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Soundtrack Review

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The Gilded Age
Soundtrack from the HBO Original Series


Composer: Harry Gregson-Williams and Rupert Gregson-Williams
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 22 March 2022

WaterTower Music has released the soundtrack to the HBO Max original limited series The Gilded Age. The story begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old-money aunts, Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook...

When Harry and Rupert Gregson-Williams set out to build the score, one of their main inspirations was the writing of The Gilded Age’s creator/writer/executive producer Julian Fellowes.

According the composers: "The story of old moneyed society pushing back against the unstoppable force of the new provided a contrasting backdrop of colours to work from. From the outset it was clear that we ought to use a chamber orchestra as the sonic backbone to the score, thereby using instrumentation that would feel natural to the late 19th century time period."

Through their experimentation, the composers leaned into a more contemporary sound by adding various unexpected sounds to this traditional pallet, such as hammer dulcimer, kantele and ukulele, as well as the occasional arpeggiated synth element.

The album consists of 39 tracks (1 hr, 18 min, 20 sec) but I was surprised at how quickly that time flew by. While it's a good, solid score there's little in the way to attract those that haven't seen the show. Overall a strong all round score that treads familiar territory.


Darren Rea

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