*MY LIFE SO FAR op.508 (June 1999)

Score for a feature film (with Beethoven excerpts conducted by Sir Simon Rattle), starring Colin Firth, Rosemary Harris, Irene Jacob, Malcom MacDowell, Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio, directed by Hugh Hudson, produced by Sir David Puttnam
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd/Miramax
Commissioned by: David Puttnam/Harvey Weinstein/Miramax
Instrumentation: Orchestra
[Key to Abbreviations]
Duration: 60 mins
First Performance: Recorded Air London 12-15 January 1999 and June 23 Abbey Road Remake session (1M1,1M3,3M9.5M6/7), sound engineer Mike Ross, music assistants John Wilson, David Shenton.
Recordings Available
DVD Video Buena Vista Home Entertainment


Film directed by Hugh Hudson, starring Colin Firth, Rosemary Harris, Irene Jacob and Malcom MacDowell, Music producer Bob Last (Holdings Ecosse), dubbing Shepperton, premiere finally on May 2nd 2000 ABC Shaftesbury Avenue

 Composer's note: David Puttnam called me in November 1998 to ask me to view the film. It had been completed some while previously but not released. After viewing it I gave my opinion that the score did not work. It had a score by Colin Matthews and used a great deal of Beethoven which he had had specially recorded by Simon Rattle and The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (and indeed chorus). The thinking behind this was that the pater familias character played by Colin Firth worshipped Beethoven and tried to indoctrinate his young son with it for the good of his moral upbringing. However, the son had a slightly louche uncle (played by Malcolm Macdowell) who was simultaneously introducing him to thirties jazz and other thoughts. In one early montage scene of compulsory swimming for health in the icy loch, Beethoven's Fifth gave an amusing gloss on the father's authoritarian obsessions, but for the rest of the footage it worked directly against the charm and humour with which director Hugh Hudson had invested the film. I talked at some length with David, Hugh and Harvey and was finally given carte blanche to rescore.


4th October 2013 As part of the festival and 75th birthday celebrations, Howard Blake introduces (in German) a programme of projected film excerpts featuring his film scores, Filmkunsttheater Metropol, Dusseldorf 7.30pm Die Filmmusik von Howard Blake Vortrag von und mit Howard Blake in deutscher Sprache mit Filmausschnitten
18th February 2006 TV showing BBC 2 11.45pm,

Related Works

'MY LIFE SO FAR' op.512 (June 1999)
A rewrite and re-record of seqences 1M1, 1M3, 3M9, 5M6/7
Two short pieces created for the film score of 'My life so far'

Related Autobiography Chapters

'MY LIFE SO FAR' - (1999)

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