One of the reasons I listened to a lot of Rush in high school is because their prog-rock albums, especially A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, were heavy on instrumentals with an occasional Geddy Lee screech that made it impossible to want to try and sing along.
It didn’t take long to realize that classical music was a better option. No words whatsoever, and not even any air guitar or air drums calling my name. I bought a pack of six Mozart cassettes for a few bucks, and thus began my long-term love relationship between wordless music and work.
By my senior year, I’d begun moving beyond my cheap classical cassettes and into movie and television score, and by college graduation, I’d built up my own personal canon of pieces:
- The Mission
- Mozart’s Serenade for Strings No. 48*
- John William’s “Greatest Hits”
- The Princess Bride
- Forrest Gump
I realized how much I’d missed them.
I realized I hadn’t thought of or purchased a movie score since college. Not a one. So I started looking for recommendations, for the best scores of the past 20 years, and finding reliable lists is unusually difficult. Further, I realized that, even more than the musical genres we tend to explore at BOTG, preferences for instrumental music and scores is deeply personal and exceedingly difficult to explain.
But a few days in, I wanted more than just that but had no idea where to go, what to seek. So I posted the question to my Facebook wall, asking people to give me their recommendations for the best instrumental scores of the last 15 years. And I got 75 responses from several dozen people, some of whom couldn’t stop giving me suggestions because the question had rekindled their interests, too.
One friend insisted that I sign up for Spotify immediately to properly enjoy these recommendations, and I caved, and I instantly began crafting a playlist of the best scores and selections from scores recommended to me. Some of the things added due to my Facebook recommendations:
- The Place Beyond the Pines
- The Virgin Suicides
- Dan In Real Life
- The Royal Tenenbaums
- The Green Mile
- The Assassination of Jesse James
- Tron: Legacy
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- Downton Abbey