I’ve been listening to the soundtrack cd of Penny Dreadful‘s second and third seasons, a welcome antidote to all the Christmas songs that have assaulted us over the past few weeks. This 2-disc set only arrived a few days before Christmas, continuing an odd and coincidental tradition of mine of having a soundtrack turn up just before the Holidays (years past, it would be soundtracks like Jerry Goldsmith’s Freud score or the Star Trek TOS soundtrack box-set arriving just before Christmas that would give me cause for celebration).
The Penny Dreadful music, composed by Abel Korzeniowski, is a beautifully moody and atmospheric score. Horrible Gothic sadness, is how I’d describe it- calm and reflective moods and passionate, lovely passages of romantic interludes punctuated by brutal horror. Its a prime example of television music being more sophisticated and richly rewarding than the big-screen scores we get now in cinema. There are absolutely quite extraordinary moments in this score. Even people unfamiliar with the series would get something out of this music; it stands as a work of gothic music seperate from the series that spawned it and is an example of great scores still being written (just not for movies,the majority of the time). Indeed it’s likely my favourite score release of 2016.
I’m so glad this was finally released. The season one disc came out a few years back, but for some reason the second season soundtrack was not released when that season aired, and with the show being abruptly (and undeservedly) canceled after season three, I had doubts we would ever see it. Fortunately on the heels of an Emmy nomination (it didn’t win, alas) Varese Sarabande belatedly released seasons two and three together, which actually works well as a listening experience.
So anyway, it’s hardly seasonal music, but there’s nothing wrong with that when you are driving to work at seven in the morning on cold wintry mornings when all the neighbours are all still in bed on their Hols- this stuff really gets you in a fine creepy mood for the chores ahead whilst thinking about everyone else enjoying their holiday.
No, I’m not bitter. Ho Ho.