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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Belle' (Varese Records)
Artist - Rachel Portman

A period drama set in the 18th century, 'Belle' is based on the true story of an illegitimate young mixed-race woman (Dido Elizabeth Belle) shunned by society, who then sets out to change that society with the young man she meets and falls in love with by putting in train a set of events that would ultimately lead to the abolition of slavery in Britain.

For this incredible film - yes, I have watched it, and loved it - the uber-talented composer Rachel Portman ('Emma') has once again allowed her sensitive side to bleed musically through. Indeed, the album runs at @ 42 minutes and aside from variations upon a Main Title theme, shall we say, there is an underlying secondary theme that brings as much to the table as its originator.

Embracing her love for vast, flowing, colorful arrangements, Portman allows a much daintier, a much more subdued orchestrated darker side to present itself - right at those moments when a more heavy-handed approach would surely have ruined it.

Those dramatic moments are captured to perfection and the films dramatic mood swings all come together perfectly; seamlessly to ensure that 'Belle' is a highly satisfying listening experience.

1. Main Titles (1:31)
2. Laughter Montage (1:12)
3. Are You Punishing Me? (1:57)
4. The Portrait Is Revealed (1:46)
5. Mirror (1:18)
6. Time Pass To 1781 (1:30)
7. A Father’s Goodbye (1:09)
8. John Leaves Lord Mansfield’s Tutorage (1:16)
9. Sitting For Portrait (1:25)
10. Dido Elizabeth Belle (1:50)
11. John Pulls Dido Aside (2:13)
12. The Zong (2:26)
13. Dido Goes To Tavern (2:06)
14. Maps (1:00)
15. She Was Beautiful (1:34)
16. James Manhandles Dido (2:08)
17. Dido Removes Her Ring (1:50)
18. You Already Loved Me (1:32)
19. The Docks (:43)
20. Lord Mansfield Watches John (3:45)
21. Dido Goes To Courts (1:30)
22. Let Justice Be Done (2:10)
23. You Would Be My Wife (2:19)