Ang Lee's hugely successful romantic adventure Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has a high-calibre score by Chinese-American composer Tan Dun worthy of the acclaim which has greeted the film. Dun is reunited with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma--they collaborated on Dun's Symphony 1997--who provides the melodic and melancholy heart of this music with his lovingly crafted solos. Such passages are hauntingly spare, or filled with a lamenting passion which lingers in the memory, the beautiful central love theme being reworked into the rather incongruous pop ballad "A Love Before Time" which ends the disc with versions in both English and Mandarin. While cues such as "Silk Road" echo the mood of The Last Emperor, this score is off-set by some powerfully understated suspense and action writing, refreshingly different from the bombast of a comparable American feature. Chinese drumming is to the fore, with some enthrallingly intricate work from the Shanghai Percussion Ensemble on cues such as "Night Fight", the fully orchestral "A Wedding Interrupted" positively burning with menace. Anyone captivated by this music would do well to investigate John William's equally excellent score for Seven Years in Tibet, to which Yo-Yo Ma's mastery of the cello is also key.