Today I'm going to share one of my absolute favorite soundtracks with you, that for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), which is one of the most beautiful scores I've ever heard. It contains both original music composed by Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon, and Richard Tognetti and classical pieces by Mozart, J.S. Bach, Boccherini, and others. Why the mix? Because the two main characters, Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and Dr. Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany), play the violin and the cello.
(In the books the movie is adapted from, they first met at a concert, where Aubrey annoyed Maturin by tapping his toe and waving his hand to the beat -- Maturin dismissed him as a gauche musical naif, only to discover that Aubrey was actually a gifted violinist. Not only that, but Aubrey was in command of a ship about to sail that needed a surgeon, and Dr. Maturin was in need of a job, and so an unlikely friendship was formed.)
Here's a scene from the movie where they play a song that's on the soundtrack, part of one of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3:
And here's one of my favorite written-for-the-score tracks, "Into the Fog." A lot of the music for this movie is very militaresque, as befits a movie about a British warship that involves a healthy number of naval battles. Lots of drums, some strings, some fifes and other wind instruments. I love listening to it in the morning, when I need to get myself motivated to make breakfast, etc.
And here's one final song, which also happens to be from the end of the film, a snippet of Boccherini's "La Musica Notturna Delle Strade di Madrid No. 6." Or, as I call it, "the song where Aubrey and Maturin pretend they have guitars."
I consider this movie to be one of the finest book-to-film adaptations ever, and I've always been so happy that it has a splendid soundtrack to match.