Weekly Recommendations – w/e 14th January 2022

Here’s another round-up of recommended scores that have caught my attention over the week ending, 14th January 2022.

A Little Mood for Love (Xiaomin’s House, 小敏家) (2021) – Various Composers (TME Video+)

Sometimes a seemingly slight score just strikes the right note (no pun intended) and this score for a 2021 Chinese romantic drama television series is one of those scores. Written by a number of composers (according to Amazon) and credited to composer He Qian (elsewhere), this 135 minute album is filled with 60+ tracks that features small ensembles – particularly piano, guitar and woodwinds – and focuses on lovely little compositions that explore love and relationships. It’s not an award-winning score but sometimes you just need an album that you can put on, sit back and just lose yourself in. Opening with four songs, this score can be found searching for “小敏家” in digital stores and streaming platforms.

The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) – Carter Burwell (Milan Records)

I recommend Carter Burwell’s score for this Apple Film with one great caveat: my recommendation is based upon the roughly 50% of the album that features Burwell’s music that isn’t competing with dialogue from the film. The 15-minutes summary of dialogue-free music (amounting to seven of the 13 tracks) is a wonderfully dark and brooding mix where low strings take centre stage. Accented with higher-register strings that are on the edge of tipping into madness, the overall effect is one of musical drama of the highest order. I just wonder if the remaining 50% of the album is of the same high quality? Why do labels make the artistic choice to add dialogue to releases such as this?

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