The Paradise

Musical Score By: Maurizio Malagnini

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Adapted from the classic novel by Emile Zola, The Paradise tells the tale of the lives and loves of the various staff and customers of the first department store in the North East of 19th Century England.  The BBC television series was one of the most watched autumn television dramas in the UK in 2012 and premiered on PBS in the US on October 6, 2013.  Silva Screen Records released The Paradise Soundtrack in the same month.

            The musical score of The Paradise was created by Italian composer Maurizio Malagnini, who began his composing career after completing his Master's Degree in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of London in 2008.  Working in both British and Italian film and television, Malagnini has created scores for numerous television ads, documentaries like Giovanni XXIII, Il pensiero e la memoria, movie shorts like The Gathered and television series such as Muddle Earth and The Body Farm.

            The Paradise Soundtrack features Malagnini's classical score performed beautifully by the BBC Concert Orchestra.  As soon as the music begins, having never watched the series, the listener can easily tell that this score is from a period piece.  It has that renaissance feel to it.  The music is fairly upbeat at first, but becomes more complex as we learn about the various characters and relationships in the series (Pauline, Miss Audrey, Katherine and Moray, Denise and Moray, Sam).  The more involved the relationship, the more complex, dramatic and often times dark the score.

            Maurizio Malagnini is a very talented classical music composer with a great flare for the dramatic composition necessary for a television drama.  The Paradise Soundtrack is an excellent example of dramatic period piece score done right and well worth taking a listen to.


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