The original motion picture soundtrack to Dustin Hoffman's comedy Quartet brings together a variety of vintage performances from Decca's back catalog that are complemented by excerpts from the film score by Dario Marianelli. Taken on its own merits, this is an accessible collection of vocal and instrumental favorites, which run the gamut from Classical chamber music by Haydn and Boccherini to Romantic opera favorites by Verdi and Puccini, with pieces by Schubert, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, and Gilbert and Sullivan thrown in for good measure. Viewers of the film will recall the music in that context, though anyone who hasn't seen Quartet must make their own sense of the program. Marianelli's background music and the instrumental performances by James Morgan and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra were recorded in 2012, though most of the other recordings have earlier dates from the 1960s through the 1980s, so the sound quality is somewhat variable. Considering that there are plenty of opera compilations on the market that have more consistency of performers, performances, and recording quality, this CD seems in comparison like a random introduction to the genre, however agreeable it is as a soundtrack album. However, as a keepsake of the film, it has its own associative value.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 100 "Military"|
|String Quartet Op. 76/4 "Sunrise"|
|Il barbiere di Siviglia|
|Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565|