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The Duchess
(2008)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:

Conducted by:
David Snell

Co-Orchestrated by:
Jeff Atmajian

Performed by:
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Lakeshore Records
(September 16th, 2008)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
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AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you've been longing to hear Rachel Portman's romantic string writing of the 1990's once again, even if it breaks absolutely no new ground.

Avoid it... even though you've enjoyed Portman's classics of the 1990's if you're looking for a score that takes that trademark sound in any significantly fresh direction.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,156
WRITTEN 10/10/08
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Portman
Portman
The Duchess: (Rachel Portman) Films like The Duchess, just the latest entry in a series of British period dramas that goes back decades, seemingly regurgitate the same basic plot elements and production values with only one thing in mind nowadays: Oscar gold. There is no doubt that Saul Dibb's 2008 film is one such arthouse venture with aspirations of mainstream success. Unfortunately, it is the kind of film that is best suited to be one of the many similar BBC television entries, despite its lavish art direction and costume design. The story tells of the plight of the Duchess of Devonshire in 18th Century England, a time and place that doesn't smile upon the kind of liberties that she seeks to explore in another otherwise male-dominated culture. The story contains many of the elements of a common romance novel, and there's enough naked flesh in the final edit to prove it. Unfortunately, there's really nothing new to be seen in The Duchess, begging for questions about exactly what was supposed to make this production different from its peers. This criticism extends without question to Rachel Portman's score. One of the great disappointments in the world of film music in the 2000's has been the decline of Portman's output after becoming the first female composer to win an Academy Award in 1996 and redefine the romance genre in much the same way that John Barry had accomplished in the 1980's. Her voice was distinct and reliable, establishing a strong group of supporters with her lush string-dominated sensibilities and passionate themes. After 2000's The Legend of Bagger Vance, her assignments became more varied in genre and the intensity of that romantic sound was largely lost. Two relatively weak scores in 2006 and no activity in 2007 is followed finally by The Duchess, a score that bridges the days of her late 1990's conventions with some of the darker material she explored in 2005's Oliver Twist. Fans of the composer will be pleased by this turn of events, even if she breaks absolutely no ground in this effort. Conversely, detractors of that same career sound of Portman should be warned. If ever there was a score that met every expectation and didn't really need a review, it would be something like this.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
366 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.25 Stars
***** 87 5 Stars
**** 84 4 Stars
*** 82 3 Stars
** 62 2 Stars
* 51 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Duchess reviewed on "the Score Blog"
Timothy - December 27, 2008, at 3:34 p.m.
1 comment  (1564 views)
Alternate review of The Duchess at Movie Music UK
Jonathan Broxton - October 14, 2008, at 9:19 a.m.
1 comment  (1762 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 42:00
• 1. The Duchess (1:41)
• 2. Mistake of Your Life (3:27)
• 3. I Think Of You All the Time (3:41)
• 4. No Mood for Conversation (0:59)
• 5. Gee and Grey Make Love (1:57)
• 6. Gee and Grey Together in Bath (2:57)
• 7. German Dance in D Major - written by Ludwig van Beethoven (3:16)
• 8. Awakening (1:25)
• 9. Rape (1:53)
• 10. Bess's Sons (2:03)
• 11. Gee Gives Up Baby (1:33)
• 12. Six Years Later (2:33)
• 13. Some Things Too Late, Others Too Early (1:06)
• 14. Adagio from String Quartet in D Major - written by Joseph Haydn (5:49)
• 15. Never See Your Children Again (2:02)
• 16. Grey Comes Back (1:53)
• 17. Gee is Taken to the Country (1:37)
• 18. End Titles (2:08)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2008-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Duchess are Copyright © 2008, Lakeshore Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/10/08 (and not updated significantly since).
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