Audio Mixer: Steve McLaughlin.
Liner Note Author: Whit Stillman.
Recording information: Ted Spencer Recording, New York City (08/27/2015-08/30/2015); Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin (08/27/2015-08/30/2015); Ted Spencer Recording, New York City (08/27/2015/08/28/2015); Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin (08/27/2015/08/28/2015); Ted Spencer Recording, New York City (08/28/2015); Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin (08/28/2015); Ted Spencer Recording, New York City (08/30/2015); Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin (08/30/2015); Ted Spencer Recording, New York City (2015-08-27&2015-08-28&2015-); Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin (2015-08-27&2015-08-28&2015-).
The soundtrack to Love & Friendship, filmmaker Whit Stillman's adaptation of Jane Austen's early short novel Lady Susan, is not original, but is mostly adapted from a variety of existing pieces. The soundtrack, in short cuts, effectively captures the quick rhythms of Stillman's film and for that reason will likely satisfy fans of the film. But most of them are anachronistic to the Regency period in which Austen lived and which is depicted in the novel and film. Stillman was not after historical accuracy (indeed, he used not the title Lady Susan, which in any event was not Austen's own, but that of a different piece of writing by the young Austen). Still, it is worth asking why you hear mostly Handel and Vivaldi and even Purcell rather than Mozart and Beethoven (who are briefly included) or Haydn or even Arne (neither of whom appears). Possibly, even in a reading of Austen that's as lively and filled with contemporary currents as Stillman's is, the music of the Baroque connotes seriousness in a way that the Rococo and Classical styles do not. Possibly it has to do with the structure of the soundtrack: music appears at moments of entrance and ceremony for which something like William Boyce's Largo from the Symphony No. 6 in F (sample track three) fits best. Whatever the case, the playing of the little-known Irish Film Orchestra under Mark Suozzo is attractive, and the soundtrack has found unusual commercial success in Stillman's native U.S. Enjoyable even as one chews on the issues involved. ~ James Manheim
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