ScreenSounds

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

Sunday, December 17, 2006

CD REVIEW - Planet Earth


Planet Earth
Music by George Fenton
BBC EMI 0946 381891 2 1 (U.K.
Disc 1 - 19 Tracks 60:42 mins Disc 2 - 22 Tracks 72:59 mins

The wonderful BBC natural history series Planet Earth has just finished its second run and, along with the incredible photography and David Attenborough's narration, another important element is George Fenton's music. At the time of the series' first run, I enquired about a soundtrack release, and was told that there was a possibility of something happening when the series returned for its second run. Never however did I dream that we would be blessed with a double CD set, featuring more than 130 minutes of music.
Fans of Fenton's music for The Blue Planet will have loved his accompaniment for Planet Earth. The former concentrated on life in the planet's waters, whereas the latter took in just about every environment one could imagine and, with so many natural history documentaries appearing over the years, it was amazing how the filmmakers still managed to come up with plenty of things we had never seen before. Of course this provided Fenton with the opportunity to diversify somewhat, whilst keeping the core of the music orchestral, courtesy of the very fine BBC Concert Orchestra. However, some ethnic elements were obviously going to be required and vocal work from the likes of Belinda Sykes, Catherine Bott and Michael Ormiston was also added to the mix.
There really is just too much music on the two discs to cover in great detail, where it is arranged in a series of three, four or five tracks from each episode. I offer a brief gide to some of my favourite tracks: - The disc of course commences with the brief fanfare that opened each episode, which builds nicely to an awe-filled conclusion. From Pole to Pole's "The Journey of the Sun," features a variety of styles, from noble, to tender, to majestic, whilst "Hunting Dogs," flows rhythmically at its best. "Elephants in the Okavanga" becomes a happy little waltz. From Freshwater, we have the majestic "Angel Falls;" "River Predation," which moves along lightly, then becomes dark and dangerous with brass and jungle percussion; "Iguacu," which is proud and triumphant and sounds a little like Nimrod at times; and "The Snow Geese" soars beautifully. From Deserts, there is the rhythmic mover "Fly Catchers." From Shallow Seas, Fenton, as he did with The Blue Planet, comes up with another fine piece of music to accompany "Surfing Dolphins," a real adventurous mover this. Then there is the menacing "Dangerous Landing," and "Mother and Calf-The Great Journey," which is a varied piece, warm at the start, turning noble and purposeful, before coming to a satisfying conclusion. From Jungles, "The Cordyceps" stands out for me, though it starts out none too promisingly, with some weird and atonal music, but then it develops into something like a fiarytale waltz. From Seasonal Forests, "The Redwoods" soars majestically; whilst "Fledglings" provides an opportunity for the composer to inject some comedy into the score, although it does take flight adventurously later on. Finally, "Seasonal Change" is a beautiful piece, the strings almost singing at one point and flowing piano carrying it on. Ice Worlds sees the busy and slightly quirky "Everything Leaves But the Emperors." And to conclude, Ocean Deep features a fine action set-piece in "A School of Five Hundred;" the mysterious, then waltz-like "Giant Mantas" and the gentle promenade of "Life Near the Surface."
A fine musical souvenir of the series then, and it remains to be seen if this music gets the same treatment as has The Blue Planet, which Fenton is still conducting live, the next dates being at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester on 28th December; the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle on 29th December; and Nottingham Arena on 30th December.
Visit www.THEBLUEPLANETLIVE.com for further details.

3 Comments:

Blogger Askinstoo said...

Just thought I'd say Hey!!!! We you the one who was asking me where I was working on the internet? Take it easy, I'm enjoying this California weather!!!! I just moved here from the east sooooo :)

I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

5:47 AM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

Just thought I'd say Hey!!!! We you the one who was asking me where I was working on the internet? Take it easy, I'm enjoying this California weather!!!! I just moved here from the east sooooo :)

I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

10:46 AM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

Just thought I'd say Hey!!!! We you the one who was asking me where I was working on the internet? Take it easy, I'm enjoying this California weather!!!! I just moved here from the east sooooo :)

I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

10:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home