Summer in February (Benjamin Wallfisch)

Final Musings: Benjamin Wallfisch’s romantic score pays fine tribute to his former mentor, Dario Marianelli. What we have hear is a lush, elegant work that builds off of familiar elements in music to express its story. It might fall short on expectations for some, but is definitely one of the more memorable highlights of its year.

Summer in February is one of those British period dramas of the post-Ivory Merchant world, following yet another tragic love triangle. But as recycled a concept it is, people clearly haven’t gotten it sick of it yet. With the success of Downtown Abbey, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see films like this pop up. The production even thought it fit to cast Dan Stevens in what is essentially the same role he played in the popular British soap opera. But aside from the serene landscapes and the chemistry between the actors, there’s nothing much that keeps this from being your average Sunday TV movie, for those who missed their soap.

Well, perhaps with one exception. Film music fans get the music, one of the film’s few redeeming factors. While Benjamin Wallfisch has yet to make his big splash in the film music game, his reputation still precedes him. Hailing from a line of musicians, the British composer established himself from firm classical roots. He went on to score several projects ranging from outstanding swashbuckling music for a stage production of Peter Pan to more modern works like Conquest 1453. But perhaps what he is most known for was his apprenticeship under famed Italian composer, Dario Marianelli, for whom he orchestrated many hit scores (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and Jane Eyre to name a few). This was likely the most influential phase for his career, for this score shows it and may be seen perhaps as his love letter to his former mentor. Read the rest of this entry »