This is Volume 1 in a new series of British Clarinet Sonatas, featuring the exclusive Chandos artist Michael Collins in works by Bax, Bliss, Howells, Ireland, and Stanford. He is accompanied by the pianist Michael McHale. Their ‘Lyrical Clarinet’ disc received much praise, among others from BBC Music which noted: ‘It’s hard to imagine this programme better played than it is here by Collins and McHale… technically impeccable.’
Hans Zimmer's credit may headline The Whole Wide World, but in truth the score was written by up-and-coming composer Harry Gregson-Williams, who later proclaimed "Hans didn't write any music for [this movie]. In fact, he heard my score for the first time at the premiere." Zimmer's fingerprints are nevertheless smeared all over The Whole Wide World - bass-heavy synthesizers and bombastic arrangements are just two of his signature moves borrowed wholesale by Gregson-Williams, who also dabbles in a series of melodic contexts spanning from lush romance to epic action to Latin-inspired dance (the idiosyncratic "Sombrero"). Gregson-Williams is nevertheless too much of a novice to command any of these disparate genres with authority, and the result is a score undermined by its disjointed, often haphazard approach.
No matter the lack of critical popular acclaim for director Akiva Goldsman's adaptation of Mark Helprin's novel Winter's Tale, the Hans Zimmer/ Rupert Gregson-Williams score is utterly worthy of the film, and also the novel itself. Full of classical and electronic textures, ambiences, and melodies that wed both the lyric themes of 19th century folk and classical music to the early 20th, these 14 cues are, by turns, delicate and dramatic, melancholy and romantic, spare and elegant. As a piece of music it stands on its own. The final track here is singer/songwriter K.T. Tunstall's "Miracle," written with A.R. Rahman specifically for the film. While it is dramatically different from the rest of the score, since it is the final track, it sums up the transcendent nature of the narrative.