Elizabeth Taylor / John Barry

Elizabeth Taylor in London

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You might find this filed under Elizabeth Taylor in stores, so large is her name in the title on the front cover. However, it's not an Elizabeth Taylor album, although her voice is occasionally heard reciting historical prose. Rather, it's a largely instrumental soundtrack to a 1963 television special in which she took viewers on a tour through London, the score composed by John Barry. It's not one of Barry's major works, but if you do enjoy his music, especially from this period, you'll be pleased to hear it. It's richly orchestrated without being overly lush, with the sweeping dramatic grandeur typical of much of his output from the era. A bit of the spy/suspense flavor for which he was often known surfaces at times (especially "The Fire of London"), but it's not too close to James Bond territory. While it's usually in a vividly cinematic style that can be languid or tense, there are also occasional echoes of jazz and waltz tempos, with the melody of "Greensleeves" reappearing at various points as a kind of recurring motif.

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