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Soundtrack review: The musketeers (season 2) (Paul Englishby – 2014)


Soundtrack review: The musketeers (season 2) (Paul Englishby – 2014)


“The Musketeers” is a BBC period action drama programme based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas’s novel The Three Musketeers and co-produced by BBC America and BBC Worldwide. In 1630s Paris, Athos, Aramis and Porthos are a group of highly trained musketeers commanded by Captain Treville who meet d’Artagnan, a skillful farm boy with hopes of becoming a musketeer. The series follows them as they fight to protect King and country. The score was written by Paul Englishby and even if the story is completely different, the way he scored “Luther” makes me anticipated this one with joy. We have scores for seasons 2 and 3.
Of course this is a timeless story I grew up with. I have an idea of how I would like the music that accompanies it to sound like and I want the score to get me nostalgic for the hours spent in my bed reading the novels. What the music tells me right from the start is that is a modern adaptation of the old story. Paul Englishby’s enjoyable score for season 2 doesn’t do much to place what’s happening in the 17th century. As the show was made for current audiences the music also needs to keep them connected and alert. I think “Training the villagers” is the only renaissance music like piece from the album.
That being said “The musketeers” is a very solid action adventure score. The way it is written I could never mistake it for something else; I love the easiness with which I can connect with the music and the way it flows without heaviness or filler materials. Listening to this album is like watching a good TV show: there’s action, there’s adventure, there’s tenderness (I can imagine the candle light in “Constance and D’Artagnan”) and, of course, there’s a lot of drama. The score goes from one to the next as the plot of the show dictates and it’s quite exciting to hear.
There’s a lot of fine moments for me to pick from the music of season 2. From the mysterious and dreamy “In the stars” to the thrills in “D’Artagnan rescue mission” to the excitement in “Hail Mary” and the heartbreak in “Athos remembers Milady”. I listen to a lot of scores every day and sometimes I am lacking patience; a composition like “The Musketeers” knows what to do to keep me interested. I feel I’m like  child with a very short attention span and Paul Englishby is the entertainer juggling with colored balls or making funny and scary voices to keep me from getting bored.
The music of season 2 end with an emotional finale (I wish every TV show score had a precise cue like this for the spectacular ending) which makes me curious about season 3 from the musical point of view.
Cue rating: 90 / 100
Total minutes of excellence:
Album excellence:
1_02_the Ravine Sequence
1_04_d’artagnon’s Rescue Mission
1_05_milady And The Jewels
1_07_the Christening
1_08_hail Mary
1_13_aramis And The Queen
1_15_the Aftermath
1_16_training The Villagers
1_19_he Died For His Country

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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