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Soundtrack review: The leftovers (season 3) (Max Richter – 2017)

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Soundtrack review: The leftovers (season 3) (Max Richter – 2017)

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“The Leftovers” is an American television drama series created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, that aired on HBO from June 29, 2014, to June 4, 2017. It is based on Perrotta’s novel of the same name. The pilot was written by Lindelof and Perrotta, and directed by Peter Berg. The series stars an ensemble cast featuring Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Regina King, and Scott Glenn. Three years after the disappearance of 2% of the global population, a group of people from New York struggle to continue their lives, while they cope with the tragedy of the unexplained nature of the event.

“The leftovers” was how I got to meet, musically, Max Richter; I count listening to the music of the first season as one of the most unforgettable and mind blowing first impressions made by a composer as the deep requiem orchestral sound that accompanied the show was something I hadn’t heart before and that moved me beyond expectations. Now the show has ended and the music from it has gotten short to the point where season 3 only features some 12 minutes of score; but it is Max Richter so every minute counts. The way this composer writes for and plays the piano is worth every second and the opening cue from this album “The end of all our exploring” is further proof of that; it’s a solo piano theme, poignant, sad but determined, without sudden movement or changes of tone. The composer just plays the piano as if it was the last thing that remained in the world and I myself could listen to it forever.

What I’ve come co call the “Max Richter requiem sound” makes a meaningful appearance in “And know the place for the first time”; the piano is replaced by the organ but the sound is still melodic and anything but aggressive. Speaking of composer specific creations this cue then builds un with Hans Zimmer like fervour and broadness as a majestic horn section also joins in. I get “Journey to the line” flashbacks and it’s beyond anything I expected.

“The spectre of a rose” is a bit lighter in tone, a more joyful piano piece suitable for the fragility and beauty of that flower. It’s the hope theme of the third season for me. I really can’t get enough of the way Max Richter plays the piano, regardless of the dose, length or tone. His music might be minimalistic at times but it tells me so much, it make me feel so much as if I was inside the piano, between those strings, feeling every beat of that small hammer.

“The leftovers season 3” is a fitting end for one of the most special TV textures in recent memory. I have seen parts of the show and the burdensome emotional feeling of the show is translated into music. The organ, the piano and the occasional powerful build up make these 12 minutes more meaningful than hours. No matter where Max Richter goes next, I will be there.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 12

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:
The End of All Our Exploring
Either Fire or Fire
The Spectre of a Rose
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now
And Know the Place for the First Time

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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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