32 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Grand Budapest Hotel—Wes Anderson’s delightful film adaptation of Viennese author Stefan Zweig’s century-old writings—often disguises its deeper intentions as a manic, color-saturated update of classic screwball comedies. Thus the insistent, oft-hypnotic rhythms that French composer (and frequent Anderson collaborator) Alexandre Desplat employs throughout the score greatly bolster the film’s energetic charms. But it’s Desplat’s penchant for smart understatement, wed to an ever-inventive sense of ethnic and textural inquisitiveness, that become the film’s most essential musical and emotional foils. Desplat’s musical palette may be spare here, but this soundtrack never lacks for verve; its contours are further shaped by a handful of folk-rooted pieces from European and Russian composers. The choral harmony of Öse Schuppel’s “S'Rothe-Zäuerli” instantly evokes Alpine musical trappings, which Desplat subsequently employs like paprika. An excerpt from German classical guitarist Siegfried Behrend’s “Concerto for Lute and Plucked Strings I Moderato” deftly anchors it all to some semblance of stately tradition. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Grand Budapest Hotel—Wes Anderson’s delightful film adaptation of Viennese author Stefan Zweig’s century-old writings—often disguises its deeper intentions as a manic, color-saturated update of classic screwball comedies. Thus the insistent, oft-hypnotic rhythms that French composer (and frequent Anderson collaborator) Alexandre Desplat employs throughout the score greatly bolster the film’s energetic charms. But it’s Desplat’s penchant for smart understatement, wed to an ever-inventive sense of ethnic and textural inquisitiveness, that become the film’s most essential musical and emotional foils. Desplat’s musical palette may be spare here, but this soundtrack never lacks for verve; its contours are further shaped by a handful of folk-rooted pieces from European and Russian composers. The choral harmony of Öse Schuppel’s “S'Rothe-Zäuerli” instantly evokes Alpine musical trappings, which Desplat subsequently employs like paprika. An excerpt from German classical guitarist Siegfried Behrend’s “Concerto for Lute and Plucked Strings I Moderato” deftly anchors it all to some semblance of stately tradition. 

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