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Vanity Fair (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

William Makepeace Thackeray's satire Vanity Fair (first published in magazine installments, 1874-78) is a "Novel Without a Hero," as its subtitle proclaims, but it is not without a villain who has her reasons: Becky Sharp is a young woman lacking a fortune or a position in British society in the first half of the 19th century and is forced to make her way on her wits while happily unencumbered by scruples or morals. She is, in Thackeray's view, the ideal person in a world full of hypocrisy and materialism. In a contemporary world she is scarcely less so. Director Mira Nair might have attempted a modern version for her film adaptation, but she chose instead to go back to the original setting and cast Reese Witherspoon as Sharp. That compels composer Mychael Danna to write music in the style of the day, which means orchestral scores with classical and romantic antecedents, as well as chamber music. She sets poems by Lord Byron and Alfred, Lord Tennyson to tunes and has them sung by Sissel and Custer LaRue, respectively. She references Beethoven and Haydn, and even flirts anachronistically with Tchaikovsky when she gets to the battle of Waterloo. There isn't much suggestion of Thackeray's social criticism, at least in the music; the composer seems to have concentrated on matching the scenery and the costumes. Toward the end, there are a couple of Indian songs, "El Salaam," by Hakim, and "Gori Re," sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Richa Sharma, that come as a surprise and seem out of place.

Customer Reviews

A Great Soundtrack

I loved the movie Vanity Fair (i'm actually watching it right now), but the best part is the music. Nicholas Dodd did a great job. My favorite song is "Becky and Amelia Leave School" the mellody in this song carries through out the movie. If you enjoy classical music, then this soundtrack is for you.


This album was fantastic! It was truly perfect for this fabulous movie that explors love, lust, ambition, and art! This album, by Nicolas Dodd exceeded all ym expectations & made my heart soar! It was, and still is, a pleasure to hear time and time again! Buy it, you won't regret it!

to Gori Re

I have bought just one track from this album: "Gori Re" by Richa Sharma and Shankar Mahadevan. Its truly a vibrant yet soulful Rajasthani Composition.


Born: September 20, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Composer/keyboardist Mychael Danna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and showed musical talent early in life. Singing and piano lessons defined his childhood and early adolescence, but a hand injury at age 14 ended his piano career. Danna switched over to synthesizer instead and concentrated on his composing skills. After earning a degree in composition from the University of Toronto and winning the prestigious Glenn Gould Composition Award his final year there, Danna began his film scoring career,...
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Vanity Fair (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), Mychael Danna
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: Aug 31, 2004

Customer Ratings