Patrick Doyle,
Gosford Park
(Universal Classics, 2002)

The soundtrack for Gosford Park is delightful to hear. Patrick Doyle has created some incredibly elegant and graceful music, with a sense of formality that unifies the CD.

The CD starts off with "Waltz of My Heart," a strong and subtly passionate waltz. "Mr. Parks" and "Gosford Park" are linked, almost as if they were opposite sides of the same moment. "Bored to Tears" is aptly named, as the music captures the emotion perfectly. Then the first edges of darkness creep in with "The Shirt."

There is a light-hearted edge to "And Her Mother Came Too" that prevents the song from becoming too sad. You then slide from jazz in "Walking to Shoot" to the strains of darker music with "No Smoke without Fire" and end up with classical music in "Sherzo in G."

"I Can Give You the Starlight" is a love song that glides across the ballroom floor. The delivery of "What a Duke Should Be" makes the song a treat to listen to, there is a tongue-in-cheek feel that leaves you smiling. "Inspector Thompson" serves up another slice of laid-back jazz. The melody of "Pulls Yourself Together" sings the title at times and emotes support for the rest. "Life Goes On" drifts gently, touched by melancholy and sorrow.

Both "Secrets to Hide" and "Only for a While" are pieces of dark music. The best way to explain it is that they pull their beauty out of you, and they use hooks. The sorrow returns in "Rather a Pasting" and "Love Jam" -- those songs combined are potent enough that they could make you cry. "Why Isn't It You?" is a bluntly honest song full of longing. You get the reply in "The Way It's Meant to Be."

"Carpe Diem" is a very short and potent piece of dark music. "Good Luck" is full of unspoken longing while "Your Boy's Alive" is a quiet revelation of good news that fades to dust. The CD closes off with a fond farewell in "The Land of Might-Have-Been."

The songs and music on the soundtrack of Gosford Park fit together to form a beautiful whole. It is well worth the listen.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]
Rambles: 6 July 2002

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