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Soundtrack review: The leftovers (season 1) (Max Richter – 2014)


Soundtrack review: The leftovers (season 1) (Max Richter – 2014)


“The leftovers” is a TV show created by one of the guys who brought us “Lost”. It’s about the people left behind after a global rapture like event made 140 million people disappear. The score was written by Max Richter.

The religious influence of the subject is obvious in the music. The TV show has a very slow pace and this is also very clear from Richter’s sensitive and deep music. “De profundis” made me think of Arvo Part’s minimalistic and sacred compositions. “Dona nobis pacem 1” has a wonderful buildup and ended up giving me goose bumps. I love a good buildup and a cue like this is guaranteed to be a favorite of mine. The second part of this track is just as magnificent: “Dona nobis pacem 2”  is right up there with the best Zimmer buildup cues.

In today’s TV music, “The leftovers” is a unique appearance. Its tenderness and fragility comes from another place and leaves an unmistakable mark. I was not expecting to hear a score like this: such an exquisite blend of my two favorite instruments, piano and violin, carefully and majestically playing together in the gentlest and most poignant scores of the year. The music gets inside you and blesses your soul, caresses your emotions and if you are in a certain state of mind, it will make you cry. In the state I am in now, it makes me just be grateful for Max Richter’s inspiration and craft, because even if I only hear one score like this all year, I consider myself lucky.

Listen to this score, because you will not forget it. If you like minimalistic compositions, piano and violin, “The leftovers” will go straight in your favorite scores list; if you want to feel the peace and poignancy of a cathedral, listen to this score. Just close your eyes, open you soul and welcome these blissful sounds inside you. Me, I will count the days until the music from season 2 comes out.

Cue rating: 95 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 30 / 37

Album excellence: 81%


The Leftovers (Main Title Theme)

The Departure

De Profundis

Dona Nobis Pacem 1

Departure (Reflection)

Dona Nobis Pacem 2

Family Circles

A Blessing

She Remembers

Departure (Lullaby)


Departure (Home)

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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