CD Downton Abbey (CD 15807510),
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1. Downton Abbey: Downton Abbey - The Suite
2. Downton Abbey: Love And The Hunter
3. Downton Abbey: Emancipation
4. Downton Abbey: Story Of My Life
5. Downton Abbey: Fashion
6. Downton Abbey: Damaged
7. If You Were The Only Girl In The World - (featuring Alfie Boe)
8. Downton Abbey: Preparation
9. Downton Abbey: Such Good Luck
10. Downton Abbey: Us And Them
11. Downton Abbey: Violet
12. Downton Abbey: A Drive, A
13. Downton Abbey: An Ideal Marriage, An
14. Roses Of Picardy
15. Downton Abbey: Telegram
16. Downton Abbey: Deception
17. Downton Abbey: Titanic
18. Downton Abbey: A Song And A Dance, A
19. Did I Make The Most Of Loving You? (from Downtown Abbey) - (featuring Mary-Jess)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2781146
Audio Mixer: Paul Golding.
Composed by John Lunn (Little Dorrit), the official soundtrack to the Emmy-winning Downton Abbey shows that the British know how to score a lavish costume drama just as effectively as they do how to make one. The millions of fans captivated by the ITV series -- which follows the lives of an aristocratic family and their servants in a fictional Yorkshire town's stately home during the early reign of King George V -- will be delighted by the extended versions of the pieces of music which have appeared throughout the critically acclaimed first two seasons. But even classical fans who have failed to be reeled in by the authentic, early 20th century costumes and legendary thespian talent will find it hard to resist the charms of its 20 elegant compositions, which range from the light and airy, brass-fused "Us and Them" to the brooding, ominous, piano-led "Deception." The beautifully haunting melodies and sweeping strings of the theme recurringly appear throughout the 20 compositions, from the seven-minute, epic opening track to the soaring vocal version from British music student-turned-Chinese talent show winner Mary-Jess ("Did I Make the Most of Loving You") which closes the album. However, Lunn's subtle but inventive arrangements, performed by the Chamber Orchestra of London, ensure that the soundtrack never becomes too repetitive. Indeed, among the stream of plucked pizzicato strings, gentle woodwind, and warm layers of orchestration, there are also a few surprises. "A Song and a Dance" is a rather ambient final instrumental featuring some skittering xylophones, jaunty piano hooks, and breezy flutes, while Les Miserables tenor Alfie Boe provides some suitably stirring vocals on the sparsely produced covers of Elsie Griffin's wartime ballad "Roses of Picardy" and The Bing Boys Are Here revue number "If You Were the Only Girl in the World," both of which were originally published around the drama's early-1900s setting. An enchanting piece of work, Downton Abbey is one of those soundtracks that perfectly complements its source material, but is also strong enough to stand alone on its own merit, too. ~ Jon O'Brien
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Decca (USA) B 001626002
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