Misérables makes a welcome re-appearance
on Naxos and represents a price dropped rebranding
having first appeared over a decade ago on Marco Polo. The
intervening period has dimmed neither the music’s adventurous
sophistication nor conductor’s Adriano’s perspicacious and
intelligent editorial work and revision. It still makes for
a cornerstone recommendation and film music enthusiasts should
lose no time acquainting themselves with this hour-long score.
has used combinations of short cues and repetitions and also
some instances of varied orchestration. The few deletions
are more than compensated by reinstated music not used in
the film. One of the most novel features of Honegger’s scoring
is the lack of double basses. Each cue is full of powerful
character, from the malign menace of trombone, brass and wind
in Générique through the passing resembles to Finzi’s
later Intimations of Immortality in the second cue
Jean Valjean sur la route. One of the most impressive
sections is the fifth, Fantine, which is an evocative
mini tone poem suffused in its central panel with motion and
colour. The intermezzo like Cosette et Marius has hints
of Richard Strauss but the following cue has an authentic
accordion (replacing the film’s piano and percussion).
much else besides; a waltz figure, the elysian and avian airiness
of the gardens of Le Luxembourg or the Adriano orchestrated
cue that follows (reconstructed from the soundtrack) and the
old fashioned drama of Musique chez Gillenormand. There
is, too, the funereal tread of the Death of Jean Valjean.
fine notes from Adriano complete an idiomatically played and
strongly recorded set – warmly welcomed back to the fold and
at budget price as well.