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Album Review

Alexandre Desplat's score for director John Curran's film adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Painted Veil, about a British couple who travel to China in the 1920s, is not specifically Oriental in tone. But it does have a sense of reserve and a contemplative feel much of the time. The dominant soloist is young Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang, although Vincent Segal's electric cello is also given generous solo space. Desplat provides a lovely "River Waltz," played both orchestrally and as a piano piece by Lang. "The Water Wheel" is a percussion-heavy cue with Desplat himself contributing. (He also plays flutes, piano, and keyboards himself on the soundtrack.) "Cholera," a cue coming toward the film's climax, has the repetitive rhythm of a Philip Glass piece, but that's as assertive as Desplat gets in a score that manages to maintain a mood simultaneously restrained and ominous.

Customer Reviews


A must. Fantastic!


Great film that there is no doubt but the soundtrack makes it. So why is it, when you go looking for a song off the film it does not appear on the soundtrack?!! I am referring to A La Claire Fontaine - the french lullaby at the end. Where can I locate this? I want the version from the film. Surely someone can help me... Thanks Grant

Lang Lang fanatic's essential

The beauty and clarity of Lang Lang's performances of the Gnossienne No.1 and The River Waltz are just phenomenal. The man is a genius. Just to compare, listen to the sample of Myleene Klass playing the Gnossienne and see which one you think has an unbelievably greater depth of feeling and emotion transmitted through the keyboard. Myleene is a lovely pianist and I really would recommend some of her other performances which I've bought, but whenever the radio plays her performance of this piece instead of Lang Lang's it is an outrage. A wonderful film but an even more breathtaking soundtrack by the extradordinary Desplat. Try "Girl With A Pearl Earing's" soundtrack if your taken in here by his work. Griet's Theme is exceptional.

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