All music written by John Barry.
This is a digital recording of the complete 1968 score for THE LION IN WINTER.
Original score composed by John Barry.
Performed by The City Of Prague Philharmonic; Crouch End Festival Chorus; Nic Raine, David Temple (conductor).
Recorded at Smecky Studios, Prague, Czechslovakia and Sony Music Studios, London, England in April 2001. Includes liner notes by Terry Walstrom.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using HDCD technology.
Liner Note Author: Didier C. Deutsch.
Recording information: Cine Tele Sound Studios, London, England (08/1968).
Photographer: E.J. Camp.
Arguably his most ambitious and fully realized work, John Barry's original score to THE LION IN WINTER builds on the instrumental textures and dynamic tensions that characterize his earlier work (the James Bond films and BORN FREE, most notably), but goes beyond them to open a whole new chapter in the composer's evolution. Barry's music seems era-appropriate, yet contemporary, rooted in the dark, Gothic atmosphere of the Middle Ages, and drawing on the period majesty and influence of the Catholic church, the regal air of the period (the film takes place in 12th Century France during the reign of Henry II), and the turbulent emotions of the main character.
Employing a full chorus, Barry uses pentatonic Gregorian chants and Latin texts to ground the music historically, yet counterbalances these with modern-sounding chromatic scales, and passages that combine woodwinds, strings, brass, and percussion. Barry also uses the chorus for scene-specific drama, conjuring beautiful floating harmonies that echo events or emotions. A work of great complexity that supports the film perfectly, yet holds its own as an independent piece of music, A LION IN WINTER may be Barry's finest hour, and it won the Academy Award for Best Original Musical Score.