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

Monday, February 12, 2007

BAFTA win for Gustavo Santaolalla & CD REVIEW - Robin Hood

Many congratulations to Gustavo Santaolalla on his triumph for his score to Babel at last night's BAFTA Film Awards. I must admit he wouldn't have been my choice, but nevertheless he was very gracious in his acceptance of the Award, which was actually televised as part of the proceedings this year, instead of being tacked on at the end of the programme, so well done, the BBC for that.
Although this year's Awards were at the glamorous Royal Opera House, the ceremony was noticeably short on Hollywood big names and a number of winners failed to collect their awards. Former presenter Stephen Fry was also sadly missed, with Jonathan Ross' attempts at humour sinking like a lead balloon. Shame, because I have a lot of time for Jonathan.

Robin Hood
Music by Andy Price
EMI 0946 3 81029 2 2 (EU)
34 Tracks 57:08 mins

Those of you who enjoyed the BBC's reimagining of the Robin Hood legend might like to pick up a copy of this album of highlights from the series, composed by Andy Price, a new name to me. Personally, I never did get into the show, as I didn't like the liberties taken with the legends, nor some of the casting, but I was interested to hear what kind of job Price did with the music, especially as it was a full symphonic score, played by the Danubia Symphony Orchestra.
Well, as you can probably gather by the number of tracks, most of them are quite brief at 2 minutes or under, which doesn't help one get into the score, but a show of such limited timespan doesn't really afford much opportunity for great musical development. And I can conclude by the overwhelming tragedy and melancholia exhibited in the score that it must have been quite a gloomy affair. Even the love theme is quite melancholy and seldom reaches any romantic heights, whilst there is much more in the way of heartbreaking string variations on the theme.
Also, there is quite a dark undercurrent, with some sinister and downright manacing moments, and a good deal of tragedy, although there is a light, comical touch to a number of cues. The main theme, that opens and closes the album, is the highspot of the score, a fine, adventurous piece that crops up in variations throughout, but is always at its best when heroically leading the exciting action music that crops up now and then.
Let's hope series two (if this is indeed on the cards) provides the opportunity for more uplifting music than is displayed here, though I would certainly recommend this album to fans of the series and to those who like symphonic scoring in general, and particularly a good, rousing main theme.
In the meantime, for those of you who, like me, may not be familiar with the work of Andy Price, I've managed to track down some facts. Price graduated from Bristol University in 1990 and has since busied himself writing for TV, theatre, radio and advertising. In1991 he became composer-in-residence for theatre company The Engine Room and the same year won the London Charrington fringe Theatre Award for Best Score for Needs Must. He has since scored more than 25 theatrical production up and down the country.
For radio he wrote Ghost Sonata for BBC Radio 3 and won a Sony Radio Award for his On Air Branding for BBC Radio Wales.
Price has scored more than 50 TV productions and was BAFTA nominated for his score for Elizabeth in 2000. He is currently composer for the popular BBC TV series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
In advertising, he has been involved for 7 years with the multi award winning Chevron/Techron company in the U.S.
As well as all this, Andy Price still manages to find time to be a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Music.


Post a Comment

<< Home