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The Twilight Saga

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Performer Notes
  • Editor: Stewart Whitmore.
  • As The Twilight Saga series of films began to wind down, the franchise returned to composer Carter Burwell, who scored the first film, to provide the music for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1. Burwell brings sensitivity and surprising depth to the film's music: while many cues echo the gauzy romanticism of Breaking Dawn's soundtrack (particularly on the lovely Latin-tinged "A Nova Vida" and "The Threshold," which is so sweet that cartoon hearts seem to float off its melody), he provides musical reminders that there actually is a horror element to these movies. Before it blooms into soft-focus piano and acoustic guitar, "What You See in the Mirror" begins with a shrill flute that is one of the most startling moments on any of The Twilight Saga soundtracks or scores. Elsewhere, werewolf-themed cues like "Wolves on the Beach" and "A Wolf Stands Up" add more dread as well as raw percussion and flutes that evoke Native American traditions. Childbirth and its complications are also longtime horror fodder, and the pieces revolving around Bella's surprise pregnancy tap into this fear, with "Pregnant" marking the point where Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1's music takes an ominous turn, and "Hearts Failing" and "Biting" reflecting the desperation to save mother and baby. Despite the story's fantastical turns, Burwell keeps his music restrained, rarely breaking out the full orchestra even on crucial cues: "Jacob Imprints" is small yet profound, its subtlety adding dignity, while "Bella Reborn" closes the score on a subdued but eerily beautiful note. This restraint elevates Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 to one of The Twilight Saga's better scores, Burwell's previous work included. ~ Heather Phares
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