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"... Carter Burwell's menacing neo-electronic music floats over the flat surfaces and bland handsomeness of the high-rise apartments and offices, which are both glamorous and unyielding in their lack of comfort." - David Denby, The New Yorker, May 15, 2000.

"... The movie has the benefit of Carter Burwell's lush, brooding score..." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice, May 16, 2000.


Hamlet + Gertrude

Hamlet + Ophelia

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Director's Notes

From the liner notes to the CD:

Last year, 1999, Carter Burwell completed four new soundtracks, moved a studio into his reconstructed apartment, and married a luminous young woman named Christine Sciulli. I feel privileged that he crowded this Hamlet score into a supremely eventful time, and that he achieved a soaring symphonic sound while crouching within our incredibly restricted budget. (I've watched him conduct an orchestra of ninety-plus musicians; it was heartening to see how brilliantly he could scale back. I'd like to thank Sandy Park, concertmaster, for being an essential part of this miracle. And Carter's music editor Todd Kasow for sagely presiding over the mix.)

Shakespeare's Hamlet has been a direct inspiration for an impressive range of composers. Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Gade, Liszt, and (on two separate occasions) Shostakovich. Much of this music is beautifully bombastic. I gave Carter a stack of CDs but, from what I can tell, he had the good sense to draw on his own resources, with superb and surprising results. Lush, resolute music about irresolution. Repeating melodies that circle a heroic ideal. Lucid chords describing a descent into madness, a man's mind resisting, and then riding, the sweep of fate, the coiling movements of love and loss. Tragedy rolling in like the tide. The rest is silence.

- Michael Almereyda


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Hamlet + Gertrude

Michael Almereyda directing Sam Shepard as The Ghost



Film Info

Directed by Michael Almereyda
Produced by Andrew Fierberg and Amy Hobby

Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Carter Burwell
Music Editor: Todd Kasow
Music Scoring Mixer: Mike Farrow
Contractor: Sandy Park
Recorded at National Edison Studio, New York City

Starring Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Murray, Diane Venora, Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Sam Shepard

U.S. Release May, 2000


Hamlet + Gertrude

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Download the Soundtrack


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from iTunes

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Audio Samples

Click on iTunes to audition and download tracks from iTunes Music Store. For demo purposes, click on mp3 for an excerpt, or the Flash triangle to stream the entire piece.

 Title Format Len
Entire Soundtrack iTunes       39:00
Too Too Solid Flesh iTunes   mp3 2:44
Murder Most Foul   iTunes   mp3   3:21
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead iTunes 1:51
Darkroom iTunes mp3 3:12
To Be or Not To Be iTunes 2:43
Wiring Ophelia iTunes mp3 4:46
The Funeral   iTunes   2:01
Claudius Prayer iTunes 3:05
Hamlet Walks the Plane iTunes 2:22
Laertes and Ophelia at the Guggenheim iTunes 1:58
Claudius Incites Laertes iTunes 4:51
The Duel iTunes 2:54
The End iTunes 3:26

For an explanation of the columns above, click here.


Hawke + Almereyda

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The score (first page is shown below) to "Too Too Solid Flesh" is available from


Too Too Solid Flesh

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Last modified on:
08/26/15 12:25 PM