I recently counted down the 25 best scores and soundtracks of the past year, and coming in at the top spot was the newest work from one of the greatest continuing collaborations in filmmaking: Jonny Greenwood’s score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest work. Now available to stream in full, the Radiohead member’s Phantom Thread score is a shimmery, deeply moving orchestral triumph.
“We talked a lot about ’50s music, what was popularly heard then as well as what was being written and recorded,” Greenwood tells Variety. “Nelson Riddle and Glenn Gould’s Bach recordings were the main references. I was interested in the kind of jazz records that toyed with incorporating big string sections; Ben Webster made some good ones.” Greenwood continues, “The smaller groups, and solo players, work like close-ups [and] not necessarily to accompany [a] visual, but rather, to focus your attention on and make you feel directly engaged with the characters. The bigger orchestral things often worked best for drawing you back to see the bigger situation.”
Phantom Thread expands wider this weekend and goes nationwide on January 19. For those waiting on a physical release, Nonesuch will debut the CD on February 9 and the vinyl LP on April 21.