Composer of ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ Score Dead at 81

Wojciech+KilarWojciech Kilar, who composed my favorite film score ever, for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, died in his hometown of Katowice, Poland, on Sunday at the age of 81 after a long illness.

Kilar’s haunting, otherworldly score for Francis Ford Coppola’s film was a major contributor to the menacing atmosphere of the 1992 version of the Dracula story, which starred Gary OldmanWinona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins.

The music was at once heavy, dramatic and unsettling but also at points light and romantic, befitting the mood shifts in the flawed but wonderful film. Compare the prickly, skin-crawling horror of the atonal passages that morphed into boisterous timpani pounding and trumpets during the attack of Dracula’s brides to the music box-like simplicity and innocence of Lucy’s theme. And then there was the peerless main theme that swells with the power of love, hatred and revenge!
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