Soundtrack Information



Decca Records (B0009828-02)

Release Date: December 4, 2007

Conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch

Performed by
The English Chamber Orchestra feat. Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Format: CD

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Average Rating: 5 stars (2 users)

Track Listing

1. Briony 1:46
2. Robbie's Note 3:07
3. Two Figures by a Fountain 1:17
4. Cee, You and Tea 2:27
5. With My Own Eyes 4:41
6. Farewell 3:32
7. Love Letters 3:12
8. The Half Killed 2:11
9. Rescue Me 3:21
10. Elegy for Dunkirk 4:16
11. Come Back 4:28
12. Denouement 2:29
13. The Cottage on the Beach 3:25
14. Atonement 5:24
15. Debussy: Clair de Lune 4:52
  Total Album Time: 50:28

Audio Samples


by Thomas Simpson
February 11, 2008
[5 / 5]

The last Dario Marianelli score I reviewed (The Brave One) was a disappointment, and I still stand by my judgment. With Atonement, my initial reaction was one of amazement. I was - and still am - blown away by the score for this film. Marianelli not only redeemed himself, but he went over the top of all of my expectations. From the first track to the last, this album is a must have. What really set my mind going when first hearing the album was the typewriter. Marianelli uses it as its own distinctive percussion instrument and did a brilliant job with it. Each time the typewriter is heard it moves the music forward in a dynamic way, pushing the music forward with additional key strokes every few measures. With "Briony" we hear the typewriter as someone is typing a manuscript, with a steady Bb in the piano coming in to progress the piece a long as it evolves into an arpeggio, the typewriter then becomes rhythmic and after a few measures drops out with a ascending and descending run in the violins taking over as the piano continues its chordal work in the forms of arpeggios and the beginning of the theme being heard as well. "Briony" is a track to wet one's appetite for more, and that hunger is sated as the album moves through the remaining tracks.

The film is gripping, never letting go of your attention for a minute with a tragic end as only fitting to the film. The emotions through out the film are conveyed equally as powerful in the score, if I said this wasn't one of the most beautiful film scores I've heard in years, I would be lying. "The Half Killed" has such strong brass that it almost moved me to tears, just knowing the plot of the movie and hearing the music will emotionally move you, the score is just that strong.

Atonement is a cinematic masterpiece of emotion, visual beauty and aural pleasure. The album leaves me joyfully speechless, for a good example of just how speechless you can get from a track on the album, listen to "Elegy for Dunkirk," and "Come Back" together, they will leave you dazed. The album as a whole will leave you emotionally drained in the best possibly way, never wanting it to end.

However, all good thing must end, and the album closes with the superb track of Debussy's "Clair De Lune" both haunting and delicate in its execution it is the perfect way to end the album. If there is anything I can impart to the reader it is simple, buy this album, don't pass it up, buy it. It is a must have. There is so much in this album it's ridiculous, if it's not the melodies, it's the idiosyncratic use of the typewriter and if not that, the absolute beauty of the scoring. I give this score a 5 out of 5, it really is just that perfect.


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