Composed By: Gast Waltzing

Additional Music By: Christian Henson

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Hysteria: the Victorian Age diagnosis for women experiencing nervousness, insomnia, depression, cramps and sexual frustration.  It is also the title of the 2011 British romantic comedy starring Hugh Dancy as Dr. Mortimer Granville, creator of the electro-mechanical vibrator, a discovery allegedly made while attempting to solve the problem of hysteria plaguing women in a 19th Century London town.

            The musical score of Hysteria was composed by Gast Waltzing with additional music by Christian Henson.  Born in Luxembourg in 1956, Waltzing received classical training at the Conservatory of Luxembourg at the age of seven.  He continued his training at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and completed at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris.  He was named Professor of Trumpet at the Conservatory of Luxembourg in 1982 and, four years later, founded the Jazz Department.  Beginning his film composing career in 1989, Waltzing has since composed over 160 scores for film and television, including JVCD, Les Dents de la Nuit, Humains and House of Boys.

            British composer Christian Henson began his career in music at an early age, training in classical piano.  His teenage years found Henson training on the road, traveling with and performing in a number of bands.  Working with composers as a programmer, Christian Henson eventually developed a career as a television composer, writing music for over forty different television series.  A background in classical music as well as pop and electronic music, Hensonís ability to blend both into a musical score has won him recognition from filmmakers and music aficionados alike. Some of Hensonís works include the musical scores of Chasing Liberty, Lost in Austen, Severance, Huge, La Rafle and The Devil's Double.

            The Hysteria musical score is a light and airy composition with a classical feel, a nod toward the Victorian era in which the movie takes place.  It features a main theme that weaves its way throughout the score in various shapes, lengths and forms, performed by various instruments.  The orchestral music is upbeat with a whimsical air.  Prior to reading the press materials for this film, I had no idea what this movie was about and therefore simply enjoyed the music for what it was, not quite understanding the various speeds and quirks.  Now that I know what the movie is about, I find myself blushing a bit as I realize what is being described by the music created for certain scenes.  I'm no prude - just found it a tad bit amusing.

            The Hysteria Soundtrack is a thoroughly enjoyable album, perfect for anyone who loves a slightly different take on classical music.  The music is upbeat and fun and I believe the composers did an excellent job in creating a soundtrack that fits the content of the film it was created for.  A job well done.


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