Saturday Soundtrack – Foyle’s War

Foyle’s War – original television soundtrack, music composed and conducted by Jim Parker, on CD: Harkit Records HRKCD 8200

This is the 20th in my series of  Saturday Soundtracks

I’ll start by saying I like Foyle’s War a lot. Excellent screenwriting, excellent acting, the production standards are high, the look and feel of the program is superb and there has not been an episode I haven’t loved and wanted to watch again as soon as it was over. That’s high praise for any program, coming from me, double that, since most television leaves me looking for a good book to read instead.

I recently took the plunge and bought the set of Seasons 1 – 5 Foyle’s War on DVD – 19 disks. There’s a sixth season playing currently which I’ll buy when the set is available. When I bought that set, I wondered if there was a soundtrack CD and sure enough, there is, so I bought that too.

I opened it with anticipation.

What we have here is a mixture of two kinds of music. The composer, Jim Parker, has written a very nice main theme for the production, as well as a theme for each of the primary characters, and the music is very polished, original if somewhat “PBS Show Theme” concentric, and it’s evocative of the show, settings and milieu of Foyle’s War. There are several other cues on the CD in the same vein.

The second set of cues reflect the musical tastes of the time, and the scenes when the characters step out of their work life to relax and enjoy themselves as much as is possible during war, air raids, criminal activity and politics. These cues are the kind of thing you might have heard on the radio of the day: rags, boogie-woogie, fox trot, jitterbug.

The producers of the CD have chosen to intersperse these in a pretty much every-other-cue way, so the mood of a theme cue is broken by the jump of a dance tune that follows, then back to the calm, then back again to the dance music. I suspect that most people buying and listening to this CD would like to have heard an entire CD of one of the other, but perhaps not the two mixed as they are.  At least, that’s my reaction, but then I bought the CD based on the themes and mood pieces, not thinking there would be the dance music until I heard the second cue here, “Fire Station”. Don’t get me wrong, I like the dance music well enough, I just would have preferred two CDs, one with the dance music, the other with the rest.

Contents:

1. Foyle’s War – 2:12
2. Fire Station – 2:20
3. Foyle’s Regret – 1:48
4. Eight O’Clock Jive – 1:48
5. National Gallery – 2:10
6. La Chanteuse – 2:23
7. Hastings Boogie – 2:13
8. Echoes of War – 2:02
9.  Milner’s Blues – 2:11
10. Clickety-Clack – 2:03
11. Fishing – 2:22
12. Dragonflies – 1:30
13. Eastbourne Promenade – 1:52
14. Andrew’s Theme – 1: 55
15. Jitterbug – 1:26
16. Spitfires – 3:25
17. Palaise de Danse – 1:45
18. The Refugees – 2:15
19. Late Nights – 2:04
20. Sam’s Theme – 1:56
21. The Jiver – 1:30
22. Viennese Memories – 2:28
23. Foxtrot – 2:01
24. Foyle’s War, Main Theme Reprise – 1:35

Total Playing Time: 49:27

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in film music, Review, Saturday Soundtrack and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Saturday Soundtrack – Foyle’s War

  1. I’m ordering this soundtrack. FOYLE’S WAR is wonderful. I’m hoping a set shows up at Sam’s Club or BJ’s Warehouse for a reasonable price.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    We love FOYLE’S WAR too. Barring a sale (which I’m relying on George to let us know about) we’ll probably wait and try and pick up the DVD set cheaper in London in October, if nothing more reasonable shows up first. We managed to misss a few of the shows and I’d like to watch the series straight through in order.

  3. Richard R. says:

    I waited for a sale price too, Jeff, but finally decided to go ahead at the best price I found – $89 for the 5 season set, with a promotional code at Amazon – so I could have it in hand. No wit’s only a matter of taking it out when I like and spending a very enjoyable 90 minutes now an then.

  4. Carl V. says:

    As you well know, my wife and daughter and I are huge fans of the show. Your opening remarks are spot on for the way that I feel about Foyle’s War. As far as the soundtrack, the only thing I can say for sure is that I love the opening theme music. Even as I sit and type this it is playing in my head. Couldn’t be more perfect for the melancholy feeling I get from the show (and I mean that as a compliment).

  5. Katherine Claudson says:

    Can you tell me the instruments used in the main theme? I am guessing an English Horn, but are both the melodic lines played by the English Horn? Thank you!

  6. Richard says:

    Katherine, I don’t have the CD available to check it, or even listen to it, as I recently moved and it’s still boxed up, but my memory tells me it may have been an oboe.

  7. Rebecca McGuire says:

    The melody begins with English horn (and string bass), is joined by the Alto Saxophone, and then strings, flute and other instruments come in. If ANYONE can tell me who the musicians are (especially the English hornist) I will be eternally grateful! I’ve been unsuccessful in finding their information.

  8. Richard says:

    Rebecca, I’m sorry to say the CD case nor booklet give no clue as to the musicians, individually or as a group. Seems strange, but there it is.

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