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Friday, December 18, 2009


Music by Samuel Sim
MovieScore Media MMS09028
28 Tracks 51:14 mins

Being a sporty kind of man, I'm not really into Jane Austen, though I did see the film version of Emma a few years back, largely to listen to Rachel Portman's music, which of course won her the Oscar that year. Therefore, I didn't see the recent BBC adaptation of the story, which was scored by another new name to me, Samuel Sim, and performed by the Chamber Orchestra of London.
Sim's music is highly is pretty much what one would expect, bearing favourable comparison with Ms Portman's effort, certainly in terms of its melodiousness and sheer joyousness.
The album gets under way with the lovely, flowing "Main Titles," continuing in "Emma Woodhouse Was Born," with piano and orchestra producing quite a pseudo-classical sound early on, before things take a troubled turn. "Expansion Project" flows purposely, with "Rescued from the Gypsies" suitably dramatic to open, but ending with tender piano. "Knightley's Walk" introduces the character's theme on cello; whilst "Dolls" finds Emma in matchmaking mode. The sad piano of "The World Has Left Us Behind" follows. The waltz-like "Arrival of Little Knightley," leads to "Donwell Dancing Again," with its sad woodwind opening blossoming nicely. More matchmaking intrigue follows in "Superior Men" and "Matchmaker, then troubled strings accompany "Walk of Shame. It's back to the light-hearted intrigue for "Playing Harriet," with more subdued fare following in "Without Suspicion." "Frank is Free" flows nicely, turning more dramatic as it reaches its conclusion; whilst its back to the matchmaking with "Mr. Elton."
"Blind Endeavours" briefly soars after a quiet start, but ends in more intrigue. Opening like a source cue, "The Last Dance" quickly develops into a flowing, optimistic playing of the main theme; but hopes seem dashed in "Lost and Found." "Only People We Like" presents more intrigue; with the catchy hornpipe "The Ship's Cook" following. "Cliff Tops" is all nervous excitement, before ending on soaring strings. "Secrets" is suitably subdued, with the largely propulsive "It's Snowing and Heavily" following. "The Seaside" is just joyous and leads into the blossoming romance of "Love Story," with the initially purposeful "Ardently in Love" again ending on a suitably joyous note.
It's a real pleasure to find such a lovely, melodic score, amongst all the dull, tuneless offerings that so often come my way these days; so, if you like melody, you should surely check this one out.
You can hear samples at, and also find details there as to how to obtain a copy of the album on CD, or as a download.


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