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Merchant Of Venice [Soundtrack]

Jocelyn Pook Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 43.37
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Product Details


1. With Wand'ring Steps - Andreas Scholl
2. Her Gentle Spirit
3. Ghetto
4. Blessing Of The Boat
5. Synagogue Cantors
6. Portia
7. How Sweet The Moonlight - Andreas Scholl
8. Song For Bassanio
9. The Feast (Propinan De Melyor)
10. Bassanio's Palazzo (Tarantella)
11. The Ring Returned
12. A Subdued Wedding
13. Courtroom Drama
14. Jessica Escapes
15. Bridal Ballad - Hayley Westenra
16. Banquet For Shylock (Tourdion)
17. Unsuitable Suitors (Folias)
18. Song In Brothel ('Paseabase El Rey Moro')
19. A Spectacular Procession
20. Fie Fie Gratiano
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

The soundtrack is composed by Jocelyn Pook whose credits include the scores to Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" & Laurent Cantet's "Time Out" (L'emploi du temps). Hayley Westenra will be singing the end title song to the film called "The Bridal Ballad" and Andreas Scholl will be singing 2 tracks called "With Wand'ring Steps" and "How Sweet The Moonlight".

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gorgeous, Atmospheric Score March 11 2005
By Birdman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
After viewing the film on which Jocelyn Pook based her majestic score, one wonders how THE MERCHANT OF VENICE could be considered one of Shakespeare's comedies.

After listening to this beautifully recorded, hauntingly atmospheric soundtrack, one may ask the question twice. While buffered by some of the jolliest comic scenes Shakespeare ever wrote, this deadly serious film, based on one of the poet's most moving and difficult plays, asks how it is possible religion and law -- the pillars of modern life -- have so often served the human drive toward cruelty and avarice, towards religious bigotry and misogyny.

There is no weak link to this score. Classical and world music lovers will recognize and relish the soloists who perform some the most memorable cuts on the recording, but prior knowledge is not required.

This soundtrack draws carefully on Renaissance musical motives, and is orchestrated with such respect for the script that I actually enjoyed the recording as well at home --as I did the score in the theatre.

That is the greatest compliment that can be paid any film composer.

We would have welcomed more informative notes. We would have enjoyed a more extended disc. Personally, I feel the retail price of the recording will preempt its purchase (outside of amazon, of course) by those who most enjoy it.

But it is one of the greatest scores I've heard in my 52 years. Atmospheric and melancholy, emotional one momentn Spartan the next. It will serve as a grreat souvenir for Shakespeareans of all ages who love this noble play, and to those who enjoyed the film too.

If you love distinctive scores, buy without delay.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Score: All Of This Without Giving A Pound Of Flesh June 3 2006
By prisrob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Jacqueline Pook explains how she became immersed in the writing of the music to "The Merchant of Venice."When Michael Radford first approached me about writing the music for his film The Merchant of Venice in the summer of 2003, a few months before shooting began, he felt strongly that the score should have a contemporary feel to it as well as evoking something of the period in which it is set, the late sixteenth century. At first I had to work quickly to provide music for certain scenes in the film which needed to be shot to the music: in scenes with court musicians playing or singing in vision. Some of these I based on existing medieval or renaissance themes, others, including all the vocal pieces (except Song in Brothel) I wrote myself, setting them to various texts from the period, with the exception of Bridal Ballad where I have used a text by Edgar Allan Poe." "

The Merchant of Venice is brought to life by the music of composer Jocelyn Pook and the extraordinary voices of singing sensation Hayley Westenra and counter-tenor Andreas Scholl. The Merchant of Venice original score CD (Decca) is a beautiful, stirring collection of old and new music, brought to life through old instruments, superb performers and original recordings. Baroque violin, lute, theorbo, qanun, cornet and sackbuts were some of the exotic instruments used in this music. Jacqueline Pook researched the instruments and tunes of this era. She has a blend of medieval, baroque and renaissance elements which is striking. The Baroque Singers add their voices to the extraordinary music.

One of the most unique pieces, "Bridal Ballad," features a text by Edgar Allan Poe sung by 17-year-old New Zealander Hayley Westenra, and solo viola performed by the composer (Pook studied and excels in all aspect of the viola). Jacquelyn Pook wrote the score for Stanley Kubrick's" Eyes Wide Shut" and Laurent Cantet's "Time Out (L'emploi du temps)" and they have established her as a highly original composer of screen music. Dionysus, the first track on Untold Things, her most recent CD, features in Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York".

