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Sound of Cinema


Series of programmes exploring film music

Series of programmes exploring film music


United Kingdom




Series of programmes exploring film music




I Remember

With the release of Kornél Mundruczó’s award winning ‘Pieces of A Woman’, with a new score by Howard Shore, Matthew Sweet looks at film music inspired by the idea of autobiography.


The Cinema at Christmas

'Tis more than just a season of snow-clad backdrops and tinkling soundtracks as Matthew Sweet illustrates in his sparkling assortment of film music for cinematic Christmases.


The Films of Orson Welles

With the recent on demand release of David Fincher’s new film ‘Mank’, exploring the background to the 1941 classic film, 'Citizen Kane' and starring Gary Oldman as writer Herman J Mankiewicz,, Matthew looks at the music and cinema of Orson Welles. As well as featuring some of the new score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the new Fincher film biog, the programme also includes music from Welles's Shakespeare inspired films: 'Chimes At Midnight', 'The Magnificent Ambersons', 'Macbeth' and...


Turkish Bond and Indian Potter

As part of a weekend profiling Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers, Matthew Sweet is joined by film historian Iain Smith, a past member of scheme, for a look at one of his pet interests - how popular English speaking film titles and their music often appear adapted and remade in other countries of the world. Virtually every major franchise has its equivalent local version in some part of the world. It could be a Turkish or Filipino interpretation of James Bond or an Indian take on Harry...


Dave Grusin

Heaven Can Wait, On Golden Pond, The Champ, The Firm and The Fabulous Baker Boys are some of the best-loved film scores of the past 50 years. Matthew Sweet meets their composer, Dave Grusin, for a look back on a long and distinguished career in film.


Film music for Hallowe'en

Matthew Sweet with a selection of film music inspired by the theme of Halloween, from the classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to more recent manifestations such as - Halloween. Matthwe looks at representations of Halloween in film in ths likes of 'ET -The Extraterrestrial' and 'Meet Me In St Louis' and turns to scores from some of the great and scariest horror films, such as Suspiria, The Quatermass Xperiment, Doctor Who, The Night Of The Hunter, Psycho, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The...


Secret Places

With the cinematic release of a new telling of the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s book The Secret Garden, featuring a score by Dario Marianelli, Matthew Sweet looks at this and other music for secret worlds in film. From the fantasy worlds of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland and C.S Lewis's Narnia, to the dinosaur ridden terrains of Jurassic Park and the Valley of Gwangi, the mind of John Malkovich, and the labyrinth of Pan. Our classic score is Dmitri Tiomkin's music evoking the...



This week's featured new release is The Trial of the Chicago 7, with a new score by Daniel Pemberton, a true story set against the background of protest and unrest of 1968, a year historically regarded as being a watershed for social change. Matthew takes a look at the film and its new score and looks back to some of the many films released in 1968. The year that saw the arrival of 2001 - A Space Odyssey, Bullitt, If, The Lion In Winter, and Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet. Photo credit: Niko...


Zbigniew Preisner

Zbigniew Preisner first came to international attention through his collaboration with the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, for films such as the Dekalog series, The Double Life of Veronique and the critically acclaimed Three Colours Trilogy. In a week which has seen the release of Preisner's latest soundtrack, for the Norwegian short, 'Mother Didn't Know', Matthew explores his philosophy about writing music for film. He looks back on Preisner's early career in music, his work...


Christopher Nolan

With Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' now back in cinemas alongside the eagerly awaited arrival of 'Tenet', Matthew Sweet looks back on some of the music his films have inspired, including some of the most original scores of recent years, from the likes of Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Benjamin Wallfisch and David Julyan; for movies such as 'Dunkirk', 'Interstellar', 'Momento', 'The Prestige', 'Inception' and 'The Dark Knight Trilogy'.


History - according to the cinema

Matthew Sweet marks the release of the new Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter 'Bill and Ted' adventure - 'Bill and Ted Face The Music' - with a selection of scores for movies which tackle historical subjects, often with an imaginative take on the past. Travelling from the present day back through time he draws on music from 'The Crown', 'Darkest Hour', 'Battle of the Bulge', 'The Imitation Game', 'Downfall' 'Khartoum', 'Free State of Jones', 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter', 'Jefferson in Paris',...


