The Affair of the Necklace by David Newman Available at



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The Affair of the Necklace


The Affair of the Necklace (Soundtrack) by David Newman

The Affair
of the Necklace

Buy The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (Soundtrack) by Bernard Herrmann from

Category  |   Score

Originality 8
Music Selection 7
Composition 8
CD Length 7
Track Order 7
Performance 8
Final Score 8/10



Real Audio Clips



David Newman


Quick Quotes

"David Newman's success in producing both an uneasy mystery score and romantic choral one in a single package is why his achievements for The Affair of the Necklace are among the best of the year."

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks Reviews The Affair of the Necklace



Composed and Conducted by David Newman
Album Produced by David Newman
Executive Producer: Robert Townson
Orchestrations by David Newman, Gregory Jamrok, Rebecca R. Liddle
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony; Vivan Ellis, Moira Smiley (Solo vocals)
Released by
Varèse Sarabande' Records September 25, 2001

Unusual Affair
Review by Christopher Coleman

Composer David Newman strikes again with an unexpectedly intriguing score for a rather inconspicuous film.  Both Hoffa and Brokedown Palace were smaller films which created minimal stir and moderate box office receipts, yet many audiences were left touched by the scores for both films.  Of course, David Newman's Hoffa finally got its due within the film music world, as its repeated use in film trailers in the late 1990's garnered it more attention.   The Affair of the Necklace has only seen limited release, but the earlier release of its full trailer already began people buzzing about its music...and once again the buzz comes from the ever-creative hand and mind of David Newman.

Both audiences and critics have found the true-events on which the film is based, a worthwhile tale to be told.  Further, the costuming, make-up, and cinematography are all top-notch, but one over-riding strike hinders the film. The single biggest problem of The Affair of the Necklace is the miscasting of Oscar-winner Hilary Swank.  Playing the rebellious student of Mr. Miyagi or the sexually-confused, Teena Brandon/ Brandon Teena is one thing. Pulling off Jeanne de la Motte-Valois, an French noblewoman of the 18th Century who is stripped of title and fortune, is quite another.  Despite this rather large black-eye, The Affair of the Necklace does have another merit that helps cover this blemish and that is, of course, David Newman's stand-out score.

The Affair of the Necklace is filled with baroque-influenced charm, but, although he easily could have, David Newman doesn't stop there.  Layering in auspicious choral pieces, the haunting vocals of Latin soprano, Vivan Ellis, folk singer, Moira Smiley, and his own contemporary techniques, The Affair of the Necklace becomes quite a refreshing film score instead of one that falls into the undistinguished pack of scores written for film's set in this period.

The foremost theme featured in this score represents the film's central figure.  Jeanne's Theme (2) , as one might anticipate, is  light and pleasurable, played by piano and accompanied by soft strings and occasional oboe.   It has a quality that dear brother, Thomas Newman, became adept at earlier in his career, but has since shelved for his contemporary, minimalistic approach.  The theme is used quite often throughout the soundtrack and is given a fresh twist from time to time with the addition of harpsichords and harps, namely in Jeanne & Retaux (5).  Truth be told; however, due to its many restatements, the theme does wear a bit thin by soundtrack's end.

David Newman's score is subtly inventive and daring, but manages to keep the listener ever mindful of the period in which the story unfolds.  Weaving their way throughout the score are the unmistakable sounds from the most popular instruments of the period among them:  harp, harpsichord, dulcimer, and recorder.  At times the score evokes the opulence and power of the era such as in: Bohmer (3) , and at other times, an atmosphere of light-hearted festivity as in Jeanne's Plan (6).

Providing a much needed contrast are several darker cues which mix foreboding chorus, and haunting solo vocals, with modern instrumentation as in Rohan's Arrest (7) and even synthesized elements such as in track 17, Rohan Meets with Fake Antoinette.  As out of place as these elements might seem in such a film, for these brief instances their inclusion works.  One of the most striking features, one that many have been curious about since the release of the film's trailer, are the brief Alanis Morrisette-like vocals that occasionally surface.  Recreating Morrisette's edgy, vocal style is Moira Smiley, member of the Slavic and Balkan folksong group, Kitka:  Women's Vocal Ensemble.   Her voice element alone has caused many-a-calloused-ear to perk up in its wake.  Despite only brief appearances, Smiley's vocal contributions help give The Affair of the Necklace its unique personality. See In Court/ Childhood (8) .

David Newman is certainly not among Hollywood's most prolific composers, but more often than not, when he does score a film, it turns out to be one worth repeat listens in one's most comfortable CD player.  Such is the case with his first release of 2002, The Affair of the Necklace.  Pulling off a difficult synthesis of classical and contemporary musical instruments, vocals, and styles, earns David Newman's score


Track Listing and Ratings


Title Time


1 Opening 1:09  ****
2 Jeanne's Theme 1:05  ***
3 Bohmer 0:51  ****
4 Jeanne is Found Guilty 2:56  ****
5 Jeanne & Retaux 0:40  ***
6 Jeanne's Plan 1:03  ****
7 Rohan's Arrest 3:12  ****
8 In Court/ Childhood 3:48  ****
9 Minister of Titles/ On the Lake 4:37  ***
10 Jeanne & Retaux Love Scene 1:13  ***
11 Feast of the Assumption 1:26  ****
12 Going to Meet Antoinette 2:59  ****
13 Communion 2:06  ***
14 Rohan Meets with Fake Antoinette 2:59  ***
15 Courtroom/ Cagliostro Leaves Town 2:51  ****
16 Going Home 3:18  ****
17 Jeanne's Sentence/ Antoinette 2:28  ***
18 Antoinette is Finished 0:37  ***
19 Arrive of the Necklace 0:32  ***
20 Jeanne and Retaux's Plan 0:42  ***
21 Jeanne Reads Her Memoirs 1:17  ***

Total Running Time


*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.

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Referenced Reviews
Brokedown Palace



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