The Soloist (Music from the Motion Picture)
The Joe Wright-directed drama The Soloist tells the tale of a friendship between a newspaper writer and a homeless, mentally ill cellist who possesses a deep love of Beethoven. Based on a true story, the film stars Jamie Foxx as the cellist and Robert Downey, Jr. as the journalist. To create the score, the Italian-born composer Dario Marianelli — he’s written music for films such as Pride & Prejudice and Atonement — rearranged a number of pieces by Beethoven. At times, he abbreviates the material so it works with the story line, while at other times he takes a kernel of an idea from Beethoven (one example is the track titled “The Lord’s Prayer”) and expands upon it. The music is expertly played, which should come as no surprise since the recording features Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. (Cellist Ben Hong also deserves kudos.) The album includes two tracks that do not draw from Beethoven: “Cello Lesson” is the Prelude to Bach’s “Partita No. 1 for Cello,” and “Accordion Interlude” is an original piece by Marianelli that features the handheld instrument referencing the sound of Baroque organ.