- Composed by Gabriel Yared and Cyrille Aufort
- MovieScore Media / 2012 / 36:41
A Danish costume drama about the extraordinary turn of events of that country in the 18th century when the mentally ill King Christian VII’s physician became the real power behind the throne, Nikolaj Arkel’s A Royal Affair was well-received earlier in the year at the Berlin Film Festival and has now been released around the world. The elegant, classical score is by Gabriel Yared and Cyrille Aufort. I’m not sure what led to this collaboration but the usual problem of multi-composer scores (that they end up either lacking a single musical direction, or that both composers tone their own style down so much that it becomes generic) is avoided; there is a graceful beauty to the music throughout which is very distinctive and very appealing. Everything sounds appropriately regal; and pleasingly it also treads a careful line between restraint and melodrama, the former being used admirably meaning the effect of the latter is enhanced when it needs to be.
The thematic material is first-rate. The opening “Caroline’s Theme” is tragic, a surprising darkness of tone hidden behind the attractive melody. “Love Scene” is wonderfully intense, bursting with drama at first before heading towards its ravishing finale. Most wonderful of all is the score’s lightest, prettiest music, “Hope Theme”, with a gorgeous piano solo highlighting a wonderful theme. “Revolution” is a frenzied, exciting piece of high drama, the music making a rare excursion into bold, brassy territory. “Execution” is strained, brimming with tragedy (as might be expected) and another stand-out. The stunning, stirring “Adagio” is the best possible conclusion to the album. It’s a relatively short one but much is packed in and it’s one of those which is so good to hear, it’s always tempting to just play it over again once it’s finished. It is musically strong and dramatically potent and most definitely worth seeking out. ****