The music for THE VICEROYS HOUSE has to it a sound and style that can be I suppose categorised as being quintessentially English. Its lush and vibrant thematic material performed by strings and woods that create a gentile and delicately fragile work which at times does have to it a sense and sound of the pomp and ceremony of the British Raj or the British anything for that matter. Of course, there are a few ethnic sounding passages and these are performed by instruments that are from India or Asia, which add much to the work as a whole. It was a surprise for me when I learned that the music was by A.R. RAHMAN because when listening to the score I was convinced it could be the work of a British composer with maybe a musical associate or collaborator that provided the ethnic parts of the soundtrack. It is however not an unpleasant surprise but a wonderfully delightful one. The score is a pleasure in every respect and is one of those soundtracks that flows easily, with each cue seemingly melting into the next flawlessly and seamlessly. The composers use of strings and horns with percussion and woodwind lending support is hauntingly beautiful and generates a touching and somewhat mesmerising effect throughout. This is a soundtrack that you will embrace and thoroughly enjoy and with each listen I am confident that you will discover fresh musical nuances and take these to your heart. The music is because of the subject matter, proud and regal with little forays into the comedic and plenty romantic interludes that seem to appear as from nowhere. The opening cue begins with a lilting and rich sounding cello solo that is then joined by more strings and woodwind, as the theme develops and grows, the composer then adds ethnic percussion for a fleeting moment, but this is short lived with the cue returning to a more western sound via the use of strings and faraway sounding horns, the percussive elements return but are delicate and minor in volume as the cue continues to develop with the use of cymbalom underlined by ethnic percussion and subdued strings. It is a wonderfully melodic and hauntingly attractive piece, that I know you will return to many times. Rahman has proved in the past that he can write music of the romantic type and with this score the Maestro further demonstrates this, if you were not aware of the composer you would be forgiven for assuming is was the work of Debbie Wiseman or Patrick Doyle or maybe Rachel Portman, it’s an easy to listen to work away from the movie and one that works within the film. Underlining scenarios and adding much to the story that is unfolding on screen. I have no reservations about recommending this to you, I say here and now I love it. One cue in particular seemed to attract me and that was TWO BROKEN HEARTS, it is a poignant and highly emotive piece filled with a fragility that is at times heartrending and superbly touching. Also there is track number 10 AHIMSA which includes a wordless female vocal that sends shivers up  ones spine, both Female and Male voices are utilised in track number 11, THE PARTITION and this too certainly hits the emotional spot. But it is THE BIRTH OF TWO NATIONS that is the overall stand out piece within the score, it builds and builds, gathering momentum and pace with strings working towards a crescendo of sorts and choir adding their support to the proceedings, it has an epic feel to it but at the same time an intimacy and endearing quality shines through. Please go buy this ASAP.


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