Music Composed and Conducted by ALEXANDRE DESPLAT Featuring World-Renowned Piano Virtuoso LANG LANG "Prodigiously gifted" (Gramophone) pianist Lang Lang is featured in Golden Globe nominee (Girl With A Pearl Earring) Alexandre Desplat's evocative score for the new film version of W. Somerset Maugham's celebrated novel, The Painted Veil. A turbulent romantic drama set in the 1920s, THE PAINTED VEIL, directed by John Curran and Caroline Link, follows a young English couple, a conservative doctor (Edward Norton) and a restless society girl (Naomi Watts), who marry hastily, relocate to Shanghai where they betray each other, and find an unexpected chance at redemption and happiness while on a deadly journey into the heart of ancient China.
The Deutsche Grammophon soundtrack will be released on January 9 and features music composed and conducted by Alexandre Desplat, the Prague Symphony Orchestra as well as solos by world-renowned pianist, Lang Lang. Lang Lang's solo album, DRAGON SONGS (CD+DVD) will also be released on January 9; the DRAGON SONGS full length DVD will be released on February 13.
While this soundtrack is very solid overall, it's also rather subdued and perhaps not as immediately likable as composer Alexandre Desplat's previous offerings (most notably The Queen
), so it could disappoint fans of the immensely gifted Frenchman. But a certain old-fashioned charm does operate after a while, which, after all, is exactly what you'd expect of the music for a movie based on a Somerset Maugham novel. Desplat set out to evoke 1920s romanticism with a series of brief vignettes, usually greatly enhanced by the sensitive playing of pianist Lang Lang. And considering that most of the movie takes place in China, Desplat has refrained from easy orientalism: "Walter's Mission" is one of the few tracks to allude to Asian sounds. The only non-original tracks on the CD is Erik Satie's well-known "Gnossienne No. 1," a slow piece that evidently served as inspiration for Desplat's own "River Waltz." But who's complaining? There are worse people to emulate than Satie. --Elisabeth Vincentelli