Latest reviews of new albums:
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
  • Composed by David Arnold
  • Sony Classical / 22m

First published in 1968, The Tiger Who Came To Tea has become a beloved children’s book in Britain and other parts of the world and remains very popular half a century later. Its author and illustrator Judith Kerr died a few months ago while this television adaptation was in production. It’s directed by Robin Shaw (who previously made We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, which my daughter has watched 36,000 times) and features the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tamsin Greig and David Walliams. Providing the music is the wonderful but sadly underutilised David Arnold, whose disappearance from the mainstream of film music is a great disappointment (and indeed mystery). While I guess most of us would rather hear another Independence Day or Bond film, this sort of project is a fine opportunity for any film composer of the more melodic persuasion and he does not disappoint, providing a delightful score full of nice tunes, warmth and gentle entertainment. The two primary themes are introduced in the opening two cues, “Opening” and “Into the House”.

The nature of the project is such that the score consists of a number of short cues – on album they run into each other so you never really notice and it’s impressive that it doesn’t end up sounding bitty. There is a light jazz feel to it – along with the orchestra we get bass and percussion – and lots of piano. A bit of whistling, too, which is really evocative for those who know the story (basically, a tiger comes to tea). A hint of menace on occasionally, but only ever a hint – and it’s always kept comical. The instrumental palette is perfect: the range of wind solos for the tiger, representing his various moods. The jazz is playful, good-natured and very attractive. (It brings Henry Mancini to mind.) It’s just an absolutely lovely little album (with a nice song too, based on the score’s main theme, lyrics by Don Black and sung by Robbie Williams) – we all need some cheering up occasionally and this positive, good-natured, continually warm music is just the ticket.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

Tags: ,

  1. It‘s quiet in here! Why not leave a response?