The Chronicles of Narnia
Music From the BBC Television Series

Composer: Geoffrey Burgon
Silva Screen
RRP: £11.95
SILCD 1199
Available 10 October 2005

Geoffrey Burgon has an impressive reputation as both one of Britain's leading contemporary film and TV composers. This album includes suites from the BBC's
The Chronicles of Narnia (1988), Testament of Youth (1979), Bleak House (1985), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979) and Brideshead Revisited (1981)...

Not that I'm a cynic, or anything. But it's blatantly obvious why this album has been released now - to cash in on the new The Chronicles of Narnia movie.

While I totally understand Silva Screen's marketing ploy, and am glad that a limited amount of Geoffrey Burgon's music has been collected together on one CD, I'm a little disappointed that some of Burgon's more famous work wasn't included.

It would have been a must own album if tracks from his time on Doctor Who, Silent Witness, Cider with Rosie and The Forsyte Saga had been included. And, while I know this album represents "The Television Music of Geoffrey Burgon", it would have been great if some of his score for the Monty Python movie Life of Brian had been included too.

Okay, I know I'm probably being a little greedy, but a Burgon collection is a one off event. It's very unlikely that we'll see another release of his work - which is a great shame - and I can't help thinking that more could have been made of this release. Still, beggars can't be choosers, and this album does present the listener with some fantastic pieces of music.

The album starts with, for me, one of the fondest memories of my younger years. I remember watching the BBC's adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia. With such a large collection of music to chose from across the various adaptations (The Lion, the witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawntreader and The Silver Chair) it's no surprise that tracks had to be left out. However, I found it odd that the end title music (where Aslan appeared) hasn't been included.

The rest of the album includes tracks from Testament of Youth, Bleak House, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Brideshead Revisited. It was a shame, though that only the opening and closing credits for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy are included (a total of just under three minutes of music).

Again, Silva Screen (bless 'em) have spoilt us by releasing this album in Surround Sound. So, crank up your surround sound system, close your eyes and pretend you're sitting in the middle of the orchestra.

Despite the fact that this is blatantly attempt to cash in on the new movie, this album represents some of the finest music that the BBC archives has to offer - so try and ignore the cashing in aspect and enjoy this fine album.

Pete Boomer

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