Film music today! It suddenly occurred to me the other day that I haven’t heard anything by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek in a long time, so I gave a bit of his music another listen. My introduction to him was the gentle lyricism of his score to Finding Neverland, a wonderful movie you don’t hear much about anymore. Kaczmarek won the Best Score Oscar for this score, and he won it the year after The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won that honor, so in two years you had polar opposites winning the Oscar: a gigantic epic score of enormous complexity and orchestral grandiosity, and a quiet chamber work of delicate intimacy.
Finding Neverland tells a fantasized version of the story of J.M. Barrie and his creation of Peter Pan. The film abounds with dream-like sequences and flights of imagination, and these passages have a gossamer quality that is well served by Kaczmarek’s orchestral clarity. I love this score and hearing it again after a number of years was a delight. It’s always a pleasure to return to favorite works we’ve not visited in a long time, isn’t it?
I looked for a suite from this score, but the few that I found don’t feature the passages that I love most, so I decided to simply go with this: the entire score album presented at once. Plenty of tone poems are an hour long, so why not?
Here is Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s score to Finding Neverland. If you can, listen to this someplace where you think there might be some magic lurking in the corners.