A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY op.374 (November 1986)

Score for the feature film starring Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth, directed by Pat O'Connor, produced by Ken Trodd. BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE ANTHONY ASQUITH AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Commissioned by: Channel 4/Euston Films
Instrumentation: String orchestra (vn,vn,va,vc,cb)
[Key to Abbreviations]
Duration: 18 mins
First Performance: Recorded CTS Studios Nov 1986 The Sinfonia of London conducted by Howard Blake. Sound engineer Dick Lewzey.
Sheet Music Available
Recordings Available
Violin Concerto "The Leeds", A Month In The Country, Sinfonietta
Released: 1994
Recorded: 1994
Artists: Christine Edinger (violin), Paul Daniel (conductor), English Northern Philharmonia

Howard Blake's composed score is available as 'Suite:A Month in the Country' conducted by Paul Daniel with the strings of the English Northern Philharmonia in a recording issued by ASV, CD DCA 905 principally featuring Violin Concerto (''The Leeds'').  Video AND DVD of the complete film also available.


Film starring Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth, directed by Pat O'Connor, produced by Ken Trodd.
First shown on TV April 19 1990 Thames, Cinema release 1987.

Composer's note: 'Director Pat O'Connor showed me the film in the final stages of editing. Some recordings of classical music had been added- an excerpt from Verdi's 'Quattro Pezzi Sacri' was used during the uncovering of the mediaeval mural and the flashback montage of the First World War which opened the film used an excerpt from Schubert's Mass in E flat with large chorus and orchestra.This worked powerfully and I decided that the score should not compete but contrast with it by being scored 'purely' for string orchestra only. In the viewing room, running on a Steenbeck (possibly set at at 25 fps rather than 24) I heard the Mass excerpt as in E major and didn't recognise it. I created my score in that key in order to take over seamlessly, but when we reached Abbey Road and tried to match pitch with the existing track it sounded slightly flat and my leader said 'It's not in E, it's in E flat at a sharp Viennese pitch - it is in fact the Schubert E flat mass' To solve this I asked the players to tune down about a quarter tone down and this worked perfectly!'


2nd May 2016
- 14th May 2016
Robert North ballet company, The opera houses of Monnchen Gladbach and Krefeld, North Rhine/Westphalia

FRAU OHNE NAMEN - A dramatic 2-act ballet created originally in three acts for the Gothenburg Opera House in 1996 and then titled as 'Eva'. The ballet will feature music from Howard Blake's VIOLIN CONCERTO (movements 1&2), BENEDICTUS (part 3), and excerpts from  The Piano Quartet,  'A Month in the Country' (Adagio), 'Toccata' (Fugue and Finale) and 'Eva' itself.

This will be the first of three ballets created in collaboration with choreographer/director Robert North to be staged in the approaching seasons. The other two ballets will be 'The Snowman', opening in Dec 2016, and 'The Annunciation' (date to be announced).

18th September 2005 Thirteen Strings, Grant Cooper, St Andrews Church Ottawa

Related Works

'SUITE:A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY' op.446 (June 1992) (Audio Sample Available)
A concert work for string orchestra adapted from the film score

Related Autobiography Chapters

Brighton (1944)
Granpa, A Month in the Country and The Canterville Ghost (1986)

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