Rachel Portman

The Lake House [Original Soundtrack]

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Rachel Portman nails it once more on her original score for the 2006 remake of The Lake House (the original was a Korean film entitled Il Mare, released in 2000). Given the soft fall and winter scenes and subdued tones in the film's frames, and the relatively low-key performances of actors Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, Portman's cinematic score uses elegiac strings and impressionistic piano to lead an orchestra through the languid changes in the film's plot. Longing is a theme from the very beginning; the frame is used as an almost painterly device to hold the music inside. The cues drift in and out of one another, even when the strings swell as they do on the title theme. There is an ache in this music, proposed by the notion of absence rather than sheer loneliness. Something is missing, and Portman's score brings back this feeling again and again throughout the score. Guitars and other acoustic instruments are incorporated in various places, such as on "Pawprints" and on the original title theme, "Il Mare," in which Portman's use of space in allowing a cello to unravel in the lyric line is a beautiful device for revelation. Portman's score is supplemented with tracks by Paul McCartney, the Clientele, Nick Drake, Carole King, and the Eels, all of which are presented at the beginning of the disc. The score itself is one long uninterrupted flow.

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