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Twelfth Night
U.K. Album

American Album

Composed and Produced by:
Shaun Davey

Conducted and Orchestrated by:
Fiachra Trench

Performed by:
The Irish National Film Orchestra

Labels and Dates:
Silva Screen Records
(September 5th, 1996)

Silva Screen Records America
(October 15th, 1996)

Also See:
Much Ado About Nothing

Audio Clips:
2. Illyria (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

13. Antonio's Chase (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

15. The Reluctant Duelists (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

19. The Wind and the Rain (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Both the American and European releases from Silva were commercial products with identical contents, but both are long out of print and could cost you $30 to $45 on the used market.


Twelfth Night
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Used Price: $51.98

Sales Rank: 950365

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Buy it... if you enjoy the very similar flighty lightheartedness of Patrick Doyle's early 1990's scores for Shakespeare adaptations.

Avoid it... if the Bard gives you hives, or if for some reason you're allergic to Shaun Davey's Irish tilt on parts of the score.

Twelfth Night: (Shaun Davey) The mid-1990's were an era for a rediscovery of William Shakespeare on the big screen, thanks mostly to Kenneth Branagh behind and in front of the camera. Whereas the early 1990's seemed obsessed with Jane Austen, Hollywood would be deluged with interpretations of Othello, Richard III, Looking for Richard, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and Branagh's own massive Hamlet within a one-year span in 1995-1996. One of the things that Twelfth Night had going for it at the time was the fact that few well known adaptations had been made of the 1601 Shakespeare text on film. Famed British stage director Trevor Nunn (better recognized for Cats perhaps than his twenty years with the Royal Shakespeare Company) would tackle Twelfth Night in 1996, shifting the setting of the plot from 1600 to 1800, taking advantage of the Cornish countryside, and, more interestingly, adapting a very faithful interpretation of the play into an environment in which he could bring many of the gay and lesbian issues in the story out of the closet. That story is a typical Shakespearian comedy, with confused identities, love triangles, and flighty assumptions all building up over the course of two hours until the usual grand finale in which all identities are revealed, all love interests are settled, and the world is a happy place. Add to the equation several auxiliary characters that serve as comedic departures, and Twelfth Night is a delightful story. Nunn's film, in an effort to remain faithful, however, does have pacing issues, and the running time of the film, teamed with poor publicity (the studio decided to market the film based on the cross-dressing aspect of the story), defied a generally positive critical response and caused the project to blow through the theatres without much success. The big screen adaptations of the Bard were dominated musically by Patrick Doyle in the early 1990's, and though his resume was filled with Shakespearian projects from stage and screen, so was composer Shaun Davey's, who, like Nunn, was a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Davey's writing for Twelfth Night would follow the film's lead in being reluctant to cut production corners. Performances by the Irish National Film Orchestra are appropriately vibrant and exuberant, taking grand melodic stances and doing their best to propel the pace of the film with constant rhythmic movement. It's unclear whether or not Nunn intended Davey to mirror Patrick Doyle's popular writing for the genre, but what Davey has done here is present essentially an extension of Doyle's trademark sound from Much Ado About Nothing, with a touch off Doyle's somewhat appropriate Shipwrecked score into the mix. Woodwinds flutter like flowers in springtime while violins chop effortlessly in high ranges and bouncing rhythms carry both along a pleasant, sunny journey from one crescendo to another. These crescendos accompany (or, more accurately, follow) the grandest lines of each portion of the play, though this interpretation of Twelfth Night does show more action that is simply implied in the original story. Scenes such as the shipwreck at the opening of the film necessitate a more forceful motif, and for this, Davey pulls out a rolling rhythm of menacing stature. Sharing many characteristics with his domineering rhythms in The Tailor of Panama, these forceful cues (including "Antonio's Chase") are equally rich with cymbal-crashing percussion and deep woodwind performances. Low range piano is also similar here, though Davey allows the instrument some romantic solos under dense dialogue. Like any good Doyle score for the genre, Davey hauls off with a triumphant, full-ensemble announcement of his fluffy title theme in the "Twins' Reunion" cue. Some additional spark is added to the film with ensemble songs, including some low key performances by Ben Kingsley himself, until the sexy beast (or Gandhi, however you prefer him) launches into a strangely enjoyable and energetic song ("The Wind and the Rain") with Davey's percussive, Irish tilt on his original score serving as an end title piece. Even in this final piece, Davey maintains a strong identity in his score, a trait that has proven to be among his strongest in his career. Twelfth Night is thus an easy listening experience loyal to the flighty nature of Shakespeare's story. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.42 Stars
Smart Average: 3.33 Stars*
***** 95 
**** 90 
*** 62 
** 45 
* 46 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Hard to find but worth it, IF...
  ddueck -- 10/4/07 (7:55 p.m.)
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 Track Listings (Both Albums): Total Time: 55:10

• 1. I'll Tell Thee a Tale* (0:56)
• 2. Shipwrecked/Illyria (3:53)
• 3. Orsino's Horsemen/The Disguise (4:14)
• 4. The Rose Window/The Food of Love (2:47)
• 5. Cesario's First Walk/Malvolio's Inspection (1:29)
• 6. Sir Andrew's Dance/O Mistress Mine** (1:10)
• 7. Take Away the Fool (2:42)
• 8. Farewell Her Cruelty/Cesario's Charm (3:32)
• 9. O Mistress Mine*** (2:45)
• 10. Lonely Night/Malvolio's Fantasy/Sponge (3:26)
• 11. Cesario's Second Journey (1:32)
• 12. Come Away Death*/Prelude to Act Three (4:05)
• 13. Antonio's Chase (1:34)
• 14. Malvolio Rampant (2:24)
• 15. The Reluctant Duelists (5:22)
• 16. A Witchcraft (1:41)
• 17. I am a Gone Sir* (0:53)
• 18. The Twins' Reunion (4:56)
• 19. The Wind and the Rain* (5:36)

* performed by Ben Kingsley
** performed by Rita Connolly, Valerie Armstrong, Peter Beamish
*** performed by Ben Kingsley and Imelda Staunton

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes notes about Shaun Davey's career and a synopsis of the story.

  All artwork and sound clips from Twelfth Night are Copyright © 1996, Silva Screen Records, Silva Screen Records America. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/2/98 and last updated 4/16/06. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1998-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.