April 2006 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Michael McLennan
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster: Len Mullenger

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Music composed by Stephen Warbeck
Conducted by Nick Ingman
Performed by London Studio Orchestra
Orchestrations by Stephen Warbeck, Nick Ingman, Paul Inglishby and Nick Cooper
  Available on Varese Sarabande (VSD-6678)
Running Time: 41:55
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Proof is the latest film from John Madden, the Oscar-winning director of Shakespeare in Love and Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn, Proof follows Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a devoted daughter who comes to terms with the death of her father (Anthony Hopkins). He was a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity, and Catherine is forced to face her own long-harboured fears and emotions when confronted by the similar symptoms of illness

Although not far from James Horner’s Iris and A Beautiful Mind (which featured similar plot lines of suffering genii), Warbeck’s score is very laid back gentle affair, and there are none of the vocals that characterise the latter. The main theme - ‘Proof’ - is a shimmering piece of minimalism. The theme starts evocatively on a pulsating primer for guitar, marimba and xylophone, and is slowly fleshed out into an orchestral passage before it returns to silence. It’s a very relaxing and infectious little motive that swings between the moods, and is reminiscent of James Horner and Thomas Newman.

Throughout the rest of the album, the main theme is reprised in many variations and disguises in such tracks as in ‘Writing the Proof’, ‘Lost Days’ and ‘Testing the Proof’. Piano, oboe, strings, guitars all interlay across in subtle textures, Edgy strings in particularly are most prevalent in the main title theme reprisal in ‘Line By Line’ a seven minute cue that climaxes the album. This is an enjoyable album that is both deep and engaging as long you put your “mind” to it. If the first listen doesn’t grab you, fear not, the second attempt will open your mind to different aural vistas.

A quiet score that yields great moments of delight and ingenuity. Recommended.

Amer Zahid

Rating: 3

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