Something for Thursday

 It’s been False Spring here in The 716 of late, as I noted the other day. Today at work I spent about twenty minutes doing my twice-monthly rooftop inspection (a regular part of my job!), and during this, I put in my earbuds and listened to this piece of music. I chose it because its duration is such that it would last roughly the length of time it takes me to inspect the roof, and I searched this out in the first place because I’ve been intending to listen more to this particular composer.

Rachel Portman is known mainly for her film music, though she has written a lot of other stuff too (including an opera based on The Little Prince). Her film work tends to quieter, character-driven films, like Jane Austen adaptations (she won an Oscar for her score the 1996 version of Emma, becoming the first woman composer to do so) and the like. This selection is a collection of several cues from her score to the film The Cider House Rules, which I know nothing at all about other than Michael Caine plays a headmaster of a boarding school or something like that, and he bids his resident boys a decent night’s sleep every night with the words “Good night, you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England.” The movie was well regarded when it came out, something like twenty years ago, but I certainly have heard nothing of it since.

Portman’s music is gently pastoral in its approach to the drama (at least as it’s represented in this suite), putting me in mind of the fine English pastoral music of the early 20th century–composers like Butterworth and early Vaughan Williams.

If it’s a lovely spring day where you are, may this enhance it…and if not, may this put you in mind of warmer days to come!

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