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Soundtrack review: Belle du seigneur (Gabriel Yared – 2011)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Belle du seigneur (Gabriel Yared – 2011)


Gabriel Yared has always been one of the composers I always looked forward to. He is unique for me because of how sensitive and almost innocent his music is. He is in that rare category with the likes of John Barry or Maurice Jarre who can do no wrong when faced with a romantic or dramatic story. Lately he’s been out of the Hollywood spotlight… But he’s the guy who gave us “The English patient” or “The talented Mr. Ripley”, “Autumn in Paris” or “Message in a bottle” (the last two being doomed love stories) and a gorgeous rejected score for “Troy”. Afterwards he focused more on French and independent movies. Some say it was after the untimely passing of the director he worked with the most, Anthony Mingella.

“Belle du seigneur” is a movie based on a famous book about a troubled love affair in Switzerland in the 1930s. It stars Jonathan Rhys Myers and Natalia Vodianova. The composer welcomes us with a stunningly beautiful waltz which just sweeps me into a dream land. The craft of the composer makes this piece sound dark and fragile in the same time. It’s one of those themes so beautiful you are left with your mouth slightly opened and a different beat of your heart. The story depicted here is sad… “Solal deguise” is dark and mysterious as the deep of the sea.

Gabriel Yared’s music is almost like a lecture in orchestral beauty. He makes the most of every instrument, he gets the soloists to play with each other and take turns into the spotlight. The string solos, the piano or clarinet inserts and the flute moments make the experience of listening to “Belle du seigneur” feel just like walking through the most beautiful garden where all sorts of unexpected flowers appear. You want to walk very careful as to not disturb them or make them aware of your presence. The wonders will never cease in this score and each separate cue has its own special scent.

“Danse” is a cue to get lost in. “Maison stresa” could be just one of those flashes of intense passion each of us gets, a storm that passes as quickly as it started. The theme for Isolde is innocent and almost magic in sound, as if it wasn’t written from the composer’s perspective but from the one of her lover. There’s something surreal about this cue. “Le bal” is once again chokingly beautiful. Imagine every ball scene you ever read about and tell me that the music you thought of was different than this cue. Fans or symphonic wonders will be charmed by this one.

This is one of the scores that define the expression “music is a universal language”. Everyone can enjoy a cue like “Ariane sul L’ile” and I’m sure 90% of the people who hear it will understand the same thing and will feel the same emotion. This is simply beautiful music that can silence everything around it.

It would have been a terrible shame for a gem like “Belle du seigneur” to remain forever hidden. Caldera records did film music a great favor by releasing this score. It is one of the most beautiful I’ve heard in a while and it makes me miss Gabriel Yared’s more active presence even more. This score served as a reminder of what a great composer he is and it will make me revisit my old favorites from him. If you like beautiful symphonic music, ”Belle du seigneur” might make you rethink your standards.

Cue rating: 94 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 32 / 46

Album excellence: 69%


  1. Générique Début
  2. Solal Déguisé
  3. Maison Stresa
  4. Isolde
  5. Le Bal
  6. Retrouvailles Solal & Ariane
  7. Ariane Sur L’ile
  8. Cheval Plage
  9. Ile
  10. Générique Fin



Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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