Review: Mansfield Park
4 / 5 Stars
Taking a cue from Rachel Portman and Patrick Doyle, Lesley Barber keeps the music period rather than putting a modern spin on it (as Hollywood is so fond of doing nowadays). The result is a truly terrific main theme (which you can hear during the Flash preview on the website) but also a rather pleasant and appropriate score given the lightness of the screen action. Im reminded of Simon Boswells work on Cousin Bette and George Fentons Dangerous Beauty in the melodic path and musical arrangements Barber takes with the films score. Its a classically inspired score, chamber music-esque, and slightly minimalist in style. The rest of the score excerpts the main theme melody occasionally, but becomes wide and sweeping in parts. Overall a very pleasing and listenable score, a must for any fan of period drama/comedy films.
For the fourth feature in Barbers repertoire, Mansfield Park stands as a proud achievement. When coupled with Price Above Rubies, provide us, the listener, a glimpse at a composer whos to be looked out for in the future, possibly becoming a member of the second golden age of film score composing. Support these smaller films that are good but dont get the press they need by picking up this wonderful score, and if youre lucky enough, catch the film in its first run before being relegated to a section in your local video store.
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