Howard Shore

Big [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Given that Howard Shore is most commonly associated with the unsettling physical horror of David Cronenberg and the sweeping fantasy of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, his long-unavailable score to the 1988 comedy favorite Big is something of a revelation. Its light, lyrical approach is far removed from the atmospheric electronic compositions on which his reputation rests, yet proves Shore more than adequately equipped to tackle more conventional fare. Written primarily for piano and strings, Big wonderfully conveys the childlike wonder and energy at the film's center. Themes like "New York," "Racquetball," and "Waking Up" capture a youthful innocence that's genuinely charming. Varese Sarabande's limited-edition release also appends the Frank Loesser/Hoagy Carmichael evergreen "Heart and Soul," immortalized via the pivotal scene in which co-stars Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dance their way across toy store FAO Schwartz's enormous walking piano.