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Soundtrack Review

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Belle du Seigneur
Original Score


Composer: Gabriel Yared
Performed by: L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Bruxelles et l’Orchestre des Flanders
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
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Release Date: 13 April 2015

Caldera Records release Gabriel Yared's original score for the movie Belle du Seigneur (2011), directed by Glenio Bonder. The movie is based on the famous book of the same title by Albert Cohen who writes about a troubled love affair in Switzerland during the 1930s. Cohen portrays Solal, who starts an affair with the beautiful Ariadne, the protestant wife of one of his employees. The forbidden passion and the political dealings prior to World War II create an unbearably tense atmosphere both on paper – and on film...

Gabriel Yared turns in not just an epic film score for Belle du Seigneur, but also a work of beauty that crosses the line to also become a wonderful piece of classical music in its own right. The album contains 16 tracks. Of these 15 (45 min, 50 sec) are the score with a bonus track (14 min, 26 sec) being an insightful interview with Yared himself.

In fact, the interview helps to explain why this score works so well as a stand alone collection of music. Yared's approach to composing involves him watching the movie as many times as he feels necessary and then, with the emotion he and the director want to convey to the audience, he tries to encapsulate these feelings without the constant need to keep referencing the scenes while he's composing.

The end results speak for themselves and, as Yared correctly states, this is the only way to really compose for a movie if you want to also deliver music that isn't mechanised. Too many composers are forced to compose to scenes that are looped on a screen and as Yared points out, some of Hollywood's finest composers wrote at a time when this was not possible.

Yared also has very little knowledge of film music scores and explains that as a film composer you should not only listen to classical music, but also jazz and more contemporary music to give yourself a grounding in all musical art forms.

There is, however, a little of the spirit of Bernard Herrmann living at the core of tracks like 'Maison Stresa'. In addition 'Ariane' reminded me Ennio Morricone's score for Baarìa.

If I had one slight complaint, it's that Yared does rely a little too heavily on one main theme which is played over and over again throughout the album. Thankfully, however, it is a beautiful segment of music and much is done with it to make it sound fresh each time it appears.

This is one score that all classical music lovers should own.


Darren Rea

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CD - Import