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George Fenton - Anna and the King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1999)

Posted By: Efgrapha
George Fenton - Anna and the King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1999)

George Fenton - Anna and the King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1999)
EAC | FLAC (Tracks) + cue.+log ~ 292 Mb | Mp3, CBR320 kbps ~ 136 Mb | Scans ~ 50 Mb
Soundtrack, Score | Label: LaFace Records | # 73008-26075-2 | Time: 00:58:29

George Fenton delivers on his soundtrack for Anna and the King with an instrumental score that deftly mixes sweeping orchestrations with ethnic percussion. The main theme "Arrival at the Palace" begins with a very exotic violin solo that quickly blossoms into an epic orchestral movement seemingly ready to crescendo at a moment's notice (and it does!). Shorter cues such as "Letter of the Week" and "The House" are passages that perfectly convey the movie's exoticism and its melancholic moods. Throughout, Fenton's music seems to balance between excitement and sadness–the perfect sonic interpretation of The King and I's classic tale. Obviously, many folks will turn to this soundtrack for Joy Enriquez's Babyface-produced single "How Can I Not Love You," included at the very beginning of this disc. One hopes they'll stick around long enough to enjoy the film's score, one of Fenton's very best.

Review by Jason Verlinde

Not deterred by an atrocious animated version of the same classic tale from the previous year, director Andy Tennant's 1999 dramatic interpretation enjoyed a strong cast, lush settings, and an outstanding score. Most memories of the tale on the screen revolve around the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, and while all the versions maintain the same inspiration, differences in the tellings exist. Anna and the King, the most massive of those depictions, was close enough to the Anna Leonowens story to get the film famously banned in Tailand. Her claim to fame, of course, is her hiring by King Mongkut of Siam to educate his son in Western culture. Upon her arrival with her own son, her feminist, English attitude stirs up cultural difficulties immediately, and despite the troubles she causes, a suggested and unrealized romance materializes between her and the king. The casting of foreign action legend Chow Yun-Fat was the film's coup, allowing the immensely popular actor to not only stretch his talents into a new genre, but also help market the film overseas. The story, in the end, is a double love affair, not only involving Anna and the king, but also his concubine. Both exude tragedy by necessity, and George Fenton latches firmly onto these two romances in his thematic identity for his highly acclaimed score for the film. How Fenton, already an Academy Award nominated composer, managed to avoid an Oscar nomination for Anna and the King is one of the greater mysteries of the digital era of AMPAS failings, for the score has all the makings of the massively tear-jerking orchestral dramas that have long been a favorite in Hollywood. For fans of the British composer, Anna and the King would be a remarkable preview of the robust orchestral majesty often heard in Fenton's subsequent works for nature-related documentaries. Many sections of this score, if stripped of its ethnic instrumentation, would be largely indistinguishable from the flowing, romantic portions of The Blue Planet, Deep Blue, and other similar efforts for Fenton in the 2000's.

Fenton wastes no time introducing listeners to his three major ideas and shorter motifs in "Arrival at the Palace," a piece that immediately strikes a fine balance between the Western orchestra and the myriad of Eastern specialty instruments. While the erhu and a variety of percussion will be most prominent in their representation of Siam, Fenton maintains a faint Eastern flavor in even the less obvious places, making Anna and the King a more challenging alternative to a score like Kitaro's Heaven & Earth (though without the vocal effects). Fenton's title theme, after its monumental performance at the outset of the titles, is largely overshadowed by the two dominant love themes. Perhaps the more alluring of the two romances is the somewhat infrequently stated theme for concubine. Introduced in "Tuptim" and developed slightly in "The Rice Festival," this theme receives an utterly heartbreaking performance at the outset of "The Execution." The other theme (for the two primary characters) is rooted in piano and presented with reservations in "I Am King, I Shall Lead," "Flowers on the Water," and "Moonlit Beach" before erupting in three late cues. Between the intoxicating piano-led ensemble performances in "The Execution," "Anna Returns," and "I Have Danced With a King," some of Fenton's finest (if not the finest) romance work is put to the task. This despite the theme's similarity to parts of Fenton's 84 Charing Cross Road in 1986. Regardless of the individual strengths of Dangerous Beauty and Ever After in the previous two years, Fenton excels with his romance writing in Anna and the King to levels far beyond those previous efforts. The grace with which he addresses both the affections of the heart and gravity of the throne (and the worshipping of the king) is remarkably accomplished. Fenton achieves the sense of weight for the latter through his ability to use the timpani and brass section as effective bass dwellers; Anna and the King is remarkably heavy in the bass region despite relying significantly on solo woodwind or erhu performances in the treble to provide the enchantment.

