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Silver Skates
  • Composed by Guy Farley
  • MovieScore Media / 65m

A Russian film set in St Petersburg at the turn of the 20th century, Silver Skates is a love story set across the strict social divides that existed at the time, as the daughter of an aristocrat falls in love with a delivery boy whose only possession is a pair of silver skates he uses to travel along the frozen canals of the city to make his deliveries.

A romantic story set in a winter wonderland certainly offers some fertile ground for a film composer and Guy Farley has taken full advantage, crafting a grand score full of magic and wonder and plenty of big themes. I always enjoy Farley’s music: he finds projects to work on that allow him to write this kind of (for want of a better expression) old-fashioned film music, and fair play to him for doing so.

Guy Farley

The score opens with the grand, dramatic “The Grand Bakery” which sets the scene for what’s to follow very nicely – big music, inspired by the Russian masters. Then the love theme is introduced in “Ice Skating” – and it’s Debussy’s Claire de Lune, one of the most romantic pieces of music ever written.

The next theme is first heard in “Alice Studies” and it’s a very Alexandre Desplat-like piece, fleet of foot and beautifully fluid and supremely elegant, representing the main character’s aristocracy. Yet another is then heard in “Ice Gang”, with a Slavic gypsy feel not unlike Hans Zimmer’s Sherlock Holmes theme.

“Miss Jackson” is a complete delight, a romantic piano piece with Farley springing from the Debussy base to build something of his own this time; lyrical and memorable, it’s so lovely. Then in “The Art of Stealing” the composer moves from his main theme fashioned as a big orchestral piece of action music into a bigger, more serious version of the “Ice Gang” theme.

In its middle portion the score has a little sequence of tracks that are more low-key, but it still retains its charm: “Spiritual World” in particular is a delight. And it really doesn’t take long before it kicks off again, with its biggest action track, “Arkady’s Fight”, big and bold and brassy and very impressive. Another great one is “Surrounded”, with some high-stakes drama flowing solidly through, continuing through the dynamic “Palace Escape” before things head off towards the inevitable happy ending in the soaring “Family”.

Silver Skates is a really nice score – with several themes, some big drama, beautiful romance and more light-hearted comedy moments, it’s broad in scope and makes for a very solid album. Obviously Farley is a very talented composer and anyone who has enjoyed his music before will certainly like this one too – a lovely musical antidote to the most wretched of years.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. Mike (Reply) on Monday 21 December, 2020 at 01:27

    I like this score, but the David Arnold Quantum of Solace temp track is pretty distracting in spots.