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Soundtrack Review

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His Dark Materials
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Lorne Balfe
Performed by: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
SILCD1614 (CD), SILED1614 (Download)
Release Date: 20 December 2019

Silva Screen Records are releasing two albums for His Dark Materials. There's the concept album, The Musical Anthology of His Dark Materials as well as this release, The Original Television Soundtrack. Both are composed by Lorne Balfe.

The main themes from His Dark Materials have already been introduced through The Musical Anthology of His Dark Materials. For that concept album the principal themes were reworked, moulded and explored as each character’s theme is on a separate musical journey throughout the series. The themes are never fixed, there are no rules and they are constantly evolving. His Dark Materials original score provides a musical narrative drive across all eight episodes. The album presents the music, including main character themes, as they appear through the series.

Split over 2 discs, His Dark Materials: Original Television Soundtrack contains 33 tracks (1 hr, 26 min, 11 sec). And while there's no filler material here, if I were to only buy one I'd probably opt for the Anthology release as it works more like a musical journey and houses all of the most memorable themes. However, if you've got the money I would advise you to buy both as the Original Television Soundtrack contains many more themes that are worth discovering.

Balfe really has got under the skin of the characters, while managing to capture the atmosphere of the universe created by Philip Pullman. This is more than just a quickly thrown together collection of themes and ideas, Balfe delivers something that is not only an integral part of the show, but also is the project's heart and soul.

There really is something here for everyone, from beautiful, emotional tracks like 'Everyone is Special' to epic blockbuster themes like 'Lorik Breaks Loose'. Fans of the show will not be disappointed.


Darren Rea

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