Summer In February is a film based on the best-selling novel of the same name. It’s a romantic drama that takes place in the Edwardian artists’ colony in Cornwall with the approaching threat of war. The score by Benjamin Wallfisch is a tremendous accomplishment in terms of thematic writing and character. He is most known as a conductor and an orchestrator, but his scores over the years prove he is a powerful voice worth listening to. This painfully beautiful score is proof of his ability to craft a deep musical narrative.
The music here works itself over very gently with a very subtle theme that establishes right off the bat. Wallfisch is able to build the energy and momentum of the characters in the music very quickly. The wonderful orchestration highlighted by the piano (played by Yuja Wang) makes for a soundscape that has a classical feel, but with emotions that are organically derived from the story. The music has a fragility to it that renders it very accessible and actually peaks your interest as a listener. The elegant beauty and complexity of the love triangle in the story fuels some excellent tracks. The score has darker moments of despair and even though they echo an internal pain you can still feel the beauty behind the music. I felt a sense of theatricality behind it all as the score strives for some big moments, but never it never falls into melodrama. I never felt that the music was being overdramatic, and those big moments really do play.
Summer In February is a lush and emotional journey cemented with a beautiful central theme that weaves itself throughout the narrative. Wallfisch juxtaposes the beauty of the score with despairing moments to amplify the emotional beats of the story. This is wonderful writing executed masterfully. A truly beautiful score.