BODY AND SOUL

 

Body_Soul_AHLCD11

Jim Parker is a composer who works predominantly on scores for television productions, his music has graced and supported the likes of THE HOUSE OF ELLIOT and SOLDIER SOLDIER, but like many television scores he has had to work within a less than lavish budget, this however has never deterred the composer in any way from producing soundtracks that are intricate, inventive and more than worthy, plus works that sound not only lavish but quite grandiose. BODY AND SOUL was one such project, the composer producing a semi classical sounding score which relied on strings and woods as its mainstay. On hearing Parker’s haunting theme for the first time some years ago I was under the impression that this had to be the work of an Italian composer or a composer from anywhere in Europe apart from the UK, the sound and style of Parker’s engaging and highly melodic work is in many ways similar to the style of Stelvio Cipriani, strings carrying the central romantically laced melodies whilst being enhanced by light and fresh sounding flourishes from piano, woodwind and subtle usage of harpsichord. The cello also features throughout the score, and its sorrowful heartrending performance is a vital component of Parker’s spellbinding compositions. The CD opens with the central theme performed by a small string ensemble, that seems by volume to grow in size as the cue moves along, the composer utilizing strings and clarinet playing in unison to great effect whilst adding little scatterings of harpsichord which themselves  act as an introduction to a mesmerizing cello solo which although short lived makes its mark upon the listener. The remainder of the score is as delightful and haunting as the main theme, the composers orchestrations being precise and well thought out. Parker’s delicate placing of woods and underlying strings in certain cues adds depth and atmosphere to the story that is unfolding and creates a wonderful listening experience away from the images it was intended to support and enhance, Body and Soul is probably a CD that many collectors would pass by in the browsers in record stores, which is a shame for them as it is a admirable addition to any discerning film music enthusiasts collection.

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