The Music of Patrick Doyle: Solo Piano

Music Composed and Performed By: Patrick Doyle

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Patrick Doyle is a Scottish film composer who began his career as an actor before deciding on a musical career.  He began as a composer and musical director for the Renaissance Theatre Company in 1987.  It was there that he began a collaboration with Kenneth Branagh for whom he would eventually compose the scores of eleven films, including Hamlet, Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Thor, Cinderella and more.  He has also composed musical scores for such notable films as Sense and Sensibility, Donnie Brasco, Great Expectations, Bridget Jones' Diary, Gosford Park, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Brave and more.

                In July 2015, Varese Sarabande Records announced the release of The Music of Patrick Doyle Solo Piano, a compilation of eighteen tracks of music from some of Doyle’s most beloved film themes.  According to Doyle, “I have been recording the piano album over the last three years in between many other projects and I hope you enjoy listening to the melodies as much as I did reliving the lovely memories.  This album is one of two planned volumes of the many film themes that I have composed over the last 25 years.  The tracks on the album are not in chronological order, for as our memories are jumbled up and flit from one particular moment to the other, so does the album.

                Out of the eighteen tracks, there would only be a couple of songs I would actually recognize (Into the West from the movie of the same name and Harry in Winter from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).  That being said, I truly enjoyed this album.  Solo piano tracks can do either two things for me – they can be incredibly dramatic or they can be incredibly soothing.  I found that Patrick Doyle had an excellent balance of soothing and dramatic in the songs he selected for this album.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to tracks from Sense and Sensibility, Cinderella, A Little Princess, Indochine, Igor and more.

                Fans of Patrick Doyle will be amazed how interestingly these well-known themes translate into solo piano.  Fans of piano pieces themselves will enjoy the interpretations by Doyle.  All-in-all, The Music of Patrick Doyle: Solo Piano is an album worth purchasing.


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