It took ages for the release of this film. In fact, director Willard Carroll's
subsequent picture Playing By Heart came out first. If you think how long ago
Decca's album of John Barry's score was, you'll get some idea of just how long
we're talking about here. Avoiding getting into the reasons behind such a delay
(which in turn delayed the arrival of this disc), let's just turn our attentions
to the fact that the music is a delight.
As a children's fable, you'd expect the score to accord to certain lyrical characteristics.
So by taking the song "After Always" as a starting point, you'll see that
character defined from the outset of the scoring process. Don Black's lyrics are charming,
telling a story in miniature, and Barbara Dickson's voice suits them nicely. It's a song
that has no intention of being a Celine Dion marketing exercise. In the melody you
naturally find the score's main themes. Portions pertain to Tom, but really it all
belongs to the garden itself, which is the source of the magic the music conveys.
The melody is applied appropriately throughout the film, but its repetition on album
may seem to make the hour a little long. That really is the only possible niggle however,
since the session orchestra carry off a score that is rich with stringwork, piano, and flute.
It's a lovely companion piece to Debbie's earlier Wilde in many ways.