Avengers: Endgame – Alan Silvestri

Concerning spoilers: If there is one movie that is sensitive for spoilers, it is Avengers: Endgame. Fortunately, it is not really necessary to talk about major plot points to be able to discuss the music, and the track titles of the score were chosen with care to make sure they do not reveal any spoilers. However, I will be talking about concepts and emotions used in the themes and in certain tracks. If you have not seen the movie – or are planning to and want to see the movie without any information at all – I would recommend not reading this review until after you have seen the movie.  

With Avengers: Endgame a long arc of many connected Marvel movies comes to an end. Over an eleven-year period we experienced 22 movies, with a wide range of composers writing the music for them. One key composer is Alan Silvestri, who wrote the music for Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War and now concludes this epic journey with Avengers: Endgame.

There is a statement floating around on the Internet suggesting that The Avengers theme is one of the most iconic film music themes from the last ten years. I have been thinking about this for a while, and I cannot come up with an alternative theme that would compete with that statement, so there must be some of truth in it. The powerful brass sounds in that theme gives it a truly  heroic sound and makes it worthy of representing all of the Avengers superheroes. Since Endgame is an Avengers movie, the theme from Avengers can be heard throughout the score.

For this movie Silvestri wrote an additional theme for superheroes, and this can be heard for the first time in Totally Fine,” after a beautiful cello melody that I recognize from “Porch” from Avengers: Infinity War. This new theme, which I will call the Endgame theme, is very different from the Avengers theme and consists of a simple melody, which is often played by only a single instrument. The sound of it is emotional and sad, as it represents the human side of the heroes. The melody can also be heard in the long emotional lines in “The Real Hero,” in turn by the strings, oboe, glass bowls, acoustic guitar and piano. An interesting aspect of the theme is that, when it is played by a full orchestra with big brass and using all kinds of counter melodies, it is even more amazing, as can be heard in the end credits track  “Main on End,’ where this theme is followed by the Avengers theme. Other hints can be heard throughout the whole score.

One of the interesting things about this score is the lack of new themes, apart fromhe Endgame theme. Considering the  many characters in the movie, representing them with one single new theme was a great idea, since it avoids making the music sound overly complex. I heard some small hints to other older themes in the music when I was watching the movie, such as Silvestri’s own Captain America theme, but also hints of the Captain Marvel theme by Pinar Toprak, Ant-Man’s theme written Christoph Beck and the theme from Dr. Strange composed by Michael Giacchino. All these hints are not present on the soundtrack, except for the Captain America theme, which is evidentd in “Perfectly Not Confusing,” where it is played by French Horns, and in the emotional track “Go Ahead.”

While the theme for Ant-Man is not on the score, its style can be heard in “The How Works,” where the Avengers theme is played in a more jazzy kind of way, with bongos, flutes and muted trumpets. This is a nice throwback to the Ant-Man soundtrack. A nod to a different movie are the Nordic sounds which are used in Thor: Ragnarok, which can be heard in “Snap Out of It” and in “The Measure of a Hero”

While listening to the soundtrack you recognize certain melodies from previous movies that have been  reused by Silvestri. I have already mentioned the iconic Avengers theme, the Captain America theme and the reuse of the music from “Porch” from Avengers: Infinity War. There is another piece of beautiful and very emotional music from the prequels, which can be found in “Not Good.” The same music was used in Infinity War in the track “Even for You,” but it dates back even further and it can be heard for the first time in “One Way Trip” from The Avengers movie. I love the fact that a theme can be reused in different movies for the same emotional effect.

This movie has a specific scene with stunning visuals and a major plot point. A scene like this needs perfect music, which “Portals” is. This is truly a masterpiece, with an amazing build up from a single trumpet, transitioning into beautiful melodies by orchestra and choir, to a buildup with lots of brass for the familiar Avengers theme. The combination of music and visuals were an amazing experience, which I will remember for a long time.

Next to the new and reused themes appearing throughout the two-hour score, the soundtrack contains a lot of filler music. The action sequences are exactly what we expect from Alan Silvestri, with lots of brass, which we recognize from the music of Back to the Future, The Mummy and other action-packed movies. The movie has also a lot of sad and emotional scenes, and during these the emotional side of Silvestri is evident, with a strong focus on strings.

I think this score contains many highlights of beautiful music. Some of the music is the best Silvestri has written. Next to The Avengers theme, the new Endgame theme is a masterpiece. But that said, the score also contains lots of filler, which in my honest opinion could be left out. This was perfect for supporting the visuals, but are not that interesting to listen to on their own. At the time of writing, only the digital version fo the score has been released. A physical version has been announced, which will be a bit shorter in length. I think a cut down version of this score would be a magnificent addition to my collection. This soundtrack really helped bring the long saga of Marvel movies to a perfect conclusion.

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Tracklist

The highlights are in bold.

  1. Totally Fine (4:30)
  2. Arrival (1:50)
  3. No Trust (3:09)
  4. Where Are They? (3:13)
  5. Becoming Whole Again (3:48)
  6. I Figured It Out (4:31)
  7. Perfectly Not Confusing (4:46)
  8. You Shouldn’t Be Here (3:33)
  9. The How Works (3:51)
  10. Snap Out of It (2:25)
  11. So Many Stairs (1:52)
  12. One Shot (2:04)
  13. Watch Each Other’s Six (3:56)
  14. I Can’t Risk This (4:49)
  15. He Gave It Away (3:43)
  16. The Tool of a Thief (2:59)
  17. The Measure of a Hero (3:06)
  18. Destiny Fulfilled (4:05)
  19. In Plain Sight (3:14)
  20. How Do I Look? (2:07)
  21. Whatever It Takes (2:56)
  22. Not Good (1:54)
  23. Gotta Get Out (2:38)
  24. I Was Made for This (4:38)
  25. Tres Amigos (3:38)
  26. Tunnel Scape (3:16)
  27. Worth It (4:16)
  28. Portals (3:17)
  29. Get This Thing Started (4:55)
  30. The One (2:09)
  31. You Did Good (1:58)
  32. The Real Hero (5:55)
  33. Five Seconds (1:46)
  34. Go Ahead (2:57)
  35. Main on End (3:11)

Total length: 1 hour and 57 minutes
Marvel Music (2019)

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