Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Foyle's War
Music by Jim Parker
Harkit Records HRKCD 8200 (U.K. Release)
24 Tracks 49:27 mins.

Four-time BAFTA winner Jim Parker's music for the World War II-set ITV drama series Foyle's War, starring Michael Kitchen, is featured on this new release from Harkit Records. The CD is a mixture of score and source music (also composed by Parker), which score fans will find frustrating, particularly as what score proper is on offer is up to the composer's usual high standards and includes the lonely, yet propulsive Main Title theme; the sad Foyle's Regret, the elegant National Gallery; the lovely airy waltz La Chanteuse; the pastoral Fishing, the romantic piano of Andrew's Theme; the spirited, heoric Spitfires; the sad, Jewish-flavoured The Refugees and the jaunty snoopiness of Sam's Theme. All this leaves me begging for more, but I am sure fans of the series, and of '40s music, will treasure what is after all a lovely, tuneful album, and will also appreciate the accompanying colourful 20-page booklet, which is filled with info on the series and its setting, and also includes comment by creator and writer Anthony Horowitz and the series' principal cast.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
Music by John Frizzell
Milan Records M2-36143 (U.S. Release)
20 Tracks 49:45 mins.

Jane Anderson's '50s-set film stars Julianne Moore as a mother of ten, supporting her family by entering and winning commercial jingle contests, and sees composer John Frizzell incorporating "down home" elements into his orchestra-based score, in particular utilising the services of Sara (fiddle) and Sean (guitar) Watkins of rising "Newgrass" band Nickel Creek. The resulting music is often highly infectious, whether it be folk-based or purely orchestral, as in the light music-styled Anatomy of a Contest. There are also a couple of very '50s pop/rock efforts and some delicately scored intimate moments. Somewhat jarring however is the Thomas Newmanesque sound that accompanies the mystical and more downbeat moments, but this is a minor fault in what is an excellent slice of Americana. Sharing the album are numbers by the likes of Les Paul and Mary Ford, Kay Starr and modern-day artist k.d. lang. Even actor Woody Harrelson gets in on the act.


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