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Rich in Love
  • Composed by Georges Delerue

A coming-of-age drama set around unfolding family drama, Bruce Beresford’s Rich in Love stars Albert Finney as the father of a family rocked when his wife suddenly leaves him and severs all ties, leaving his daughter to care for him and discover all sorts of family secrets. Despite garnering decent reviews it was a big failure at the box office and is remembered chiefly today by film music fans, since it was the final movie scored by the great Georges Delerue, a true one-off and a master of his craft. He had a fatal stroke almost immediately after completing the recording of this score, a life cut tragically short.

Beresford was Delerue’s most prolific directorial collaborator in the final part of his career – this was the fifth movie they did together – and wisely, he just let the composer go off and do his thing. Rich in Love is a ravishing score, a truly fitting finale to the composer’s wonderful career – while the film may have lots of difficult emotional moments on its way to its happy ending, you don’t have to worry about those while listening to the album, which is a portrait of romance and bliss chock full of wonderful themes.

Georges Delerue

While it’s obviously a romanticised view, it is hard not to agree with album producer Robert Townson’s comment in the liner notes that when you listen to the music, it’s as if Delerue is saying goodbye – from track to track we hear the composer give one of his three primary themes to a different soloist – flute, guitar, violin – and every time you think that surely even Georges Delerue can’t make the music more lilting, he does precisely that.

The brilliantly light and breezy main theme is first heard over the opening title – it’s a veritable festival of beauty, as indeed is the whole score. The guitar theme heard most fully in “Stop Thinking About Her” is one for the ages; another theme (“We Have to Find Her” and several other tracks) flows with such energy and movement. As well as those themes which all repeat a few times, Delerue throws in some other stunners only heard in one-off guises – the second half of “Lulu’s Exit / The Kiss” is a real favourite of mine. The guitar solo in “Lucille and Wayne Make Love” simply melts in the mouth.

Some Delerue scores feature amazing themes – OK, virtually all Delerue scores feature amazing themes – but the albums aren’t always much more than a showcase for a single theme – not so Rich in Love. It doesn’t even last half an hour but the composer stuffs so many exquisite melodies into the score, this is one of those albums where it’s always a pleasure to just start it up again once it’s over. It’s track after track of vintage romantic Georges Delerue, and if that doesn’t float your boat then nothing ever will. While his American period didn’t see him score movies anywhere near the importance of those earlier in his career, the composer gave them his absolute all and for his final score he produced one last masterpiece.

Rating: ***** | |

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