Summer in February

Composed By: Benjamin Wallfisch

Distributed by: Deutsche Grammophon

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                Based on the novel by Jonathan Smith, Summer in February is a British romantic drama set in Cornwall during the years just prior to World War I.  The film centers on a love triangle between artist Alfred Munnings (Dominic Cooper), his friend Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning), the aspiring artist they have both fallen in love with.

                The musical score of Summer in February was created by British composer Benjamin Wallfisch, who debuted in the film scoring scene at the age of twenty-four with the score for Dear Wendy.  Since then, Wallfisch has composed the musical score for a number of films, including The Escapist, Pride and Prejudice, V for Vendetta, Hammer of the Gods, Robin Hood,  Conquest 1453 and The Thirteenth Tale.

                Performed by the London Chamber Orchestra, Summer in February is an extremely dramatic piece with a hint of Celtic influence and beautiful piano solos performed by Yuja Wang (my favorite piano solo can be found on the track The Races).  The first five tracks express the beauty of the countryside, as well as the innocence and youth of the main characters.  Things start to grow darker as Alfred and Gilbert find themselves falling in love with the same woman, an event that obviously puts a strain on their friendship.  The mood of the music follows the mood of the characters in the film, which definitely takes a somber tone as events come to a head.

                In addition to the beauty of the musical score found on Summer in February are two hauntingly sad songs, Wedding and Siren's Lullaby.  Not much is said about the singer, but her haunting vocals, set to a sad Celtic-influenced tune and complete with an echo effect are quite striking.

                With his score for Summer in February, Benjamin Wallfisch perfectly represents the dramatic beauty of the film's setting and the equally dramatic emotional rollercoaster of the main characters.  As a stand alone album, Summer in February starts off on a happy note, but becomes hauntingly sad toward the end.  Nonetheless, the beauty of the musical composition here makes the Summer in February Soundtrack, however sad it gets toward the end, well worth taking a listen to.


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