With his music for The Hours and Notes on a Scandal, Philip Glass seems to be carving out a niche for himself as a scorer of intensely dramatic films with strong female roles. Intense, dramatic and strong are all words that also apply to Notes on a Scandal's score, along with restraint: as with The Hours, the music conveys complicated emotional dynamics -- this time, between two teachers, one nearing retirement, the other a "wispy novice" -- with distance and silence as well as carefully placed moments of drama. Chilly but subdued pieces like "The History" have a subtle air of foreboding that turns into churning, nervous energy and sawing strings on "Confession" and "It's Your Choice." Even softer tracks, such as "Invitation" and "Good Girl," have an uneasiness and creepiness in their sinuous melodies that suggest the film's uncomfortable seductions. As majestic and beautifully played as this music is, it's far from easy listening -- but that's exactly its point.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
|Notes on a Scandal, film score|