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The Chronicles of Narnia

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Album Review

Since this album was released one month in advance of the opening of the 2005 motion picture adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, it is important to note that it does not contain the soundtrack of that film. Nor, actually, does it contain the soundtrack for the 1988 BBC television miniseries version of The Chronicles of Narnia. What it does contain is a seven-part, 13-and-a-half-minute suite of composer Geoffrey Burgon's score for that series, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Burgon in a recording made in January 1992. Also included on the album are similarly produced suites from other British TV miniseries scored by Burgon: Testament of Youth (1979); Bleak House (1985); Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979); and Brideshead Revisited (1981). Thus, the album's title, if not actually deceptive, is at least unfortunate. The subtitle, which can be viewed only on the spine of the CD jewel case, "The Television Scores of Geoffrey Burgon," would have been a better main title, and even better would have been the relatively small-print legend that does appear toward the bottom of the cover, "The Television Music of Geoffrey Burgon." That major disclaimer aside, Burgon proves to be a capable composer on these suites, using the orchestra to create lively, melodic themes that, as must have been necessary to the classy dramas it accompanied, alternates thrilling and soothing moods, but without going to any extremes. The recordings on this album were released previously in 1993 as Silva Screen Records, catalog number 105, under the title Brideshead Revisited: The Television Scores of Geoffrey Burgon, in a different sequence (i.e., with the Brideshead Revisited tracks at the beginning).


Born: 16 July 1941 in Hambledon, Hants

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Burgon studied at the GSM and then worked as a jazz trumpeter. He employs many modern compositional techniques, and his influence by early English church music can...
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