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Hamlet by Carter Burwell

Composed and Conducted by Carter Burwell
Orchestrated and Produced by Carter Burwell
Executive Producer: Robert Townson
Released by Varese Sarabande July 2000


Shakespeare on the big screen can only mean two things:  Kenneth Brannagh and Patrick Doyle.  Wrong.  For this millennial edition of the quintessential  Shakespearean tale of deception, murder, and revenge, neither Brannagh or Doyle's name are associated.  This time Carter Burwell gets the call to provide the full orchestral score that will intermingled with the edgy alternative music comprising the initial soundtrack release for Hamlet.

Carter Burwell takes the listener on this dark journey in an introspective manner.  As steel and acoustic guitars trade melodies and other orchestral elements enter and exit in To Be or Not to Be (5), the listener is transported into the maddening dilemma of the stories central figure.  This track epitomizes the tempo and environment created by Carter Burwell.


The Bottom Line

To compliment the alternative music found on the soundtrack release for Hamlet, Carter Burwell provides a moody collection of music that echoes the ebbings and flowings of this classic tale.  Burwell is able to communicate the frustration, pain, anger, and confusion polluting the mind of young Hamlet.  As accurate as his score is, the music becomes depressing after the first five or six tracks are heard.  Diversity is not this efforts strong suit.



Rating: 6/10



 Composition 6/10

 CD Length


Varese Sarabande |   |