John Scott's score for the impossible-to-find 2008(ish?) short film THE GATES OF FREEDOM is a wondrous composition for modest orchestra, with a deeply expressive solo flute as the "soul" of the piece. It boasts an unforgettable main theme, exhilarating development section in the middle and a grand recapitulation - perfect ten-minute sonata structure - the score could really be presented as something of a short a concert piece unto itself. Written at around 80 years of age, it shows that Scott's gift for melody, drama and excitement has not been sullied by age, and a recent dearth of scoring opportunities, in the least. In short, I think it's a mini-masterpiece:
I have previously sung praise for a young Norwegian composer named Alexander Pedersen and will again take the opportunity to do so again, and share an animated short film he wrote, directed and scored - WRATH OF THE MUSIC GOD - which demonstrates a remarkable ear for melody, lush orchestration and cogent dramaturgy of the 'old guard' a la Williams, Ravel, Debussy and Hisaishi:
Don't let the semi-modern-sounding main title deter you - this one is rife with inspired, harmonically-adventurous and sumptuous scoring that so many of us long for these days. Not too many 25-year-old composers (as of when he wrote and recorded this work) demonstrate this level of command for orchestral craft and form - everything past the 6-minute mark especially is just fantastic; the DAPHNIS ET CHLOE-esque crescendo at 9:30 is particularly goosebumps-inducing, and that's just the tip of the iceberg here. The fact that Pedersen pulls such a full-bodied sound out of a very modest 35-piece orchestra is a further testament to the level of craftsmanship on display.
The film is really more a demo reel for himself as a composer than a traditional "short film" per se, but the extra initiative to forge a Campbellian Hero's Journey story with a clear arc has the added benefit of demonstrating Pedersen's facility for narrative and dramatic development, tools that are of course just as important to a film composer as actual musical technique.
P.S. Am I crazy or is the video embed feature non-functional, despite following the rules (as I have know how to do for many years on FSM)?