The superior mixing of the score is also an important factor in its successful balancing act. The secondary love theme performance in "Tuptim" is provided with a lovely duet between flute and erhu that is mixed brilliantly over the ensemble. Light metallic percussion is provided an enhanced role due to this attention to detail, and floats many of the more subdued moments. Two other parts of the score need mentioning, and while neither is particularly memorable compared to the previously mentioned sections, Fenton adeptly executes them. The three or four action pieces in Anna and the King, spanning "Rajah Attack," "Betrayed," and "The Bridge," are resounding in their percussive force. The two dance pieces, "Anniversary Polka" and part of "I Am King, I Shall Lead," aren't as blatantly obnoxious as much of the source music written for the era. Finally, the song over the end credits has been widely considered a decent counterpart to the score, though it's difficult to reconcile the Disney pop song sound from Joy Enriquez with Fenton's score. The primary love theme is so well performed by the ensemble in the remainder of the score that the pop version, while still maintaining most of the structure of Fenton's idea, is both cheap and irritating. Aside from that song (unfortunately placed at the beginning of the almost hour-long album), Anna and the King is an outstanding and consistent listening experience. The merging of the two love themes in "The Execution" is one of the single highlights of 1999 film scoring, and Fenton's effort as a whole won a place on most of the top-5 or top-10 lists for the year. While romantic mergings of Western orchestra and themes with Eastern instruments had reached the steps of perfection before (Heaven & Earth) and would do so again later (Klaus Badelt's The Promise), Fenton's distinct style lends its own credibility. He does not rely on synthesizers to create the sounds of blowing wind or altered vocals in Anna and the King; instead, the beauty of his work is consistent with more traditional majesty you'd expect to hear for the era.

Editorial review by FilmTracks.com

George Fenton - Anna and the King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1999)


~ George Fenton at Allmusic
~ George Fenton at Wiki

~ Film at IMDB
~ Film at Wiki

Tracklist:

01. How Can I Not Love You (04:34)
02. Arrival At The Palace (Main Theme Title) (06:00)
03. Meeting The Children (01:32)
04. Tuptim (01:32)
05. Letter Of The Week (01:38)
06. The House (01:38)
07. The rice Festival (04:23)
08. Rajah Attack (00:58)
09. Anniversary Polka (03:20)
10. "I Am King, I Shall Lead" (02:28)
11. Flowers On The Water (04:22)
12. Moonlit Beach (01:42)
13. Betrayed (01:52)
14. Chowfa's Death (01:28)
15. The Execution (04:19)
16. Anna Returns (03:44)
17. The Bridge (06:42)
18. "I Have Danced With A King" (06:17)


Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 10. June 2012, 18:59

George Fenton / Anna And The King

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Track 9

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Track 14

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Track 15

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Track 16

Filename F:\torrent\Anna And The King_George Fenton\score\16 Anna Returns.wav

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Track 17

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Track 18

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All tracks accurately ripped

No errors occurred

End of status report

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05 [1891c55e] (00/12) No match (V2 was not tested)
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07 [31eed901] (00/12) No match (V2 was not tested)
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Track Peak [ CRC32 ] [W/O NULL] [ LOG ]
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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2014-04-11 20:35:44

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: George Fenton / Anna And The King
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR9 -0.34 dB -11.51 dB 4:36 01-How Can I Not Love You (Joy Enriquez)
DR12 -0.20 dB -16.76 dB 6:03 02-Arrival At The Palace (Main Title)
DR11 -5.45 dB -21.52 dB 1:34 03-Meeting The Children
DR11 -3.97 dB -20.65 dB 1:33 04-Tuptim
DR10 -0.10 dB -15.70 dB 1:41 05-Letter Of The Week
DR12 -0.10 dB -20.12 dB 1:41 06-The House
DR12 -0.10 dB -18.34 dB 4:26 07-The Rice Festival
DR12 -0.10 dB -17.60 dB 1:00 08-Rajah Attack
DR13 -1.00 dB -17.70 dB 3:23 09-Anniversary Polka
DR12 -0.10 dB -17.99 dB 2:31 10-'I Am King, I Shall Lead'
DR14 -0.11 dB -24.06 dB 4:24 11-Flowers On The Water
DR11 -0.13 dB -18.69 dB 1:42 12-Moonlit Beach
DR13 -0.10 dB -17.96 dB 1:55 13-Betrayed
DR11 -5.28 dB -19.11 dB 1:31 14-Chowfa's Death
DR12 -0.11 dB -15.49 dB 4:22 15-The Execution
DR10 -0.10 dB -15.02 dB 3:47 16-Anna Returns
DR13 -0.10 dB -17.44 dB 6:44 17-The Bridge
DR12 -0.10 dB -17.72 dB 6:18 18-'I Have Danced With A King'
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 18
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 644 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

George Fenton - Anna and the King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1999)

George Fenton - Anna and the King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1999)

All thanks to original uploader - Sarant

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