Rapture Soundtrack Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 30th November 2011.
For many people, Georges Delerue is something of an acquired taste – at once charming and melodic, but also indefinably European and romantic. His light touch is deceptive, however. Simple harmonies and beautiful orchestration mask sudden depths of emotion and wells of darkly psychological resonance. His work for John Guillermin's little-seen 60's treasure, Rapture, embodies this gift for simple musical eloquence and devastating drama perfectly. One of his earliest international film scores, this is also a tremendous introduction to a style that he would make his own.

Intrada's release of this complete score is something of a revelation. I wasn't aware of the intimate and haunting melodrama screenwritten by Stanley Mann until this CD was was announced … but the music is so seductive and hypnotic that the rarely seen production has surely gained the summit of my wanted list, and the score has been played a great number of times already since its arrival.

The lyrical main theme for the troubled Agnes is exquisite, but it is how Delerue is able to slyly coerce it through dark quagmires of tension and the fragile layers of a disturbed young mind to create a canvas that is delightfully beguiling, and yet full of spectral menace. He captures the delicate balancing act that the trapped Agnes is performing and serenades the tragic consequences of her attempts to step out from the confines of the stifling emotional cell that her father has placed her in. There are harmonies here that will soothe and caress, and harmonies that will break you down. This blend of the the moving and the unnerving is simply magical and incredibly haunting.

The film may be little-seen, but at least it is receiving a limited release from Twilight Time. The score is now readily available from Intrada and I heartily recommend it to you all. As its title suggests, there is, indeed, Rapture to be found here.


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