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The English Patient
Album Cover Art
Composed by:

Conducted by:
Harry Rabinowitz

Performed by:
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Produced by:
Robert Randles
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Fantasy Records
(November 26th, 1996)
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Regular U.S. release.
Winner of an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you were emotionally touched by the depictions of sorrow, alienation, and fate in the film and seek its appropriately somber and understated score.

Avoid it... if you expect the story's tragic romanticism to have any coherent organization on album, for Gabriel Yared's aimlessly wandering score and the plethora of source material causes a significantly disjointed listening experience.
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WRITTEN 12/29/96, REVISED 2/17/08
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The English Patient: (Gabriel Yared) In a year of mediocrity and undemanding blockbusters, Anthony Minghella's The English Patient swept through the Academy Awards in 1996 with superb acting performances highlighting a strong adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's lauded novel. The narrative of the film tells of two love stories intertwined in the 1930's and 1940's, fantastically shot against the backdrop of North Africa and Italy. The film shifts between the past, present, and future at a whim, and requires the extremely compelling performances of Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, and Willem Dafoe to sustain interest in a romantic tragedy that unfolds without immediate synchrony. To say that The English Patient is tragic would be an understatement; the film takes melodrama to a level not often achieved, and don't expect the minimal redemption at the end of the film to salvage your mood. Minghella considered the music for The English Patient quite extensively before production began; his taste for various classical and folk music would assist in shaping the film's multicultural influences. He would look towards Western classicism of a Baroque style on one side while also exploring Hungarian folk music that, for most common listeners, is indistinguishable from the perception of Arabic or North African music. He assembled several pieces along these lines for source usage in the film, while his wife, who coordinated the dance sequences for The English Patient, suggested the swing songs that would also be used as source material for the production. The director placed the same level of importance on the underscore that would tie all of these ideas together; he claims that the only composer he had in mind from the conceptual step of the production was Gabriel Yared, the Lebanese-born classical-style artist working in France on internationally obscure romances at the time. After hiring Yared, Minghella insisted that the composer be a part of early production and attend various shooting sessions. He also instructed Yared to adapt and integrate the sounds of both the Baroque and Hungarian elements into his work, all the while infusing modern romanticism into the love story.

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Average: 3.12 Stars
***** 451 5 Stars
**** 516 4 Stars
*** 692 3 Stars
** 524 2 Stars
* 290 1 Stars
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The English Patient Formula
Bruno Costa - November 29, 2010, at 4:47 a.m.
1 comment  (1507 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 75:11
• 1. The English Patient (3:30)
• 2. A Retreat (1:21)
• 3. Rupert Bear (1:22)
• 4. What Else Do You Love? (1:00)
• 5. Why Picton? (1:04)
• 6. Cheek to Cheek - performed by Fred Astaire (3:15)
• 7. Kip's Lights (1:24)
• 8. Hana's Curse (2:06)
• 9. I'll Always Go Back to That Church (1:48)
• 10. Black Nights (1:53)
• 11. Swoon, I'll Catch You (1:47)
• 12. Am I K. In Your Book? (0:55)
• 13. Let Me Come In! (2:35)
• 14. Wang Wang Blues - performed by Benny Goodman (2:47)
• 15. Convento Di Sant'Anna (9:09)
• 16. Herodotus (1:04)
• 17. Muzsikás - performed by Márta Sebestyén/Szerelem, Szerelem (4:32)
• 18. Ask Your Saint Who He's Killed (1:04)
• 19. One O'Clock Jump - performed by Benny Goodman (3:10)
• 20. I'll Be Back (4:00)
• 21. Let Me Tell You About Winds (0:55)
• 22. Read Me To Sleep (4:56)
• 23. The Cave Of Swimmers (1:55)
• 24. Shepheard's Hotel Jazz Orchestra -- Where or When (source) (2:14)
• 25. Aria from The Goldberg Variations - performed by Julie Steinberg (2:57)
• 26. Cheek to Cheek - performed by Ella Fitzgerald (3:42)
• 27. As Far as Florence (5:16)
• 28. Én Csak Azt Csodálom (Lullaby for Katharine) (1:07)

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The insert contains lengthy notes about the score and the film. Of his work on The English Patient, Yared has observed:

"Anthony Minghella, whose musical knowledge is refined and wide-ranging, gave me a task that would be enormously difficult for any composer: to attempt to equal or at least replace the great Bach of the Aria from the Goldberg Variations. But Anthony's requirements and his confidence in me got the better of my modesty. For the other themes, likewise, he knew when I needed complete autonomy. What I would wish for the future of cinema is that all directors --present-day and to come-- might be as enlightened, demanding, and sensitive as Anthony."
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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The English Patient are Copyright © 1996, Fantasy Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/29/96 and last updated 2/17/08.
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