Movie Tyrants

Matthew introduces a selection of music that underscores some of cinema's most tyrannical characters. The programme draws on music from Star Wars -Phantom Menace, You Only Live Twice, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Maleficent, The Hunger Games, V for Vendetta, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Great Dictator, Man In The High Castle, Appassionata, Animal Farm, Novecento, The Last King of Scotland, Land of the Blind, and the Classic Score of the Week, Miklos Rozsa’s music for Quo Vadis.


Harry Gregson-Williams

Matthew Sweet meets the British-born composer Harry Gregson-Williams for a retrospective on his career in film. He’s been a hugely successful figure in Hollywood film-scoring for the past two decades, with music for the Shrek franchise, The Chronicles of Narnia, as well as having scores for the films of Tony and Ridley Scott, Ben Affleck and the Aardman animations of Nick Park to his credit. In addition to Harry’s back catalogue, Matthew also explores the background and ideas in his recent...



'Rising Phoenix', a new documentary film charting the history of the Paralympic Games is launched this week with a new score by Daniel Pemberton. Matthew Sweet features some of this music and other soundtracks which have taken their inspiration from the history of the Olympics, at a time originally earmarked for the launch of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The programme includes music from ‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘The Giant of Marathon’, ‘The Games’, ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘Unbroken’, ‘Race’, ‘Munich’,...



Featured this week is 'Project Power', a new film starring Jamie Foxx with music by Joseph Trapanese. The film is centred around a new drug which gives its recipient super powers for up to five minutes. Matthew Sweet foregrounds the music for this and other soundtracks to films inspired by the notion of empowerment. The programme includes music from ‘X-Men: First Class’, ‘Code 8’, ‘Spider-Man 2’, ‘Robocop’, ‘A.I.-Artificial Intelligence’, ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, ‘The Mephisto Waltz’,...


The Comic Strip

With the 40th anniversary re-release of Mike Hodges’s Flash Gordon into cinemas at the end of the month, Matthew Sweet is joined by guitarist Brian May for a look back on the film's groundbreaking score composed by Howard Blake and Queen. Matthew also takes a timely look back across the decades at music for films that have taken their inspiration from comic strips and comic books. Featured films include 'Modesty Blaise', 'Dennis the Menace', 'Popeye', 'Addams Family Values', 'The Peanuts...


Ennio Morricone

Matthew Sweet marks the news of the death earlier this week of the great Italian film composer Ennio Morricone with a look back on his career and music with the Italian film expert Pasquale Iannone. The programme, which is a revised repeat of programme from 2014, includes film music from Morricone’s early years with the experimental ensemble, Il Gruppo through to his work for Sergio Leone and beyond and features music from much loved classics such as "A Fistful of Dollars" and "The Good, The...


John Williams - the scores you'd forgotten

John Williams is one of the most successful and most identifiable of all Hollywood composers, with the likes of Star Wars, Harry Potter, ET, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List to his credit. But what might the Williams legacy be had Steven Spielberg and George Lucas turned to other composers to write their scores? Matthew looks back over John Williams’ long career and celebrates his associations with the likes of Oliver Stone, Robert Altman, Irwin Allen...


The screen music of Barry Gray

Jamie Anderson, whose father Gerry Anderson gave us Supercar, Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds, UFO and Captain Scarlet, joins Matthew Sweet for a look back on the music of Barry Gray, the man who provided the musical voice to Anderson’s classic small screen creations. Together, Matthew and Jamie consider the varied aspects of Gray’s style, his pioneering use of electronics, his working relationship with Gerry Anderson, and his legacy. The programme features key musical moments from children’s TV...


David Amram

The multi-instrumentalist musician David Amram describes himself as a 'promising young composer' as he approaches his 90th birthday. This promising young man has created and played seminal scores for films such as The Arrangement and The Manchurian Candidate and has, as jazz musician, performed with the great players of the last century, including Dizzie Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus and Charlie Parker. In this special interview commemorating Amram's milestone birthday Matthew...