November 1999 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

Patrick DOYLE Much Ado About Nothing   OST   EPIC MOODCD30 [59:03]

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This recording was first released in 1993

This album is a pure delight. Here is a score that really sparkles: from Emma Thomson’s half-sung, half-spoken declamation of ‘Sigh no more ladies’ (Men were deceivers ever) against Doyle’s lovely tune sung warmly on the cellos and then passed sweetly on to the violins that opens the score, to the final chorus of the same refrain as all the lovers are joyfully united in the final cue, ‘Strike up Pipers.’

The Overture thrusts one joyfully, ecstatically into the action. Its wonderful heroic, masculine theme, first heard as Benedick and his fellow soldiers gallop into view, soars jubilantly, full of youthful high spirits. A superb melody. This is contrasted with the more romantic material for the romantic scenes. Another memorable cue is the later rendition of ‘Sigh no more, ladies’ sung by the workers in the garden. What a marvellous tracking shot that was over the beautiful Tuscany garden.

There is so much more to admire too. There is the jolly lute, drum, trumpet and violin music for ‘The Masked Ball’, the magical romantic figures that make up ‘A Star Danced’ and the comic woodwind caperings underscoring Benedick’s eavesdropping on the conversation about Beatrice being in love with him – and the reciprocal violin twitterings as Beatrice struggles to keep up with the maidens as she overhears them swearing Benedick loves her. ‘Pardon goddess of the night’ is a strongly atmospheric piece for choir and orchestra as the torchlight procession makes its way to the tomb of the ‘dead’ Hero.

Recommended unreservedly even if the luvvies thought Ken was so important that his name rather than Shakespeare’s should appear on the front page of the booklet!


Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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