Varèse Sarabande will release JJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Original Soundtrack digitally on July 17 and on CD on July 24, 2015. The album features the original music composed by Benoit Charest and Benoit Groulx.
"Episodes 1 and 2 were scored first to draw the principal thematic ideas and musical soundscape," said the composers Charest and Groulx. "The process was fluid and open and as themes and sound flavours came to life, Benoit Charest found affinity with the Gent and Lady Pole while Benoit Groulx took care of Strange and Arabella. The two sides of Norrell's character, dark and funny, was put in music by both of us. Later in the process, we used each another's musical ideas to blend the score as one and discussed harmonic colors and orchestration to give the overall score a unique sound." The plot, set in 19th century England around the times of the Napoleonic wars, called for a late romanticism influenced score... a composer's treat!
"Except for a few cues where a synthetic drone is used, the score is entirely acoustic, full orchestra and chamber set ups," the composers described. "Ben Charest even had a go at playing accordion while Ben Groulx was preparing a piano with sound engineer Mathieu Dulong for wild sound effects."
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is currently airing on BBC America.