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Love's Labour's Lost (Soundtrack) by Patrick Doyle

Tracksounds Rating = 7/10

Love's Labour's Lost (Soundtrack) by Patrick Doyle

Composed and Co-Produced by Patrick Doyle
Co-Produced by Maggie Rodford; Exec. Prod.  Kenneth Branagh
Orchestrations by James Shearman,
 Lawrence Ashmore, Rick Wentworth
Released by Sony Classcial Records- May 2000

Track Title Time Rating Fresh Standards
by Christopher Coleman

Shakespeare is back once again.  Two new interpretations of the work of the playwright make their way to center stage in the year 2000.  One, yet another adaptation of Hamlet, which could actually prove interesting especially with the musings of Carter Burwell for the score; two, the modern-day master of big-screen Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh with his latest adventure, Love's Labour's Lost.  Of course, Branagh's  trusty side kick composer  Patrick Doyle is close at hand, lending his talents to this unique musical version of the play.

There are two reasons for film music fans to be excited about this release.  First of all, quite simply, it is another work from the mind and heart of Patrick Doyle!  Second, new arrangements and orchestrations of some of the early twentieth century's hottest show tunes have been incorporated into the telling of this somewhat obscure Shakespearean play.  Interesting to say the least.  Just what are Branagh and Doyle trying to do here?

Although the majority of tracks feature jazz standards of decades gone by, Doyle’s handiwork can be found in nearly every track.  As Doyle stitches together many of America’s vocal standards, he injects his own musical flare as heard in the first few moments of nearly every song track.

Not since the popular Great Expectations score, has Doyle employed the guitar so beautifully, albeit sparingly.  The simple but infectious guitar introduces a couple of the vocal classics:  I Get a Kick Out of You, I’m Fancy Free.  From a film music fan’s perspective, the score as a whole could have benefited from a heavier dose of it. 

Few would dispute the talents of Gershwin, Berlin, and Porter, but connecting them with Shakespeare?  It could drive one to shriek, "Gadzooks!"  Yet, despite so-so vocal performances of these unforgettable standards, the Doyle-touch along with the stellar orchestrations of Lawrence Ashmore, James Shearman, and Rick Wentworth breathe an intriguing bit of "umph" into each song.

The CD focuses more on Doyle's work towards its conclusion.  Five of the last seven tracks and the final three tracks feature Doyle’s work exclusively.    The longest single stretch of Doyle is found in track 14, “Twelve Months and a Day…”  which is over nine minutes long.  The final track, “Victory,” finishes the CD in not so surprising triumphant fashion, evoking memories of arguably Doyle’s most epic score, Henry V.    

Once again, Sony Classical delivers a pristine recording.  Both the vocals and music come through with unrivaled clarity.  While the vocal performances might not rival those of the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Estaire, Mel Torme, or Erthur Kit, they are adequate and will provide fans of the Broadway musical with something to appreciate.  At the same time, fans of Patrick Doyle have a number of moments to tide them over until his next full score release. 

1 Love's Labour's Lost 1:40 ****
2 I'd Rather Charleston with You (medley) 1:41 ***
3 Arrival of the Princess 3:14 ****
4 I Won't Dance (medley) 2:02 ***
5 I Get a Kick Out of You (medley) 2:39 ***
6 "With that face..."/ No Strings (I'm Fancy Free) (medley) 2:41 ***
7 The Way You Look Tonight (medley) 3:20 ***
8 I've Got a Crush on You (medley) 4:42 ***
9 "Beauty of a Woman's face"/ segue 2:43 ***
10 Cheek to Cheek 2:50 ***
11 Let's Face the Music and Dance 2:21 ***
12 "Trim gallants..." 2:47 ***
13 There's No Business Like Show Business 3:30 ***
14 "Twelve months and a day..." 9:07 ***
15 They Can't Take That Away from Me 4:31 ***
16 "You that way, we this way..." 2:54 ****
17 Cinetone News 1:33 ***
18 Victory 3:01 ***
  Total Playing Time 58:02    



 Originality 8  

Music Selection


Themes/ Composition


CD Length


Track Order




Final Score

Post your thoughts about Love's Labour Lost or this review at  The Dominium

Other reviews:

In one of the more interesting, spirited, and unusual experiements in modern film scoring, two long-standing and popular styles of music are combined by Patrick Doyle for this romp of an album. Not for fifty years or so had the genres of Shakespeare and the musical been combined on such a grand scale as they are in Love's Labour's Lost. To hear Doyle's masterful recreations of famous musical pieces and the interpolation of them with his own material is enjoyable if just for the fact that it's something we (i.e. the modern film score fans) haven't heard before.

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks

Patrick Doyle
Patrick Doyle

Love's Labour's Lost (Soundtrack) by Patrick Doyle

The major plus point is that, despite their vocal shortcomings, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves immensely, and the fact that the songs are so familiar one cannot help but be swept along on all the cheerful nostalgia. It also helps that, at the beginning of each song, Doyle is allowed the opportunity to write an extended orchestral introduction, most of which are based on the underscore proper, and which then give way to the familiar melodies after around 30 seconds.

Jonathan Broxton - Movie Music U.K.


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Love's Labour's Lost (Soundtrack) by Patrick Doyle

All artwork from Love's Labour's Lost  is exclusive property of Sony Classical Records (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.


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