Sunday, January 16, 2011

Patrick Doyle, Composer

One of best and my all-time favorite soundtrack composers is definitely the greatly talented Patrick Doyle. I'd like to highlight some of his work and share with all of you some of my favorite music!

Bio: "Born in 1953, outside Glasgow, Doyle benefited from a very musical upbringing. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and graduated in 1974....His first theatre score was written in 1978, and subsequently Patrick has written the music for a host of other theatre, radio, television and film productions. In 1987, Patrick joined the Renaissance Theatre Company as composer and musical director....In 1989 director Kenneth Branagh commissioned Patrick to write the original score for the Renaissance Film Company production of Henry V. The song 'Non Nobis Domine', from the film, was awarded the 1989 Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Theme. In 1990, HRH The Prince of Wales commissioned Patrick to write 'The Thistle and The Rose', a song cycle for Soprano and Choir, in honour of the Queen Mother's 90th birthday." -Quoted from Air Edel's page.

Here are some of Mr. Doyle's major works that I have enjoyed:

Continuing his partnership with Kenneth Branagh, he composed an exquisite and rousing soundtrack for Much Ado About Nothing in 1993. This is an amazing adaptation, which my family and I have enjoyed for years (we always skip through the 2 questionable scenes), not only stars the then married could Kenneth Branagh & Emma Thompson but Mr. Doyle also appeared briefly on screen as a minstrel! I own this soundtrack and enjoy the music immensely! Listen to samples at Amazon.

In 1995 Mr. Doyle composed the exquisitely moving soundtrack for Emma Thompson's adaptation of Sense & Sensibility. For this score he was nominated for three awards: Golden Globe nominee for 'Best Film Score', Academy Award nominee for 'Best Original Dramatic Score', and BAFTA nominee for 'Best Film Score'. This was the first soundtrack I ever bought and the first in my Jane Austen collection. I cannot recommend this album enough, it's one of my favorites! Listen to samples at Amazon.

Also in 1995 he composed the music for Disney's A Little Princess. While this is not a faithful adaptation of the book, it is a sweet children's film and the music is gorgeous as always! Listen to samples on Amazon or listen to the track 'Letter To Papa' on YouTube.

A team up with Kenneth Branagh again brought a soundtrack for Hamlet in 1996. The first track on this delightful soundtrack also features the tenor voice of Placido Domingo! My father and I really enjoy this adaptation of Hamlet, it's so full of bright colors and characters and talent galore! Watch with care though, it is a tragedy and there is some nudity shown briefly. This very grand soundtrack also was an Academy Award nominee for 'Best Original Dramatic Score'! Listen to some samples at Amazon.

The soundtrack for Gosford Park * was composed in 2001. The music sweeps you in and is quite reminiscent of the 1930's area in which the film is set. This was a quirky little film with many amazing British actors and many credits to it's fame but is sadly rated R for language and sexual references. Listen to samples at Amazon.

Renewing his association with Emma Thompson, he composed the soundtrack for Nanny McPhee in 2005. This soundtrack is like the film, lively and lots of fun! I really enjoyed this film but haven't been able to watch the second film yet. Listen to samples from the soundtrack at Amazon.

Getting back to where he began Mr. Doyle composed a soundtrack for a film that was both Shakespeare and written/directed by Kenneth Branagh when he composed for As You Like It in 2006. Because this film is set in the Victorian Orient the music for this film has some oriental flair to it which is beautiful and moving as the film itself! I've seen this once and enjoyed it quite a bit, I love Shakespeare's comedy anyway, and the settings, costumes, and actors only added to it's charm! Listen to samples at Amazon.

Other well known films which Patrick Doyle has composed for include: Eragon, Nim's Island, Secondhand Lions, Quest For Camelot, Sleuth*, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire* and Bridget Jones' Diary* (please note films with * I cannot recommend). And there's a whole list of more films and TV which Mr. Doyle has composed for - you can read the list at IMDb and a complete bio at Air Edel.

I've created a few videos featuring music by Patrick Doyle:

Music from As You Like It:

As You Like It from Miss Laurie on Vimeo.

Music from Sense & Sensibility:

Sense & Sensibility 1995 from Miss Laurie on Vimeo.

Thank you Mr. Doyle for your contribution to period film, filling them with music that touches the viewer with joy and delight and catches us up in the story!

Have you seen any of these films? Which is you favorite?

Very Truly Your's,


Svea Love said...

I completely agree with you; I always love his beautiful creations! His music from Sense and Sensibility has always been a favorite of mine. He has amazing talent!

Bethany said...

I was going crazy looking for an "As You Like It" video with music the other day for a blogpost!

Patrick Doyle is seriously an AWESOME soundtrack composer.

I love it how he works with Kenneth Branagh on so many movies as well. "Henry V" and "Frankenstein" are beautiful as well as the three you mentioned.

Awesome post. :-)

Charity U said...

I've seen Nanny McPhee and S&S. They're both fun ones! I do really like the S&S music, though I only have one of the soundtrack songs. I'm working on getting more. :)

Melody said...

OOhh! I love Patrick Doyle's music. The only movie I've seen with his music is Sense and Sensibility, and the soundtrack is one of my favorite CDs!!

I've also gotten the soundtrack for Henry V from the library - I haven't seen the movie - and there were two particular songs I liked very much, and a couple other good ones. :-)

Paul said...

Patrick Doyle is one of my favorites, too. I first discovered him through Henry V. I love that soundtrack and also love his tender, beautiful music for Sense & Sensibility. His funereal music for Ophelia in Hamlet also stands out in my mind as very soulful and touching.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

I have admired Patrick Doyle's music since I saw "Sense and Sensibility" in high school. :) I also love his work on "A Little Princess" and "Much Ado About Nothing". Love your blog! :)

A Candle to Read By said...

I have loved his distinctive sound since I first watched Henry V. I show that movie to my History of England course every time I teach it, and everyone loves the music! When I first watched Sense and Sensibility, I knew that music sounded familiar! Thanks for this lovely post.

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