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Soundtrack Review

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L'Affaire Bovary
Original Soundtrack


Composer: Maximilien Mathevon
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 December 2021

Maximilien Mathevon's original score for L'Affaire Bovary is released by Plaza Mayor Company. Madame Bovary, the famous novel by Gustave Flaubert, was the subject of a resounding trial upon its release. Accused of undermining good morals, Flaubert had to defend his literary work against the accusations of prosecutor Ernest Pinard. This docu fiction, produced by Keren Films and directed by Stephane Miquel and Alban Vian, tells the astonishing story of this trial...

Maximilien Mathevon gets to really showcase his diversity on this score. There are elements here that reminded me of Danny Elfman at this most gothic, but Mathevon's work is a lot more subtle, melancholic and melodic.

There are a number of intricate themes that weave themselves throughout the score. All of these are memorable and the more familiar you become with them, the deeper and more impressive they appear.

Talking about the project, Mathevon says: "I was able, with the Bovary Affair, to compose very thematic music. I created three main themes: for Flaubert, prosecutor Pinard and Emma Bovary herself. I wanted to associate each character with specific tones: the cello for Flaubert, the bass clarinet for Pinard, the piano and the voices for Emma. The latter, the ghostly narrator of this film, also allowed me to give the music a fantastic and elegant turn."

For those who are fans of Mathevon's work, L'Affaire Bovary represents one of his most interesting scores to date.


Darren Rea

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