Original Soundtrack

Barry Lyndon (Music from the Soundtrack)

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AllMusic Review by

While not the entire score, which would be impossible to assemble on a double let along a single disc, the music contained herein from Stanley Kubrick's stellar motion picture Barry Lyndon -- that starred Ryan O'Neal in the only time he ever actually acted, as well as Marisa Berenson -- is a mixed bag of the most delightful sort. With 19 selections on the CD -- analogue recorded and remastered in pristine digital sound -- the music here stands on its own as an eclectic yet moving collection of pieces that reflect the excesses of 17th and early 18th century cultural mores in royal courts, potato fields, and back alley dances. The main title theme is from Handel, his Sarabande, and is followed by Sean Ó Riada's gloriously beautiful "Women of Ireland," performed by the Chieftains, who dig in for a few more before being eased out of the mix by the British Grenadiers' fife and drum corps. Handel's theme becomes the pivoting point for all sorts of iterations of musical tradition here, as harpist Derek Bell restates "Women of Ireland" later in the program, and selections by Bach, Vivaldi, Giovanni Paisiello, and Schubert are interspersed with the music of the Irish folk traditions. The effect is like an expansive afternoon dream where events, elements, circumstances, and impressions all have their way with the dreamer, yet leave her refreshed upon waking. This one is meant to be played on Sunday mornings with the New York Times or on an afternoon when the weather is too miserable to venture out. And as if the soundtrack weren't enough, the film it matches is just as fine a piece of art, making the pair unbeatable.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:43
2 4:12
3 1:43
4 2:06
5 3:44
6 2:14
7 1:17
8 1:08
9 0:55
10 1:32
11
3:15
12 0:54
13 2:17
14
0:51
15 4:31
16 3:53
17 5:16
18 4:18
19
4:08
blue highlight denotes track pick