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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The Duchess
Music by Rachel Portman
Lakeshore Records LKS 34039 (US)
18 Tracks 42:08 mins

Turn on your TV at the moment and you can't seem to get away from all the hype surrounding the release of Keira Knightley's new film The Duchess, which tells the story of the Duchess of Devonshire, a direct ancestor of Princess Diana, whose life had many parallels. Miss Knightley is receiving many plaudits for her performance, as is co-star Ralph Fiennes, and the film is by all accounts beautifully shot and costumed.
Providing the score is Rachel Portman, following on from her delightful music for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Her music is very different for The Duchess, though of course retaining her familiar style. The soundtrack album will be available via iTunes and in stores from September 16th.
The album commences buoyantly with the classically-styled title track, featuring expressive violin solo, before taking a somewhat tragic turn in "Mistake Of Your Life," with its expressive string playing. "I Think Of You All The Time," is largely quite understated and somewhat dark. The sprightly "No Mood For Conversation" follows, leading into the passionate "Gee and Grey Make Love." The main theme returns in the joyful "Gee and Grey Together In Bath," though the lonely piano of "Awakening" is in stark contrast, followed by the dark desperation of "Rape." Solo violin and then passionate strings emerge from despair as "Bess' Sons" develops, but the tragic feel continues in "Gee Give Up Baby," with yet more passionate string writing. The jaunty "Six Years Later" provides some light relief, with its waltz-like opening and variations on the main theme. More tragedy ensues in "Never See Your Children Again," and continues with the subdued piano of "Grey Comes Back." Expressive solo violin returns for "Gee Is Taken To The Country," with the album concluding in an upbeat rendition of the main theme over the "End Titles."
Two source pieces by Beethoven and Hayden round out the album's playing time.
Perhaps not as instantly likeable as her score for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, The Duchess is a more serious, passionate work, which rewards with repeated listening.


Post a Comment

<< Home