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Arsène Lupin
Album Cover Art
Composed, Orchestrated, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
Debbie Wiseman

Co-Produced by:
James Fitzpatrick

Performed by:
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Crouch End Festival Chorus
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EMI France
(October 5th, 2004)
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Commercial French release in 2004. No international score release has coincided with the film's wider, international 2005 release. The 2004 album is not carried by soundtrack specialty outlets, but can be bought at Amazon France or U.K. and shipped overseas as an import.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek one of the most engaging, powerful, and thrilling orchestral action scores to be produced in the last decade.

Avoid it... if Gothic styles, deep bass resonance, and relentless brass layers cause you only headaches, no matter their sophistication.
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WRITTEN 2/5/06
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Filmtracks has no record of commercial ordering options for this title. However, you can search for this title at online soundtrack specialty outlets.
Arsène Lupin: (Debbie Wiseman) Despite his anonymity in the United States, Arsène Lupin is a well-known character in Europe. Author Maurice Leblanc created Lupin in a series of twenty novels nearly a century ago, and his popularity since has extended to various television series, film adaptations, and an anime series about Lupin's grandson in Japan. The character is a gentleman thief who serves as France's combination of Batman, Indiana Jones, and James Bond. A rogue trained by his father as a master of disguise and aristocratic manners, he (unlike his father) vows not to kill anyone no matter the circumstances. Falling in love and falling into involvement with perpetual plans of scheming royalists to re-establish the French Monarchy, Lupin leads a life of intrigue and extraordinary beauty in a Gothic environment of shades of black. This 2004 adaptation produced by the U.K., Italy, and France, was directed by Jean-Paul Salomé and released initially in France before opening across the world in 2005. Based on the 1924 novel "The Countess of Cagliostro," Arsène Lupin boasts high production values with its 23-million Euro budget, and one of benefits of that budget is an expansive score by British composer Debbie Wiseman. To see Wiseman's name on advertisements for Arsène Lupin came as a surprise to many Wiseman collectors, but certainly not an unpleasant surprise. Known mostly in England, where she has received considerable recognition for her work, Wiseman remains outside the sphere of mainstream Hollywood. Her music has often fallen closer to the realm of similarly-producing Rachel Portman, with fine melodies often gracing films far less adventuresome and ambitious as Arsène Lupin. For her, this project would prove important not only because of its significant size and scope, but its capability of turning into a franchise of films based on its critical and popular success. In response, she would do what every fan of a rising composer (especially one narrowing the gender gap) would hope for: produce a masterpiece.

Wiseman must have looked at this project with much of the same enthusiasm and heart-pounding anticipation with which Danny Elfman looked at Batman, for both scores are so superior to anything in their budding careers. For Elfman, Batman would become the calling card for his work, and Arsène Lupin should do the same for Wiseman. The success of Wiseman's score is of such a grand and magnificent scale that an attempt to convey all of its assets here would be futile; so remarkable is nearly every aspect of this 70-minute score on album that an intangible sense of accomplishment begins to define its quality at the halfway point. Scores that overwhelm the listener with the beauty of brute power and masterful orchestral distribution are rarely heard in films of the post-2000 era, with Gabriel Yared's rejected score for Troy last year serving as testimony to that fact. But for a world as Gothic as Arsène Lupin, Wiseman pulls out all the plugs and delivers a powerhouse of a score that manages to convey the era of the film (in its instrumentation and Waltz-like rhythms) while also feeding off of all the menacing darkness that a shadowy anti-hero deserves. Immensely satisfying bass, a rambunctious percussion section, and an oversized brass section produce fanfares of sound in Arsène Lupin that avoid the pitfalls of over-density through a perpetual knack for high style. The outright action cues will knock you out in every listen, with "Arsène and Beaumagnan" featuring extraordinarily aggressive rhythms carried by all the various brass players and relentlessly propulsive strings; equally impressive is "Theft of the Crucifix," with a continued assault of brass layers serving as a backdrop for a duel between a cimbalom and anvil. Brass hasn't resonated with this kind of harsh and gripping clarity in a score for years. Low range piano and bass strings provide a boiling and relentless bass region also rare in today's scores.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.95 Stars
***** 284 5 Stars
**** 123 4 Stars
*** 69 3 Stars
** 48 2 Stars
* 48 1 Stars
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Holy crap, it's awesome!
Richard Kleiner - September 15, 2010, at 12:36 p.m.
1 comment  (1544 views)
Purchasing at
Christian Kühn - February 28, 2006, at 8:28 a.m.
1 comment  (2891 views)
Why does Clemm name Zimmer?
ZED - February 20, 2006, at 9:50 p.m.
1 comment  (3098 views)
Alternate review of Arsène Lupin on MMUK   Expand >>
Christian Kühn - February 16, 2006, at 9:18 p.m.
4 comments  (5095 views)
Newest: February 21, 2006, at 6:58 p.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 73:43
• 1. Qui Es-Tu? - performed by 'M' (3:06)
• 2. Arsène Lupin (2:14)
• 3. Le Grand Café; (6:27)
• 4. Arsène Deserted (3:14)
• 5. Casino (1:36)
• 6. The Needle of Etretat (2:50)
• 7. Clarisse et Arsène (1:43)
• 8. Arsène Escapes (2:09)
• 9. Goodbye Mother (3:07)
• 10. Countess Cagliostro (3:29)
• 11. Underwater (3:27)
• 12. Arsène et Beaumagnan (2:04)
• 13. The Ballroom (2:08)
• 14. Theft of the Crucifix (4:13)
• 15. Under the Spell (4:18)
• 16. The Mask of Prince Sernine (2:34)
• 17. Fields of Lupin (4:14)
• 18. The Eighth Star Will Be Divine (4:53)
• 19. The Hollow Needle (1:48)
• 20. Fooled by a Newcomer (3:08)
• 21. Clarisse Wakes (3:34)
• 22. The Blue Lupin (2:38)
• 23. Secret Passage (4:51)

Notes Icon
The insert includes notes from Wiseman (in English) and Salomé (in French) about the score and film.
Copyright © 2006-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Arsène Lupin are Copyright © 2004, EMI France and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/5/06 (and not updated significantly since).
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