Henry V

Patrick Doyle

" Welcome to the moment one Sir Patrick Doyle amazed the nation "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

It was 1989 and it was the moment one classical composer pressed his print into the minds of young and old. Usually it takes composers a while to get their hands on a project they feel themselves te be perfect for. For Patrick Doyle it was that moment he worked with Kenneth Branagh on Henry V.

While I find the score to be too classical for my liking (at times), it still has the moments that make me return frequently to Henry V. And this for good reason. The score itself has several main themes that work just nicely. The main theme entitled "Non Nobis, Domine" doesn't receive a lot of airtime. First briefly in the opener "Opening Title / O! for a Muse of Fire" followed by choral versions in tracks 12 and 15.

The theme for Henry V is more urgent. Racing strings make it a very intriguing one for sure, appearing for instance in "Henry V Theme / The Boar's Head", "Now Lords, For France" and "Once more unto the Breach". Yet the real strength of Henry V are those noble fanfares. There's a sorrowful version during "The Death of Falstaff" that works quite nicely. But there's also the immensely brilliant "St Crispin's Day / The Battle of Agincourt" which holds some immense drum solos alongside a staggering rise of a battle theme (see the trailer Australia to hear it).

From this point on the score becomes a much more noble affair, advancing further through many more delights. So it is not surprising tracks like "The Day is Yours" and "End Title" are worth it. The main choral theme in "Non Nobis, Domine" offers you the choral bliss you were lacking in the begin while a shorter version is heard during the "End Title".

Henry V is one of Patrick Doyle's earliest entries that received acclaim from movie and score fans. There is sadly a difference between the more classical opening and the movie music like ending. Luckily it is the ending that matters in these situations and you will soon know which style you'll either love or hate. But it is obvious that Henry V, even with its less interesting style still has some amazing moments of score, coming of one Sir Patrick Doyle, which today is known for his masterful interpretations of Kenneth Branagh movies.


1. Opening Title / O! For a Muse of Fire (3.33)
2. Henry V Theme / The Boar's Head (2.45)
3. The Three Traitors (2.01)
4. "Now, Lords, For France" (2.39)
5. The Death of Falstaff (1.53)
6. "One More Unto the Breach" (3.43)
7. The Threat to the Governor of Harfleur / Katherine of France / The March to Calais (5.49)
8. The Death of Bardolph (2.20)
9. "Upon a King" (4.49)
10. St. Crispin's Day / The Battle of Agincourt (14.10) Excellent track
11. "The Day is yours" (2.33)
12. "Non Nobis, Domine" (4.08) Excellent track
13. The Wooing of Katherine (2.22)
14. "Let This Acceptance Take" (2.49)
15. End Title (2.35) Excellent track

Total Length: 58.59
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 26 votes - average 4.25/5)

Released by

EMI Records CDC 7 49919-2 (regular release 1989)

Conducted by

Simon Rattle

Orchestrations by

Lawrence Ashmore

Performed by

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra