The music that Murray Gold
has written for the Dr Who series is magnificent; it would be hard I think to select any one score and even harder to pick a particular cue that I could name as my favourite or preferred listen. His scores are so varied and fresh, like the series itself. The composer reinvents his music on every outing and maintains a high standard and consistent quality within his vibrant and highly dramatic soundtracks that accompany the Doctor on his time travels encountering strange and often malevolent aliens and beings. This latest release from Silva Screen has made it even more difficult to say this is my favourite cue etc, simply because there is so much music crammed into the two CD set, it includes music from no less than 13 episodes from the seventh series of the programme, and I have to say it is a very impressive collection of tremendously melodic, poignant and also dramatic sounding music. The composer I have always said should be working on big budget movies, his music for Dr Who, surely must have reached the ears of Hollywood film makers or European directors and producers. I was particularly pleased that A TOWN CALLED MERCY was represented on the disc, as I for one enjoyed this immensely. Gold makes more than a gentle nod in the direction of Morricone and also parodies Elmer Bernstein
’s now classic Magnificent seven theme briefly within the six cues that represent this particular episode. He also brings into play a robust and equally expansive sounding western theme which although short lived is certainly attention grabbing, then he launches into a more Italian or spaghetti sound, in the track GUNSLINGERS, which includes choir and horns that are all brought together and underlined by an upbeat backing track giving it a slightly more contemporary atmosphere. Then we have the excellent and haunting cue THE SALVATION OF KAHLER JEX, which has again the sound of spaghetti about it, but also Gold enhances this with his own highly original style to create a piece that makes the listener sit up and take notice, female vocal is supported by sparing use of banjo and percussion, and as the track progresses the composer adds strings and brass plus he increases the tempo and underlines this with rumbling percussive elements which culminates in a rousing and highly effective crescendo of sorts.
The composer’s utilization of voice within his scores for the Dr Who series in particular has created a wonderfully ethereal atmosphere to his music and also has indeed created some magical and at times shuddering and icy moments. I think that this is demonstrated to a higher degree in Gold’s superbly effecting music for THE ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN, this particular score for me demonstrates the composers ability to write quite large scale pieces and also within this episode I felt that he provided a highly vibrant soundtrack that in many ways evoked the work of Jerry Goldsmith
within the action led sections and also echoed the melodic style of John Barry
at the same time. Track number 28, TOGETHER OR NOT AT ALL-THE SONG OF AMY AND RORY is a sheer delight, tender and emotive but in the same instant it is proud and brimming with drama, plus track number 29, GOODBYE POND, is heartbreakingly beautiful and filled with so much emotion and melodic lushness, one cannot fail to be moved by its overwhelming and captivating presence. But let us also not forget to mention the opening section on disc one, ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS,a great storyline for this particular outing of the Doctors most dreaded enemy, and the composer underlines this with a score that reflects perfectly the ominous and fearsome foe that the time lord must face. The opening track, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE, is certainly a dark and fearsome piece, which at times again evokes a certain Barry-esque persona, with Gold employing faraway sounding horns, but in a threatening fashion rather than a subdued or melodic way. Track number 3, DALEK PARLIAMENT is a manic and furious sound, which is urgent and inescapable; strings, percussion and jagged brass combine to generate this wild and uneasy piece. This latest release from Silva Screen is a Dr Who fans dream come true and also a real treat for any film music enthusiast. There are so many themes here, in fact this is a Tardis like release because it is amazing that there is so much musical wealth contained on just two discs. I urge you to buy this it is a treasure trove of thematic excellence, and one that should be in every film music fans collection.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
, The Dark Side of Light