I have to be truthful and tell you I have not watched each and every episode of DICKENSIAN when it has been aired, in my defence I have been a little busy of late, however I have recorded every episode and as the series reaches its conclusion I am ever more intrigued and sucked in by the very clever storyline. The score by the wonderfully talented British composer Debbie Wiseman is for me one of the many high points of this series, I had no doubt when I discovered that the music was by Debbie that it would be something quite special and I have to say I was not wrong or in any way disappointed. Debbie Wiseman has become one of the most established and popular composers of music for television and film, I for one was devastated when her music for WILDE was not given a special award because it is in a word EXCELLENT. The same too can be said for DICKENSIAN, this is a haunting and entertaining work which contains some deliciously intricate and melodic themes that are supported and accompanied by an equal amount of dramatic and melancholy pieces. The composers use of cimbalom within the score is one of its stand out features and I think it was this that first grabbed my attention whilst watching the first handful of episodes it became an integral and an important component of the series at times it was as if it were another actor on screen, the cimbalom is I think an instrument that in most cases when utilised purveys to any listener a sense of uneasiness, apprehension or even fear, this is the atmosphere that came across in the music for DICKENSIAN on a personal level, but saying this it at the same time brought to the proceedings a mood that was slightly comical and even jaunty and awkward in a unsettling kind of fashion. Not sure if you understand what I am saying but this is the mood that it evoked for me personally, the score contains some lilting and delicate sounding performances on solo piano which is underlined by subtle use of solo violin, harp and fragile sounding woodwind at certain points.
There is darkness here and clusters of sombre sounding passages which work their way in and out of the score but these are even given a intimate and more human persona because of the way in which they are orchestrated. The music I think you all will agree fitted the series like the proverbial glove but never seemed to intrude or overwhelm the images and the stories being acted out on screen. Wiseman’s beautifully crafted soundtrack will I think be one that is enjoyed by many and returned to numerous times and on each outing the listener will be taken back to the cold snowy streets of London in DICKENSIAN times and remember their own personal favourite characters from the series. Thoroughly recommended.