Title - 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' (OST)
Artist - Benoît Groulx and Benoît Charest
The soundtrack to the first season of the BBC America series, 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,' is an incredible work of fusion between two incredible composers: Benoît Groulx and Benoît Charest.
The show is a seven-part miniseries set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England where magic once existed and is about to return. The show stars veteran British actors Bertie Carval and Eddie Marsan as the central character from the acclaimed British novel of the same name.
Benoît Groulx obtained a degree in composition, orchestration and counterpoint from Montreal University. He has been working as an orchestrator for the film industry in Hollywood for more than ten years for composers such as: Hans Zimmer, Nick Glennie-Smith, Justin Burnett to name a few.
Benoît Charest is a Canadian guitarist and film score composer from Quebec. He is best known for the soundtrack of the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003), for which he won a César Award for Best Music Written for a Film as well as a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music. The song "Belleville Rendez-vous", in particular, earned him an Academy Award nomination as well as a Grammy Award nomination.
Knowing, from the press release, that episodes 1 and 2 were scored first to draw the principal thematic ideas and musical soundscape, it's obvious that the remaining process was fluid and open enough thereafter. The dynamic, orchestrated flavors to this soundtrack and beautiful, and as themes go, highly original. Charest found affinity with the Gent and Lady Pole while Groulx took care of Strange and Arabella.
The two sides of Norrell's character, dark and funny, feature both the composers together, although later in the process, it becomes very evident that the two men turn to each others "go-to" attributes to further blend musical ideas to bring us a finished article. Chock full of harmonic colors and orchestrations, 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' from both Benoît Groulx and Benoît Charest is one of the most incredible soundtrack I've heard this year.
FYI - The book reached #3 on the NYT Best Seller list and was a long time top seller on Amazon. The book’s awards included; Time Magazine’s Novel of the Year, The Hugo Award for Best Novel and Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards.