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To Olivia
(2021)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Orchestrated, and Produced by:
Debbie Wiseman

Conducted by:
John Andrews
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Decca Classics
(February 4th, 2021)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Commercial digital release in the United States, with a CD option available from Decca as an import for $20.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE





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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if Debbie Wiseman's soft romantic lyricism is a consistent winner for you, this work offering her melodic charm with highly restrained but alluring grace.

Avoid it... if you find it challenging to embrace dramatic character scores that exhibit extremely slow pacing, sparse symphonic depth, and solemn introspection.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,996
WRITTEN 5/16/21
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Wiseman
Wiseman
To Olivia: (Debbie Wiseman) While many children and parents alike appreciate the impact of novelist Roald Dahl in his famously macabre but still kindhearted stories, the man's personal life was anything but smooth. While married to lead actress Patricia Neal in the 1960's, the couple suffered the tragedy of losing one of their daughters to measles, and this event caused extraordinary stress in their marriage and led Dahl to spend his lifetime advocating for vaccinations. The 2021 British film To Olivia, distributed via Sky Cinema in the United Kingdom and later America for streaming only, concentrates on the 1962-1963 time period involving the tragedy and triumphs of the family as they lose the daughter and reconcile with renewed purpose. The movie was met with only marginal praise, in part because it largely ignores the more controversial aspects of Dahl's life in favor of more sympathetic characteristics; the man's notorious antisemitism and other bigotry severely damaged his reputation by the 1980's, and Neal split from him and lived another two decades after Dahl's death in 1990. Director John Hay hasn't fashioned a particularly successful career, but film score enthusiasts remain grateful to him for providing continued feature film work for British composer Debbie Wiseman. A versatile throwback to the masters of lyricism from a prior age, Wiseman burst onto the scene in the 1990's with several notable dramatic film scores, carrying over into the 2000's with outstanding orchestral action and fantasy work for Arsène Lupin and Lesbian Vampire Killers. Her romantic side often prevails in her work, however, and her lovable music for Hay's The Truth About Love remains a hidden gem that rivals the best of Rachel Portman's airy music of the period. She spent most of the 2010's writing classical pieces and the scores for somewhat B-rate television series, with the occasionally pretty but underwhelming Edie serving as her only feature credit in the latter half of the decade. For Wiseman enthusiasts, To Olivia is an enticing dose of nostalgia; with the composer in only her late 50's, there is always hope that she will shift to mainstream cinema once again, and this work is a small step in that direction. The trademark lyricism of Wiseman's past continues in To Olivia but with extreme restraint. This is music dominated by introspection, so while the orchestral base of the work is broadly solid, don't expect the same lofty ensemble highlights or expansive dynamism of Wiseman's past highlights.


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VIEWER RATINGS
81 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.32 Stars
***** 13 5 Stars
**** 23 4 Stars
*** 27 3 Stars
** 13 2 Stars
* 5 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS
Total Time: 49:20
• 1. To Olivia (3:10)
• 2. Gus, the Giant and the Peach (3:13)
• 3. An Everlasting Gobstopper and a Shivery Smile (3:43)
• 4. The Film Star and the Fairy Tribute (1:14)
• 5. Only Trying to Be Nice (1:41)
• 6. You're an Idiot (1:09)
• 7. A Message for the Kids (1:21)
• 8. An Emergency Like Now (2:29)
• 9. Not Allowed to Say Her Name (2:49)
• 10. Everybody Hold Hands (1:48)
• 11. Gone For a Walk (2:52)
• 12. You Fix Things, Roald (4:03)
• 13. Sorry a Second Time (5:18)
• 14. Twisted in a Good Way (2:16)
• 15. People Always Say That at the End (3:19)
• 16. We All Become Stories (1:36)
• 17. Rough on Everybody (3:51)
• 18. And the Oscar Goes To... (3:28)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes notes about the score from both the composer and the director.
Copyright © 2021, 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 To Olivia are Copyright © 2021, Decca Classics and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/16/21 (and not updated significantly since).
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