Composed By: Anne Dudley
Distributed by: Sony Classical
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on novels by Winston Graham, the BBC television series Poldark stars Aidan Turner as Captain Ross Poldark. Recently returned to his Cornish copper mines after spending three years in the army fighting the Americans in the War of Independence to avoid a smuggling charge, Ross finds his father dead, his estate destroyed and his sweetheart (Heida Reed) engaged to his cousin (Kyle Soller). Rescuing a woman named Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) from a beating and making her his kitchen maid, Ross sets about trying to help the people of his village regain control of the mines sought by his rival (Jack Farthing). The show is entering its third season.
The musical score of Poldark was created by English composer Anne Dudley who is best known as a film composer and as one of the core members of the synthpop band Art of Noise. Trained as a classical performer, she entered the competitive commercial field of session musician, working with such artists as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Seal, Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams and more. A founding member of Art of Noise, she helped pioneer the use of sampling in the pop genre. She began working in scoring for television and film in the late 1980s and has amassed quite a résumé, including the scores of The Crying Game, The Full Monty, American History X, Pushing Tin, The Gathering, Les Misérables, Above Suspicion, The Tenth Kingdom and more.
There are definite Cornish influences to the Poldark score which features mainly strings, harp and piano, with some minor percussion joining in for dramatic effect. The Celtic sound of the score is especially evident in solo parts performed by Chris Garrick and Peter Shoeman on violin. Cello solos are performed by David Cohen and David Daniels and add an ominous undertone to the score as Ross battles his enemies for the copper mines. The Medhel an Gwyns song is no doubt of Cornish descent and beautifully performed by Eleanor Tomlinson.
The Poldark Soundtrack features a very beautiful and soothing score with Celtic influences bound to be pleasurable for any fan of this style of music or of the television series it was created for. I found it to be highly enjoyable and quite inspiring – I’m intrigued and now want to see the television series. A great job by Anne Dudley!