April 27, 2013
SILVA SILCD 1421
Entering the wonderful world of film music with the score to the independent movie The Weekend (1999) starring Brooke Shields and Gena Rowlands lead to her discovery by the 5th Beatle Sir George Martin, who quickly began producing her material and vaulted her into stardom to the point where she is in high demand. Her ethereal side, which is quite necessary in the world of documentary soundtracks, is balanced with sounds of slide and Spanish guitar, percussion, and strong brass when called for. It is the harp which first got my attention on this Richard Attenborough 6 part series on Africa for BBC Earth. Sarah has taken her place alongside of Gunning, North, and Barry who has produced must have scores about Africa for your collection.
Class has written a score that is as varied as the weather and animals of Africa itself. Just when you’re settled in with the soft strings, quiet piano, and delicate harp the music will do a 180 on you and open your sleepy eyelids. “Mystery Path” begins very quiet and peaceful with wordless choir in the background, harp, and percussion that compliments the track. Suddenly the style switches to a comical motif style from a silent film with a bassoon offering the melody. “Giraffe vs. Giraffe” with its guitar, pipes, and solo trumpet puts you right in the middle of a Morricone western film. “Beauty of Aguillus Sands” is a proud and majestic theme with ascending major chords that shows the positive side of the desert. “Leopard Mirage” is a mixture of the quiet and the Morricone guitar, the feminine and the masculine sounds blended together. The opening track “Journey of the King Fish” doesn’t sound like anything you would expect from a series on Africa but more like the Barry theme for Out of Africa. Piano and oboe give this track a feeling of sadness. Each track is a story within a story with no thread to tie them all together as is sometimes done with the end credits.
Elizabeth Purnell conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra with orchestrations also by Purnell. This CD will appeal to many age groups and comes with my recommendation.
Total Duration: 01:08:03