Mr. Holland's Opus [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Michael Kamen's music for the treacly drama Mr. Holland's Opus bears more weight and relevance to its accompanying motion picture than your rank-and-file Hollywood score -- the tale of a high-school music teacher who juggles everyday life with his grander creative pursuits, culminating in his three-decades-in-the-making "An American Symphony," its central themes double as the Holland character's own compositions, serving not only the film's emotional aspirations, but its narrative demands as well. Incorporating elements of Beethoven's "7th Symphony" and Bach's "Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C," Kamen draws so liberally from classical antecedents that his original ideas are often obscured -- melodies merely roughed out in previous iterations reach critical mass in "An American Symphony" itself, but like the remainder of Mr. Holland's Opus, the music forgoes subtlety and nuance for emotional bludgeoning.

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