Favourite Soundtracks No.1: ‘Isabel’



Now that I’ve mastered the posting of chunks from my own soundtrack collection, I thought you might like a little accompanying music every now and again (yes, this site caters for all your needs. I’d feed you if I could. I’m a natural nurturer. Please tell your friends).

So, themes in motion pictures – they’re not very popular anymore. They were once, of course, from John Barry’s theme for ‘Zulu’ to Maurice Jarre’s theme for ‘Doctor Zhivago’. Whistle one theme from the past five years, go on. That’s if you’re a whistler (I am – it’s probably a very irritating habit). It doesn’t count if you just whistled the catchy theme from ‘Kill Bill’ because that was by Bernard Herrmann and nicked from a British movie he scored while in exile here called ‘Twisted Nerve’. Today’s emphasis is on songs, so we have the Oscar-winning ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen’ and ‘Happy’ from ‘Despicable Me 2’, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but woven orchestral themes, with perhaps half a dozen knitting themselves through a score, are clearly harder to create when scenes are being reordered to suit demographic exit-polls.

Whether Hollywood is more advanced than the rest of the world in giving audiences what they want, or whether it’s fallen sadly behind, european cinema scores still have themes. Here’s one scored for the Spanish TV series ‘Isabel’, which just premiered on Sky with subtitles (the DVD has none, apparently). The theme arrives at the end, an instant classic – the whole album is stunning. I’m taking suggestions.

7 comments on “Favourite Soundtracks No.1: ‘Isabel’”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    The sound track from Frozen is now the largest selling album, worldwide, of all time – I’ve read. The instant I heard Let It Go I knew the young granddaughter would have to see the picture and that the lead song had been built to be an instant anthem. Like it or not, it is and can really can grab a lot of people. Young girls twirl to it, older ones are probably dancing and Martha Graham-ing in front of mirrors in their rooms. Near marketing genius.
    The Laura theme from Doctor Z took over our family for years.
    We had a huge collection of show and movie soundtracks and it would have been a great resale, if my Father had ever remembered to clean and change the needle. Gigi was also a hit in our house.

  2. Jo W says:

    It’s like when at a gig and someone asks for requests,suddenly I can’t think of any particular piece of film music. But please continue with the nurturing,Admin, especially if it includes those nice biscuits!

  3. agatha hamilton says:

    No mention of Ennio Morricone? ‘Once upon a Time in America’? ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’? ‘Cinema Paradiso’?

  4. Chris McCall says:

    I’ve been a fan of Christopher Young’s scores and love to play his Hellraiser soundtrack when I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. The Wickerman soundtrack has been a firm fave for many a long year…way.before The League of Gentlemen popularised the whole UK seventies horror stuff, (not that this was ever a bad thing of course). The Mission is always a reliable fall back when I need to zone out

  5. Vivienne says:

    It is really interesting how theme music, delivered initially with the visual film, makes such an impact. I don’t somehow think I am the most musical person, but those themes get into the brain and are stored much more strongly than just music, I find. Yes, who could not remember Lara’s theme. I went last year to a showing of Dr Zhivago. There were only about 20 people in the cinema, as it was midday and part of a Valentine Day special. I was the only person who seemed to need tissues, the rest of them were stoical. I think I cried all through.

    Whistling is a sadly declining art.
    BUT do you know that whistling alert some phones have for messages? It’s like someone whistling for their dog. How can anyone tolerate that? Brings whistling into disrepute.

  6. Ken Mann says:

    49th Parallel is one I return to a lot. You’ve already mentioned Bernard Hermann – his Fahrenheit 451 is one of the great pieces of music of the 20th century. The opening titles of the TV series Millennium by Mark Snow have stayed with me too.

  7. Ken Mann says:

    Good heavens, and I forgot listening to the radio show “On a Note of Triumph” with music by Bernard Hermann. “Post proofs that brotherhood is not so wild a dream as those who profit by postponing it pretend….”

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