Far From the Madding Crowd
Composed By: Craig Armstrong
Distributed by: Sony Classical
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on Thomas Hardy's fourth novel, written in 1874, the 2015 British romantic drama, Far from the Madding Crowd, represents the fourth time this novel has been adapted to film. Set in Victorian England, it follows Bathsheba Everdene (Cary Mulligan), a headstrong farm owner who over the course of time, attracts three very different suitors: a sheep farmer (Matthias Schoenaerts), a reckless Sergeant (Tom Sturridge) and a prosperous, mature bachelor (Michael Sheen).
The musical score of Far from the Madding Crowd was created by British composer Craig Armstrong. Beginning his musical career by training at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Armstrong became an in-house composer at the Tron Theater in Glasgow. It was there that he met Peter Mullen, an actor and director who gave him his start in film composition. Since the 1990s, he has composed scores for a number of films, including The Bone Collector, Romeo Must Die, Kiss of the Dragon, Love Actually, Fever Pitch and more.
Armstrong is noted for his work in combining modern orchestral sound and electronica in his scoring, but for Far from the Madding Crowd, Armstrong instead called upon classical orchestral music to represent the time period and locale of the film's setting. The resulting score is dramatic, featuring strings and woodwinds and occasionally a piano piece for romantic effect.
Though I accidentally listened to the Far from the Madding Crowd Soundtrack out of order, it did nothing to minimize the beauty of the score created by Craig Armstrong. The classical orchestral feel was very soothing, even when it was used to describe harsher times for the main character. I've listened to the soundtrack twice since my initial screw up and found it to be just as beautiful whether listened to in track order or skipped around a bit. A terrific listen for any aficionado of music, the Far from the Madding Crowd Soundtrack is definitely worth checking out.