Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Patrick Doyle

" Welcome to another batch of orchestral Doyle rushes "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Patrick Doyle is mostly known for his classical, powerful score Henry V but also for his emotional Great Expectations which in many people's eyes was a pleasant surprise. Still there are 2 that I equally appreciate. A Little Princess which is an utterly charming little score, offering you heartfelt music where Doyle is best in. And that other score is just a monstrous affair. It is monstrous because it supports a monster, the monster that Frankenstein created. The re telling of the famous Dr. Frankenstein tale is one that tweaked the interest of Kenneth Branagh. And it wasn't a surprise he would ask Patrick Doyle to unleash what he's even more best at.

People that love their scores to be both orchestral and thematically engrossing will discover that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a treat worth investigating in. Why? Because Doyle has always been a craftsman with themes and due the reason he delivers two of them so diverse, it creates a stunning interaction between love and hate.

The main theme, a rollicking robust action march is all what you need to get the blood pumping while the love theme is everything to melt your heart with. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a dark horror score but it is equally well a dark orchestral rousing score which doesn't drown during this dark route.

The score starts with a wonderful representation of what the entire album will be offering you. "To Think of a Story" opens with a foreboding gloom, a tense rhythm and a main theme performance that speaks orchestral mayhem in full sheer wonder. While being dark and powerful, it barely has any dissonance. Doyle keeps the thunderous sound coming, but in the end love is what conquers all. And it is this beautiful theme that enriches moments like "I Won't if You Won't", "Even if You Die", "Please Wait" and the most enriching performance of all in "The Wedding Night".

When the score and the movie is nearing the fate of Frankenstein and its monster, so too is the score growing towards its climax. "The Creation" is a thundering delight of rhythm, "Death of Justin / Sea of Ice" is thematic heroism and "Elizabeth" is just brilliant orchestral grandeur. The final track mixes all that together and creates that finale the entire composition was working towards.

The orchestral fury coming of Doyle here isn't the same fury like he delivers it in his latter scores. It is different yet both are equally sophisticated. However, I still see his earlier efforts to capture that powerful sound just a little bit more, hence the reason Frankenstein is a damn fine score. It is moody on occasions, but thunderous during everything else. It is what Patrick Doyle is best at. Absolutely recommended if you like your music loud and strong.


1. To Think of a Story (3.29) Excellent track
2. What's Out There? (2.51)
3. There's an Answer (4.35)
4. I Won't if You Won't (1.58)
5. A Perilous Direction (3.20)
6. A Risk Worth Taking (3.19)
7. Victor Begins (0.54)
8. Even If You Die (2.15)
9. The Creation (2.01) Excellent track
10. Evil Stitched to Evil (4.43)
11. The Escape (1.47)
12. The Reunion (0.46)
13. The Journal (1.04)
14. Friendless (2.09)
15. William! (2.44)
16. Death of Justin / Sea of Ice (3.54) Excellent track
17. Yes, I Speak (5.37)
18. God Forgive Me (0.57)
19. Please Wait (3.21)
20. The Honeymoon (1.17)
21. The Wedding Night (2.05) Excellent track
22. Elizabeth (4.11) Excellent track
23. She's Beautiful (3.35)
24. He Was my Father (6.10) Excellent track

Total Length: 69.54
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 45 votes - average 4.64/5)

Released by

Epic soundtrax EK 66631 (regular release 1994)

Conducted by

David Snell

Orchestrations by

Lawrence Ashmore