Andrew Granade tell us that "There has long been a debate, at least among followers of film music, as to how a period film should best be scored. Throughout most of Hollywood's golden age, the standard symphonic genre was used no matter when the film was set. But this is a bit of an anachronism (and a large one in cases like Ben-Hur, for example) since the first recorded symphony was not until 1732. Because of this fact, many have argued, a more period approach should be used in historical pieces. Jacquelyn Pook was on hand during filming and had to write most of the dances and songs used in the film before commencing work on the full score. This gave her a basis from which to work. She then immersed herself in Renaissance music and used the sounds that resonated with her as an influence rather than attempting to recreate actual Renaissance music. This made the difference."

To an untrained ear this score is exquisitely beautiful. A piece of music that is atmospheric, moving, lyrical, hypnotic at times and seems to combine the old with the new. Jacquelyn Pook has written a magical score and sometimes that is all you need, BK.
Highly recommended. prisrob 6-03-06
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mistress of Minore Jan. 29 2005
By The Gort - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am a HUGE fan of Ms Pook. Her previous albums, Flood and Untold Things, would be on my desert island short list, to be sure. Her work is hypnotic, original, powerful, devastating, and breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL. The music usually conveys a deep sadness, creating a mood of contemplative introspection. "Merchant" is no exception. With supremely gorgeous singing from Andreas Scholl and young Hayley Westerna, as well as perfect intrumentals, this work is highly evocative of Elizabethan England while suggesting the more ancient and middle eastern foundation that characterizes Pook's finest efforts. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous score pays tribute to Spain's Sephardic legacy Jan. 15 2006
By Sarah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I haven't seen Al Pacino's "The Merchant of Venice," but was instantly captivated by Jocelyn Pook's atmospheric score that blends Renaissance, Moorish, and Sephardic (Spanish Jewish) melodies with authentic instruments. The fine vocal performances by German star countertenor Andreas Scholl and young New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra were the icing on the cake. Mr. Scholl has a large repertoire of English lute songs, and the songs he is featured on (With Wandring Steps (Milton) The Floor of Heaven, and How Sweet the Moonlight (Shakespeare) fit him like a glove. Hayley Westenra sings the enchanting Bridal Ballad.

I was not previously familiar with Jocelyn Pook's scores, but was quickly enraptured by the tender combination of delicate harp, recorder, majestic viol, and above all, the Middle Eastern flavour imparted by Sephardic melodies (Paseabase el Rey Moro, Synagogue Cantors, Ghetto) that briefly slip in and out of the score (Courtroom Drama, Last Words, Fie Fie Gratiano). The Merchant of Venice score holds up well as a standalone work of atmospheric music that feels right at home next to my large collection of Spanish Sephardic music, Cantigas, and Renaissance / Baroque music. The addition of work by Andreas Scholl (I own almost all titles in his Harmonia Mundi catalogue), Hayley Westenra and other vocalists (boy sopranos, boy choirs, Israeli singers and synagogue cantors) makes the score even more effective by offering brief interludes to break the monotony of many interrelated instrumentals.

The Merchant of Venice soundtrack is a must-buy for anyone interested in Sephardic, Renaissance, or early vocal music sure to delight fans of Andreas Scholl and other countertenors and early music.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb soundtrack May 27 2005
By Kerrfal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I was quite new to the name of composer Jocelyn Pook although I have always been sure that a good soundtrack make a film great and I am fond of good scores. And that's the case of the MoV. When I firstly saw the movie I was so captured by the hounting score of the movie. I love Renaissance and celtic music and this masterpiece is a sweet mix of both cultures. Every single track is a genuine piece recalling the atmosphere of the XVIth century. THe author mixed the sound od mandolin, harp and flaute in such a haunting mood. In addition Andreas Scholl and Hayley Westenra (singers) joined 3 tracks providing such a superb voice. I personally love the "With Wand'ring Steps" as leit motive of the whole work.

A very good CD. If you like relaxing music but at the same time reflection, that's pretty good. One of the best scores I have.

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