Album: Iris: Music from the Motion Picture

Cover image
Album:

Iris: Music from the Motion Picture

Artist: James Horner
Genres:
Label: Sony

James Horner was faced with an unusual challenge when he composed the score for Iris, a film about Iris Murdoch’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease. In the movie, two actresses play the role of Murdoch, and scenes constantly shift between those showing the novelist as a young woman, played by Kate Winslet, and as an old, dying woman, played by Judi Dench. Horner solves the musical continuity problem of jumping backward and forward in time by writing solo violin parts that echo Murdoch’s emotions and tie the past and future together. Joshua Bell does an…

Reviews

Amazon.com

James Horner was faced with an unusual challenge when he composed the score for Iris, a film about Iris Murdoch’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease. In the movie, two actresses play the role of Murdoch, and scenes constantly shift between those showing the novelist as a young woman, played by Kate Winslet, and as an old, dying woman, played by Judi Dench. Horner solves the musical continuity problem of jumping backward and forward in time by writing solo violin parts that echo Murdoch’s emotions and tie the past and future together. Joshua Bell does an exquisite job playing the vitally important violin solos, particularly in the selections from the last part of the movie, when the music must speak for someone who has lost the ability to use words. Horner has wisely opted to use understated orchestration, which gives Bell’s playing an emotional clarity that would have been swamped by a larger ensemble. By toning down the bombast, and trusting in his gift for melody, Horner has produced one of his finest and most subtle scores to date. —Michael Simmons

Related Works

Book:Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch

John Bayley

Author and literary critic John Bayley was married to novelist Iris Murdoch until her death in February 1999. In this memoir he recounts their life together, up to and including their realization that Dame Iris was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Film:Iris (2001)

Iris

Richard Eyre

Iris teems with fussy charm and the intimate joy found only in a lover’s foibles. Adapted from the memoirs of literary critic John Bayley, the film recounts his courtship of and long marriage to British novelist Iris Murdoch. The scenario tacks back and forth from the young Iris (Kate Winslet)—ready to seduce one and all with her coy command of words and sex appeal—to the elder Iris (Judi Dench)—slowly giving way to the cruel erasure of Alzheimer’s—and it is impossible not to be moved by the film’s denouement of loss. Ms. Dench is, as usual, resplendent,…

Views: 339 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.017 sec