Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

Christopher GUNNING Firelight OST- orchestra conducted by the composer Silva Screen FILMCD198 [47:12]

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After considerable success with his scores for Karaoke and Cold Lazarus, Middlemarch and Yorkshire Glory, Christopher Gunning has turned to the Bill Nicholson film Firelight. Firelight is another tortured, period love story this time featuring fêted young ingénue and Bardot successor Sophie Marceau.Gunning is one of the strongest composers in his field and I fervently want him to be taken up by Hollywood in a big way. His romantic music for the two Potter TV movies Karaoke and Cold Lazarus was a perfect match for the dark hopeless/hopeful tone of those films.The music for Firelight has some atmospheric parallels with the John Barry score for Swept From the Sea. More to the point, the style is a step along the same line as Bernard Herrmann when he chose to write a long-breathing tune - slightly haunted, quietly powerful and singing. There is a touch here also of Nyman's score for Campion's The Piano, not that it is minimalist music. Solo piano and solo violin (often in Lark Ascending mode) are much to the fore. An introspective, possibly claustrophobic score breaking free in Rachmaninovian splendour in tracks 16 and 17. The latter is very close sometimes to Gerald Finzi's Introit and could easily serve as the slow movement of a violin concerto. Overall then a welcomed disc. I hope to hear much more Gunning. The industry should be using him far more.

Robert Barnett

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