November 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Under the Tuscan Sun  
Music by Christophe Beck
  Available on Hollywood Records 2061-62407-2
Running Time 48.29
Amazon UK   Amazon US

tuscan sun

This is an appealing, sunny, old-fashioned score for what appears to be an equally old-fashioned romantic comedy. Accordingly, composer Christophe Beck is said, in the usual sycophantic album notes, to have paid homage to Nino Rota in Fellini mode, something which is quite prevalent in tracks like 'Ice Cream' and 'Ode to San Lorenzo'.

The opening track, 'Follow the Flower' sets the general mood with joyful, racy sunny music for guitars spread across the soundstage, crescendoing with the addition of woods and horn. There are some enchanting tracks: 'Buyer's Remorse' is beautifully wistful, 'Three Stooges' imaginatively scored in Latin mode, and 'A Team of Experts' that seems to suggest in its opening pages the heat haze of a Tuscan summer.

Some tracks like 'Wish You Were Here' are jazz based, trad. and more modern, with Latin inflections Ė and all are nostalgic to a degree. More grand imposing music verging on ecclesiastical classical writing accompanies a visit to 'Roma', and then there are moments of pathos and sadness nicely, simply conveyed in 'Patti Arrives'. Elsewhere romance blooms in 'Springtime'.

A pleasant 'easy listening' album that often enchants. Away from the film, it would form pleasant background music for a summer party. I enjoyed this album very much.

Ian Lace

***(*) 31/2

Gary Dalkin adds:-

This is a light, charming score which ranges between invigoratingly rhythmic writing and languid, sensual passages perfect for a summerís afternoon. The opening 'Follow the Flower' sets the scene with a playful romance which immediately raises the spirits, while a boldly conceived and irrepressible motif which recurs at several points through the album gives a cheerfully uplifting sense of determination. A sheer delight for anyone who enjoyed Rachel Portmanís Chocolat (2002), Stephen Warbeck's Shakespeare in Love (1997) and Captain Corelliís Mandolin, Richard Rodney Bennett's Enchanted April (1992).

Gary Dalkin

**** 4

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