BECOMING JANE (2007)
Music composed by Adrian Johnston.
23 Tracks (Playing Time = 47:10)
Produced by Adrian Johnston. Music orchestrated by Paul Englishby and Adrian Johnston. Orchestra conducted by Paul Englishby. Violin soloists: Marcia Crayford, Gaby Lester (tracks 2, 6, 8) and Adrian Broadbridge (tracks 4,9). Viola soloist: Vicci Wardman. Cello soloist: Anthony Pleeth. Piano soloist: John Lenehan. Soprano soloist: Lynda Lee.
Recorded and mixed by Nick Wollage. Score recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London. Album mastered by Andy Waller at Abbey Road Studios.
Sony Classical 88697-10429-2
With all the song infested film scores coming out these days, this soundtrack for BECOMING JANE is a nice change of pace. It's also very prim and proper like the main character of Jane Austen (played by Anne Hathaway).
The score itself features an assortment of light classical themes and also a Mozart aria, plus several dancelike tracks.
"First Impressions" (2:25) is the opening track and it begins very quietly and moves along at a nice leisurely pace. After a very brief second track, "Hampshire" (0:40), the third track ("Bond Street Airs" - 1:48) offers a more energetic theme, with prominent parts for piano and woodwinds.
The fourth track, "The Basingstoke Assembly" (2:03) is a rollicking dance, primatily for strings.
Another sprightly track is "Selbourne Wood" (track 6, 2:26), as well as "Laverton Fair" (track 9, 0:58).
Much of this score features the dreamy sort of music associated with high-brow television movies.For example, "To the Ball" (track 10, 3:17).
The CD insert has nothing from the composer about the score or even the director, and is filled with too many unnecessary photos. And what is the name of the orchestra? It goes unnamed and the musicians are not identified. They are presumably a pickup ensemble and do play well enough under Paul Englishby's conducting. All the soloists are fine, especially the piano solos by John Lenehan that are highly sensitive and understated, for instance on "Distant Lives" (track 14, 2:57) and "Runaways" (track 17, 2:01). The lovely aria, "Deh vieni non tardar" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (track 21, 3:25), is sung by a slightly shaky soprano soloist, Lynda Lee.
Johnston's BECOMING JANE soundtrack is pleasant enough but fails to make much of a lasting impression on the listener, at least it didn't leave much with me.
Yet is remains a good soundtrack to listen to, particularly as background for relaxation while reading and sipping your tea or coffee.
--Roger L. Hall, 14 August 2007
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