Wiseman's reputation for melodic, stirring film music has grown
in stature continuously since 1994, when her first score for
the turbulent story based on T. S. Elliot's first marriage,
Tom And Viv, projected her into the limelight. Since
then she has gained many accolades, including a nomination for
an Ivor Novello Award in 1997 for her magnificent score for
Wilde, starring Stephen Fry. She has also written some
highly memorable scores and themes for television productions,
such as Warriors and Judge John Deed. With many
new projects already completed in 2002, it is therefore fitting
and perhaps well overdue that a collection of her themes should
be released. This collection is both retrospective, including
cues from previous projects and progressive, including cues
from very recent scores.
The opening cue
is 'Wilde West' from Wilde. This is a probably the best
cue from the film, a wonderful, lyrical piece of music which
charmingly cannot decide whether it is set in Ireland or Utah,
but comfortable in both. The score for Wilde is revisited towards
the end of the album with a forceful, dramatic rendition of
the main theme. The second cue is from a 2002 Hallmark production,
My Life As A Fairy Tale: Hans Christian Andersen, in
which the composers gentle, but firm style produces a varied
and fascinating preview into what must be a wonderful score.
Also produced in 2002, Before You Go stars Julie Walters
and has an elegant, up-lifting and airy Bach-feel theme. The
score for Tom & Viv, is a gentle, pensive piece which
later becomes more serious and dark as Vivienne's mental health
'Judge John Deed'
(2001) was a captivating television drama series about an unconventional
English judge, played by Martin Shaw. The series was made even
more special by Debbie Wiseman's stunning march-like theme that
echoed throughout each of the programmes supplying pageantry
to the Judge's sometimes-nefarious activities. With the mini
TV series about Bosnia peacekeepers, 'Warriors', the composer
received the RTSA Best Original Score award for a haunting score
that encompasses hope and despair in a magnificent violin-led
theme. Haunted has a romantic but unsettling atmosphere
set around a lovely melodic theme. Other recent projects included
in the selection are the infectious music from the films, Simon:
An English Legionnaire and Tom's Midnight Garden
and the emotional score for the TV production of 'Othello' and
the delightful romp for 'My Uncle Silas'
The final cue is
a 17-minute rendition of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale,
'The Ugly Duckling', narrated by Nigel Havers and set to Debbie
Wiseman's music. While this is a splendid work, it is a strange
bedfellow with the other dramatic and sensitive music in this
collection and by its nature would only merit the occasional
play, unlike the preceding cues which deserve far more air time.
It might have been preferable to leave the narration to a separate
album and just include the lovely music.
The music on this
album is an outstanding display of Debbie Wiseman's talent,
demonstrating her wonderfully lyrical and dynamic approach to
scoring. It is also a unique opportunity to gain some wonderful
music, like that from 'Judge John Deed', not otherwise available.
Music From The Movies