I first discovered Philippe Rombi
a few years ago when I heard his score for SWIMMING POOL. I was attracted to his music because of its melodic and infectious nature and even in those days likened him to other composers such as Georges Delerue
and Michel Legrand
/a> for example. I always felt that he possessed the ability to work on any type of movie and come up with a score that would be enriching and supportive to the movies needs, his style is melodic and at times grandiose but at times is intimate and affectively emotive. Since hearing SWIMMING POOL and discovering other scores such as LOVE ME IF YOU DARE, the luxurious and haunting ANGEL and the marvellously delicate and poignant music that he penned for RICKY, my initial feeling about the composer has not been altered but has in fact just been confirmed with each and every assignment. My respect for his music and distinctive style has grown and I look forward to every new release of his music. I have since 2008 encountered his work in movies on numerous occasions and have never been disappointed with what I have heard. LA NOUVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS is a superb score and one that I know will become a firm favourite amongst collectors of film music around the globe. Rombi has created a soundtrack that literally ticks all the boxes it is intimate, highly emotional, romantic and also boisterous, comedic and exciting. The compact disc begins with the Main Title or GENERIQUE DEBUT, the composer utilizes a solo horn to commence proceedings and adds to this subtle and delicate use of woods and strings creating a delightful slightly melancholy sounding piece that soon establishes itself and becomes the core of Rombi,s soundtrack. I love the way in which the Maestro combines woods with strings and punctuates both of these elements with delicate and pensive piano that is itself lightly augmented by pizzicato commas and full stops. This opening for the score has a wistful and playful air about it conjuring up summer days and rolling countryside, in many ways this evoked memories of some of James Horner
’s work from movies such as COCOON and the lighter more romantic moments from THE ROCKETEER, it is for want of better terminology a wholesome and carefree sound that will I am sure garner much appreciation from the listener. There is no doubt about it, Philippe Rombi
is a fine composer and he has risen to the challenge on this particular assignment, more so than on others he has been involved with, it is an exuberant sounding score that contains tinges of pathos in places but also contains some of the most elegant and emotive tone poems that I have heard in a while. I was particularly impressed and drawn to track number 6, PAUL ET SIMONE, which is short lived but nevertheless affecting composition, it is a fragile sounding piece that relies upon subtle and light nuances performed on piano and woods that are underlined and held together by strings and made further tantalizing by delicate placing of barely heard chimes. Track number 7, LES LONGEVERNE CONTRE-ATTAQUENT/LE PREMIER BOUTON, is one of the more lengthy cues on the compact disc, and begins with a fanfare of sorts that develops into a full blown proud sounding theme performed by strings and brass, the beginning soon fades away and the composition settles as it were and we are treated to some wonderfully clever writing and orchestration from Rombi, the emphasise again being put upon utilization pizzicato which is masterfully employed to create an atmosphere that is humorous and mischievous plus contains just a touch of apprehension. The cue ends with a crescendo of sorts where the composer combines the strings and brass with a children’s choir, bringing the cue to an almost triumphant sounding conclusion. Overall this is a wonderful score to have in one’s collection and is a gem of a soundtrack from a composer who we all know will return again and again to entertain us with more delights and enthral us with his mesmerizing music.. Packaged marvellously by MUSIC BOX RECORDS, lots of stills, eye arresting cover art and informative notes, Recommended Highly.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
, The Dark Side of Light