Hugo - Original Score

Music By Academy Award® Winner
Howard Shore

Featuring Zaz on the Original Song
“Coeur Volant”

Howe Records is pleased to announce the release of the Hugo — Original Score. Hugo marks the sixth collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and composer Howard Shore. Like Scorsese’s film, Shore’s score to Hugo is a love letter both to the French culture in the 1930s and to the groundbreaking early days of cinema.

Hugo tells the story of Hugo Cabret, a boy who lives behind the walls of a Parisian train station. Shore’s music is composed for two ensembles — one nested within the other — to create a sense of layering in the musical palette. Inside a full symphony orchestra resides a smaller ensemble, a sort of nimble French dance band that includes the ondes Martenot, musette, cimbalom, tack piano, gypsy guitar, upright bass, a 1930s trap-kit, and alto saxophone. “I wanted to match the depth of the sound to the depth of the image,” says Shore.

The Hugo score is based around a family of primary musical themes. “The themes are used for clarity of storytelling and they develop over the course of the film,” says the composer. The score’s central theme is a Parisian waltz that develops into the song “Coeur Volant.” Howard Shore invited renowned French singer Zaz to collaborate with Elizabeth Cotnoir and him on the song, which captures the lyrical essence of the world of Hugo.

The theme for Hugo’s quest begins the score with clocklike precision in piano octaves. A figure for strings, celesta, and ondes Martenot rotates downward through minor modes to depict the mysterious automaton that Hugo’s father left behind. The Station Inspector is portrayed by a marche comique featuring bassoon and striding snare drum, while the cinematic innovations of Georges Méliès — “Papa Georges” to Hugo and Isabelle — receive Shore’s most theatrical flourishes, which recreate the spirited energy of live theater orchestras and the very first film scores.

About HUGO

HUGO, presented by Paramount Pictures and GK Films, is a GK Films / Infinitum Nihil Production and a Martin Scorsese Picture, produced by Graham King, Tim Headington, Martin Scorsese and Johnny Depp. It is directed by Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by John Logan based on the book entitled The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The film stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, with Jude Law.

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