L’Enfant des Loups

Enfant_des_loups_LRCD4101It is somewhat sad to say that composer Serge Franklin is one of those very talented film music maestros that has for the past twenty odd years been stuck in the medium of composing for television, sad because we all know just how much of a competent and original composer he is, and his style which is grand yet emotive is probably better suited to the big screen. L’ENFANT DES LOUPS is a very good example of just how talented Franklin is. The composer has created a score that works wonderfully with the movie, but it also has the presence and quality to work as a collection of themes that function away from the images, and therefore stands on its own as an incredibly powerful listening experience.
The film or mini series made for television is set at the end of the 6th century and tells the story of Vanda a small child who is found living amongst the wolves, the girl is rescued from the animals and taken to Queen Radegonde who is living in a monastery. The Queen takes the child in and becomes her Godmother. Vanda stays with the Queen until she has grown into a young woman, but after a long period of famine and also plague, which are followed by a hard and bitter winter the wolves who have become desperate for food move into the inhabited areas of the countryside, the situation becomes desperate and the people turn to Vanda to help them. The series which was aired in three episodes had a total running time of 4 hours and 30 minutes, and Franklin’s incredible near operatic sounding score was a key factor in the films success. From the opening bars of the work, one just knows instinctively that this is a score of originality, stature and worth. The composer utilizes to great effect the wind, percussion and also the string sections of the orchestra, and although the music is for the most part simple, it is utterly entrancing. The second track on the compact disc KYRIE begins with a haunting tone poem performed on woodwind and supported by underlying strings, the mood of the cue changes dramatically as Franklin introduces chanting voices, which are in many ways comparable to the chorale sections on Poledouris’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN, Barry’s THE LION IN WINTER, Goldsmith’s THE OMEN or Morricone’s RED SONJA The remainder of the score is equally as stunning and powerful, and includes exciting and highly charged choral renditions, soaring and romantically laced themes and tense and urgent sounding edge of the seat compositions. Packaged and presented very well by Lympia records, with a 16 page booklet, that is generously decorated with colourful illustrations and stills from the film. Franklins remarkable score is described in the sleeve notes as “AN OPERA OF SOUND AND FURY”, a description that I certainly would agree with 100%, seek this score out before it is too late.

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