on "Future Markets," it is more off kilter, frequently shorn off in dramatic fashion. And even though each movement of the suite is distilled from a film score cue, these aphoristic vignettes are vividly detailed and characterful. So forget your preconceptions about "rock stars" as classical dilettantes: Dessner and Greenwood are the real deal.’
MusicalAmerica.com, 23 February 2014
‘. . . "St. Carolyn by the Sea/There Will Be Blood" will go down as a modern classic. It can't be anything else.’
PopMatters (John Garratt), 4 March 2014
‘. . . Dessner and Greenwood's atmospheric pieces do complement each other. Dessner's side . . . features gentle guitar from Bryce and brother Aaron, skittering violins and snare-driven crescendos -- in particular, the lovely title track. As for Greenwood's "There Will Be Blood" suite from 2007, I won't even review it, because you should already love it.’
Magnet, Philadelphia (Bryan Bierman), 1 April 2014
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