The Thirteenth Tale

Composed By: Benjamin Wallfisch

Distributed by: MovieScore Media/Kronos Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In The Thirteenth Tale, a dramatic British film based upon the novel of the same name by Diane Setterfield, Olivia Coleman stars as Margaret Lea, a biographer who has agreed to help write the biography of famous novelist Vida Winter (Vanessa Redgrave).  Skeptical of what Vida has to say based upon false information she has supplied in interviews about he life in the past, Olivia wonders whether Vida's final days in the throws of terminal cancer will reveal the truth about her life, or just another fantasy.  But the tale Vida offers up is just to fantastic to pass up and the revelations just to captivating to let go.

                The musical score of The Thirteenth Tale was created by British composer Benjamin Wallfisch.  Since his debut at the age of twenty-four with the highly touted musical score for Dear Wendy, Wallfisch has created musical scores for such well-known films as The Escapist, Pride and Prejudice, V for Vendetta, Hammer of the Gods, Robin Hood and Conquest 1453.

                Right from the opening track, the fast-paced piano solo, combined with the dramatic orchestral theme suggests that there is more to this movie than just a ghost tale.  According to Benjamin Wallfisch, "what starts out as a ghost story evolves into something much more focused on the human domain, and it was fascinating to find a musical voice to accompany that journey."  In the second track, Baby Twins, one would expect some joyous sounds or playfulness.  Instead the listener is treated to an eerie and dark orchestral mix infused with a sense of impish innocence.  This is followed by Margaret Flees, a fast-paced orchestral music with a sense of danger and urgency.

                There are the usual orchestral tricks to spook the listener like blasts of music, scratching of violin strings and the like (The Twins Separated, Genuinely Dangerous), but there are some genuinely dramatic tracks (Realisation, Isabelle, The Thirteenth Tale, Ghost) that made me wonder about this film.  In doing the research required to write this review, I learned enough about the film to understand that Wallfisch has created the perfect mix of drama and horror for the score of this film.  In listening to The Thirteenth Tale Soundtrack, I couldn't help but find myself wanting to see the film. 

                I'm fairly certain that, in the near future, you will be reading a review of the movie on this site, but for now, check out the brilliant musical score for The Thirteenth Tale composed by Benjamin Wallfisch.  You won't be disappointed.


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