Album: The Queen: Music from the Motion Picture

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The Queen: Music from the Motion Picture

Artist: Alexandre Desplat
Label: Milan Records

The Queen is an intimate behind the scenes glimpse at the interaction between HM Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair during their struggle to reach a compromise between what was a private tragedy for the Royal family and the public's demand for an overt display of mourning. The film and soundtrack feature “Libera Me” by Verdi from Princess Diana's funeral. The score is composed by renowned Alexandre Desplat, multi-Golden Globe nominated composer of over 50 critically acclaimed films.


A film about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Tony Blair in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death had potential for a pretty turgid soundtrack, but fortunately director Stephen Frears called on Alexandre Desplat. The Frenchman has emerged as a composer with a light touch (recall his score for Syriana ) and his work here, while not his best, doesn’t disappoint either. Whether out of financial limitations or personal preference, Desplat tends to write relatively minimal scores. This one is appropriately downcast but even when titles trumpet intent (“Mourning,” River of Sorrow") the music is elegant and even suggests a dark humor at times (the waltz “Elizabeth & Tony,” accompanied by shivering violins and the occasional harp). Desplat also makes good use of a jaunty harpsichord on “People’s Princess I” and the old-fashioned, Hitchcockian-sounding “The Queen Drives.” The disc concludes with Verdi’s “Libera Me,” in the version performed at Diana’s funeral.—Elisabeth Vincentelli

Related Works

Film:The Queen

The Queen

Stephen Frears

Tradition Prepared Her. Change Will Define Her.

The Queen is a witty and ingenious look at a moment that rocked the house of Windsor: the week that followed the sudden death of Princess Diana in 1997.

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