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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And the Nominees are.../CD Review - Doctor Who

Nominated for this year's music Oscar are:-

Javier Navarrete for Pan's Labyrinth
Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel
Thomas Newman for The Good German
Philip Glass for Notes on a Scandal
Alexandre desplat for the Queen

The Academy Awards Ceremony is on February 25th - watch this space!

Doctor Who
Music by Murray Gold
Silva Screen SILCD1224 (U.K.)
31 Tracks 75:26 mins

One of the events of the past couple of years has been the resurrection of the classic BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, which has, I'm pleased to say, been embraced by a new generation of fans, and is still appealing to fans of a certain age, like myself, due to some intelligent writing and a respect for what has gone before.
An important part of the success of the series has been Murray Gold's excellent music and now Silva Screen records have acknowledged that by releasing a "best of" collection of tracks from the first two series of the show, and a real bonus is that the composer actually comments on each track in the accompanying booklet notes.
Of course the original Doctor Who theme by Ron Grainer is one of the most well-loved and recognisable of all TV sci-fi themes, but Gold has brought it up to date with the help of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who play on most of the tracks presented here. He gives the theme a big brassy opening, but it is the driving strings that I really love. Anyway, the theme opens the album in its short TV version, but there is a fuller version to close the disc.
Along the way, there is much to enjoy. In fact, seldom do I get to listen to such a consistently good soundtrack album as this, and it's difficult to choose my favourites, but I particularly enjoyed the action cues, the pacy "Westminster Bridge," the exciting "Slitheen," the driven "Unit," the savage "Tooth and Claw," and the menacing and thrilling "The Cybermen."
The Crouch End Festival Chorus also make their presence felt on this album and particular highlights are the inspirational "Hologram," the aforementioned "Tooth and Claw," "Rose Defeats the Daleks," and the menacing, yet awe-inspiring "The Daleks.
Vocalist Melanie Pappenheim recorded three tracks for the show, the mysterious, lonely "The Doctor's Theme," the rather brief "Seeking the Doctor," and the pick of the three, "Doomsday," a hugely moving piece of pop.
Other great tracks include the quirky "Cassandra's Waltz," the poignant "Rose's Theme," and the bittersweet "Madame de Pompadour."
There are two songs included, both sung by Neil Hannon, an artist totally unfamiliar to me, and the fun "Love Don't Run," is the pick of them.
I'm delighted to say that the demand for copies of this CD greatly exceeded Silva Screen's expectations, which is why it took me a while to get hold of one to cover here, so you'd better move fast. You won't be disappointed!


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