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Fanny Lye Deliver’d
  • Composed by Thomas Clay
  • Pull Back Camera / 53m

I recently got sent a press release about James Newton Howard which referred to his “genre-defying” music. I suspect they meant defining rather than defying, but maybe they didn’t; in any case, if anything I’ve come across recently could be described as genre-defying then it’s Fanny Lye Deliver’d, set in Britain in the 17th century and with elements of period drama, horror, western – director Thomas Clay scored the film himself and his highly impressive music is genuinely genre-defying, sounding fresh and new. There are parts which bear the mark of Ennio Morricone (just hints, really, particularly in the sparse theme that appears in the opening “Old Soldiers” and is reprised in stunning fashion in “Second Morning”) but otherwise this is that rare modern film score that doesn’t sound much like other film scores.

There’s a touch of action music, such as in the gritty “Fight” and the darkly militaristic “Approach of the Sheriff”, and when it comes it’s brilliant. There is undoubted grit and determination expressed through the score – “The Truth” a fine case in point, the loneliness of the melody so expressive, the musical forces bolstered by a full choir. The suspense becomes almost unbearable in the exceptional centrepiece “The Ceremony”, with all sorts of little instrumental touches creating such a colourful atmosphere. “The Plea” is like a piece of classic horror scoring – the complex, shrieking brass, the oppressive atmosphere. Clay saves the best for last – the sweeping drama of “Fanny’s Choice”, the ravishing beauty of “Fanny Lye Deliver’d” (one of the finest pieces of film music I’ve heard in a while) and a final surprise, with “March to Joy” like a folk version of “Ode to Joy”. This is such an accomplished album – it’s fresh, original, invigorating – it’s just seriously good.

Rating: **** 1/2 | |

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  1. Markus Wippel (Reply) on Tuesday 18 August, 2020 at 20:37

    Wonderful and most entertaining soundtrack!!!!!