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The Human Stain (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

Rachel Portman, the Academy Award-winning composer of Emma and nominee for The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, has a knack for interpreting dramas. For The Human Stain she weaves a thick web of atmosphere around the story of a New England college professor who suffers under the oppressive weight of a childhood secret. Utilizing the orchestral piano approach that has become her forte, she establishes a brooding melody that deconstructs itself throughout the recording, mirroring the protagonist's road to redemption. While memorable only in relation to the film, Portman has constructed a taut, ominous, and wintry work worthy of her lauded talents.


Born: 11 December 1960 in Haslemere, England

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A British-born composer, Rachel Portman's biggest claim to fame was being the first woman to win an Academy Award (an Oscar, that is) for Best Original Score. The award, which resulted from her work on the 1996 film Emma, wasn't her only chance at the coveted prize. She continued her streak of well-received scores by earning nominations in 1999 and 2000 for Cider House Rules and Chocolat, respectively. Portman's first score, for the film War of the Buttons, appeared in 1994. She went on to write...
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The Human Stain (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), Rachel Portman
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