Friday, 24 September 2010

De mortuis nil nisi bonum

More sad news reaches us this morning of the death of Geoffrey Burgon. You might not have heard the name but you will certainly have heard his music.

For Burgon it was who composed the wonderful score of Granada's dramatisation of Brideshead Revisited from the early 1980s.



The music is inseparable from the story. I can hardly read the book now without hearing Burgon's strings chugging away in the background and that bassoon skipping over its arpeggio like a gambolling spring lamb. (Did I actually just write that or did I only think it? [shudder]).

Still, that's not my favourite Burgon score. That accolade must be reserved for the BBC dramatisation of Martin Chuzzlewit in whichthe irreplaceable Paul Scofield played both old Martin and old Martin's brother Anthony. Let's see what Youtube can do for us:



True, Burgon also wrote the music to the egregious Life of Brian. Still, de mortuis nil nisi bonum, eh?

To the tender mercy of God then, Burgon.

3 comments:

Rusticus said...

The Granada Brideshead was an unsurpassable masterpiece - and Burgon's music was, as you say, an inseperable part of that triumph.

Trisagion said...

I can't even read the words to the Nunc Dimittis in English without hearing his setting from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It is sublime and is enough to make me forgive him for the score to The Life of Ches.

Ches said...

Ahem!