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Autumn In New York OST CD Cover
Image Centropolis / Hollywood Records 2000 

(01 January 2002) Contributed by Suvi Kaikkonen: Gabriel Yared has proven his talent for capturing the beauty of sadness on a recording. His composition for Autumn In New York (Centropolis / Hollywood Records (USA) HR62280-2, 2000) established Yared as a master of producing musical accompaniment for emotional heavy and bittersweet stories.

Unlike The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, however, the music for Autumn In New York has an identifyable and consistent thematic heart. The score, while maneuvering to accommodate the film's tragic nature, succeeds in illuminating the spark of life created by the romance between the characters Charlotte and Will. With a jumpy step of jazz reminicent of Bernstein scores of the past, Yared portrays a glimpse of spring in its opposite season.

The title theme is upbeat and contemporary, with the urban setting accentuated by the performances of a sax and piano throughout. So seldom is a sax used in scores these days that it's refreshing to catch a few performances by one here. The opening titles and character theme which starts the score section of the album use jazz to assis New York City in becoming a three dimensional character all in its own.

Yared employs two key elements that keep the music interesting and listenable on album. First, while an orchestra with decent strings provides needed depth, solo performances by woodwind instruments add a touch of flavour. IN their wandering paths, a true sense of the autumn season is conveyed. On top of the sax, a clarinet and oboe shine in this role. Secondly, Yared enlists the voice of a quickly growing star to perform the elegy theme for the Charlotte character. You will likely recognise the voice of Miriam Stockley from either scores such as Great Expectations or The 10th Kingdom, or the Adiemus album that was featured prominently during Delta Air Lines adverts a few years back.

Her voice, as usual, is haunting in its clarity, and surpasses Yared's use of Sinead O'Connor for "Lullaby for Cain" in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Stockley performs two lyrical passages of about six minutes in total, with a few wordless vocals thrown in near the end of the album. Once again, an album with a Stockley performance can do little wrong.

The album itself is well constructed. An hour in length, it features two songs from the film and two additional songs. The song "Turn This World Around" by Amy Grant, is absent from the album, but featured on the film. Yared's score, however, is extremely listenable in and of itself. Even though it is comprised of over 20 short cues of score, the album's flow is surprisingly easy and quiet. At any rate Gabriel Yared, although a veteran of 25 years in the scoring industry, is continuing to impress audiences with his recent scores for top rate American films.

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. With Miriam Stockley on vocals, this album is worth further exploration and certainly a very nice listen!

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