Like all the best soundtrack compositions, it’s music that marries beautifully to the show, but which also stands up to being presented on its own. The kind of album you can put on as you go about your business – especially if your business is selling drapery to well-to-do Victorians – but which really deserves your undivided attention for at least one full listen through the 27 tracks. Our advice: draw yourself a warm bath or sit in a comfy chair and then press play.
Having created compositions for short-lived Waking the Dead spin-off The Body Farm and CBBC’s Muddle Earth, it’s fair to say that composer Maurizio Malagnini’s talent has not reached as wide a TV audience as it should. Thankfully the popularity of The Paradise may just rectify that. For this is accomplished and delightful orchestration that deserves to be heard; work that incorporates plenty of gently undulating strings, twinkling piano notes, and some beautifully arranged woodwind, blended together to give a sound so mellifluous you could practically spread it on toast.
With the remarkably adept BBC Concert Orchestra on fine form, each track has that buttery rich Merchant-Ivory filmic quality to it that calls to mind fellow composers Jan Kaczmarek and his Finding Neverland theme, and Nigel Hess’ work on Ladies in Lavender.
Whether you’re a devoted fan of the show or you’ve never seen a second, this is a soundtrack that shouldn’t be missed. And if you are a fan, then it’s another reason to look forward to Series 2 and more of Malagnini’s excellent work.
Released on Monday 26 August 2013 by Silva Screen.
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