I was a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed the soundtrack to Frozen Planet, the documentary series produced for the BBC. I expected orchestrated music, but when you’re dealing with soundtracks you never what you’re going to get. Fortunately for me the soundtrack proved to be absolutely brilliant in every aspect.
After the opening title number a track titled The North Pole begins. If you’ve ever seen a film that takes place in the arctic or revolves around a winter theme you’ll feel nostalgic with this track. The usual instruments that represent ice, icicles, whimsical animals on the ice, and so on and so forth bring the track to life in a way that really grabs your attention and makes you think back to the penguins on the cover of the CD. It’s playful music with character that invokes images of arctic animals (animated and real) as they scuttle across your mindscape from memories remembered and forgotten. The true sign that the music has been thoughtfully written and performed.
The album has a whopping 32 tracks, but I was surprised to find that almost all of them avoid being similar to one another. The tracks are sectioned into four seasons and two themes (To the End of the Earth and The Final Frontier). With each theme comes a new feel to the music. To the Ends of the Earth plays whimsical and silly while spring has more powerful orchestrations that invoke danger and cautiousness. Track 9, Cubs First Hunt and track 11, Elephant Seal Duel offer up some memorable moments form that theme. My car stereo is pretty good but putting the CD into my surround sound system made the stories ingrained in all of these tracks really come to life with purpose and immediacy.
Composer/Conductor George Fenton does a magnificent job in giving the stories of Frozen Planet a life of their own and making me want to head out and find the series to see how the songs play out on the screen with the images they were intended for. The best part about it is that you won’t have to have seen the series to love and understand the tracks on the disc. They speak for themselves in ways only great compositions manage. I highly recommend.