Jan A.P. Kaczmarek,
Finding Neverland
(Decca, 2004)

If you find the CD of Finding Neverland a bit richer and more detailed than the original soundtrack, that's because there's a bonus of music added that was composed during the working stage but was never used in the movie.

Everything is here. The music ranges from fanciful, to playful, to youthful. The music is orchestral, with a clarity of sound that rings out in tones suitable for a dream-world.

Confession -- though I am a voracious reader, I have never been able to finish a Peter Pan story except for one children's picture book about Hook. The characters and the premise have no appeal for me. I twice tried to watch the movie and it lost me after the first two minutes. I wanted to give the soundtrack a fair shake and listen to it as an independent piece.

This was my final try at becoming part of the popular psyche that admires Peter Pan and his environment, but it just didn't do it for me. When I watch baseball on TV I get the strongest urge to be outside playing the game, slapping my hand in my glove; I get irritable and jittery and feel a strong urge to get up and move around. This is the same feeling brought forth by this CD -- that it just doesn't get around to the point fast enough.

There's no doubting the musicianship, the density of the music, the layering, the beautiful moments, but overall it's too drawn out, too slow, and I feel a need to break away from it as I sit and listen.

It might be a great listen for those who are more classically minded and able to take an hour of dream-time during the middle of the day. So, even though the tempo is not as upbeat as I like, some might find it a very relaxing piece of music, perhaps for an inspirational bit of daydreaming.

by Virginia MacIsaac
23 September 2006

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