Listened to the score on Spotify yesterday and then spent some time just listening to the suite on repeat. My initial reaction was I loved how lush the orchestration was. I also love the addition of prominent choral works. While I'm not yet hooked, I can tell I will grow into this score with repeated listens. I got the FLAC download from 7Digital this morning, only 10.99! It is certainly more heavily classical inspired than the previous scores, but I am glad that the mix is still excellently done like the second score.
I had pre-ordered on iTunes a week or two ago for the bonus track...so I downloaded the rest of the score on Friday and have been listening to it all weekend. At first, I actually wasn't as impressed as I had hoped to be (the curse of high expectations). However, after giving it a fair chance and several listens, I find myself really enjoying it. It's really, really well-written...I find myself stopping to admire the sheer quality of the writing from time to time. I think the new theme(s) just didn't grab me at first...but they have grown on me and I think this score takes is place as a solid finale to the series...especially with the final half-dozen cues delivering a satisfying conclusion.
Took my kids to see an early screening of the movie this past weekend and they loved it. After seeing the movie, I have a greater appreciation for the score. It works great within the film and they ended the series in a really good way. My only gripe would be that the music doesn't have a big finale like Dragon 2 did. I wanted a really big finish and I feel like it ends so abruptly. These three scores are fantastic works and Powell should be proud of himself. They make for a great listening experience.
As a note, the CD doesn't contain the suite that ends the digital releases, but that track is available in Flac individually from 7Digital for $2.49. I probably would have just bought the whole album on Flac instead of ordering the CD if I had realized that ahead of time, but it was good to be able to get the missing track in lossless without having to buy the whole album.