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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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on October 19, 2009
This is a short soundtrack, it only plays for 23 minutes roughly and yet that only reminds me of the short life of John Keats who died in his mid twenties. The whole soundtrack is beautifully composed, I cannot over state it enough really, the intensity of the music strikes anyone who listens to it, even if only fleetingly and this is not only the beauty of the score but that it is laced with dialogue from the film which makes this soundtrack very moving indeed and makes you think back to your own first love.

This is an ideal recording to give as a gift to your girlfriend or boyfriend, perhaps this soundtrack was put together to be used for that very purpose.
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on October 25, 2009
Three stars COULD have been five, because the music itself is perfectly beautiful.


The dialogue, though fitting and moving in its own right, really should not have been put on top of the music. It's all over. I'm guessing that's Campion's choice and frankly in my opinion, a poor one. If I wish to hear the music and the dialogue, I'll just watch the movie with my eyes closed.
But then, the other reviewers seem to really like it.

What to do, what to do?

Well, considering the cd is less that 24 minutes in length (with one track featuring ónly dialogue) how about having the CD feature the music both with and without music, it would fit easily. That missed opportunity is the other star taken. What an absolute shame.
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on August 4, 2013
While I came to enjoy this soundtrack a great deal, I admit that the unconventional format took me by surprise. Rather than simply giving us the musical score of the movie BRIGHT STAR, this recording combines music, dialogue, and Keats' poetry, distilling them into a short but moving program. We start with "Negative Capability," an instrumentally backed conversation between Ben Whishaw (John Keats) and Abbie Cornish (Fanny Brawne) about the nebulous nature of poetry. This piece might also be taken as instruction to the listener about how to approach the rest of the CD--not necessarily with a destination in mind, but in a spirit of expansion and possibility.

The selections that follow demonstrate how melody, speech, and rhythm can come together and create an almost three-dimensional sensory experience that transports the listener INTO the film. I felt like an invisible entity listening in on Keats and Brawne. Particular high points include, "The Human Orchestra," an amazing vocal arrangement that sends chills down my spine every time I hear it, and actor Ben Whishaw's readings of Keats' poems "La Belle Dam Sans Merci" and "Ode to a Nightingale," understated performances that resonate with emotion.

So, although this soundtrack is not quite what I expected when I decided to purchase it, I am glad that I gave it a chance.
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on April 4, 2010
A lush, but ultimately tragic costume drama based on the life of 19th century romantic poet John Keats, Bright Star tells the story of the passionate but ill-fated relationship between Keats and a flirtatious, forward-thinking fashion designer Fanny Brawne, which would be cut short by Keats' death in 1821 at the age of just 25. Directed by Jane Campion and starring Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish as Keats and Brawne, Bright Star has received a great deal of critical acclaim for its lead performances, with Cornish especially tipped for Oscar recognition.

The music for Bright Star is by young Australian composer Mark Bradshaw, who collaborated with director Campion on several short films, and wrote music for several Australian theater productions prior to working on this, his first major feature film. The gimmick of the album is that all but three of the cues on Lakeshore's album are overlaid by recordings of lead actors Whishaw and Cornish reading some of Keats' most famous poetry. While this makes perfect sense in the context of the film, and allows fans to be reminded of the film's most romantic content, it unfortunately detracts enormously from Bradshaw's music, often obscuring some of the most beautiful writing on the CD, notably "Bright Star" and the conclusive "Ode to a Nightingale", which would otherwise have been wonderful, especially with the addition of solo vocalists in the latter. Bradshaw's music - that we can hear - is rooted in the `contemporary classical' style, with a small chamber orchestra augmented by a solo harpsichord, solo violin and low synth drones, which give the whole affair a dreamy, slightly timeless air that is quite appropriate given the quixotic nature of Keats' poetry.

The opening "Negative Capability" and, later, "Letters" are the best examples of the general air of the score, more textural than theme-driven, and never truly embracing a full romanticism, instead remaining aloof and distant. Later, "Return" and "Convulsion" continue the distant style, with more shifting cello chords, some quite stark and abrasive, while "Bright Star" is more lyrical, with a wandering solo violin theme lamenting Keats' impending demise. The best track on the album is the gorgeous "Yearning", which after a few moments of narration presents an extended sequence of unsullied orchestral music for a weeping violin that is simply sublime. An album for fans of the film, then, but those seeking only the music will probably be left disappointed due to the unthoughtful album presentation.
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on October 19, 2009
Listening to the soundtrack will transport you back to the vivid, pure and tender moments from the film.

You will also be glad to know that the tracks include dialogue from the film, such as the scene where Fanny receives her first letter from Keats. As well, Ben Whishaw's recitation of La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the poem that he and Fanny recite together is included, as well as Whishaw's recitation of Ode to a Nightingale.

See the movie, and then buy the soundtrack.
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on January 30, 2010
If the movie captured your soul and heart, the soundtrack is for you. It includes the dialogue from the film over the music and the dialogue included is key dialogue.

How can one not hear the music and in their mind not hear the words spoken over it? This soundtrack just does that bit for you.

The music is stand-alone good but, the added dialogue from the film makes it even better in my mind.
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on February 23, 2010
Although Human Orchestra is lovely,if I wanted to listen to snippets of dialogue and poetry reading from the film, I would only have to turn on the DVD and shut my eyes. When I buy a soundtrack, I expect music--not just one or two songs on a CD that is less than half an hour in length. Frankly, I do not see the point.
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on April 6, 2011
I am an addict when it comes to Instrumental Soundtracks. I love listening to them when reading, going to bed, driving, studying, or just to sit for a few moments. The Bright Star Soundtrack is perfect for any occasion. One of my favorite things about this soundtrack is that not only is it instrumental it also includes direct quotes from the movies. My favorites are those quotes of John Keats' poems. The movie is very emotional and raw - these emotions are heightened through the gorgeously conducted music. I never leave home without this Soundtrack!

Just as you become entranced and moved by John Keats' poetry and the movie Bright Star, you will be with this Soundtrack.
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on November 12, 2010
I echo the sentiments of the previous reviewer. i don't own the cd - only because it's presently unavailable - but I have the movie DVD, so I go there when i need a listen. Would love to listen to the music alone though - the perfect underscoring for the poems
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on July 17, 2014
Excellent CD and highly recommended
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