W.E. - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2011)

For the first time in a very long time, this reviewer shed tears. And for a cynic who isn’t easily moved by movies and their music scores these days, this means a lot. The person responsible for this? A certain Polish composer named Abel Korzeniowski, who unfortunately, isn’t widely known in this part of the world.

The graduate from the Academy of Music in Krakow first caught our attention with his beautiful composition for Tom Ford’s A Single Man (2009), which was regarded by industry experts as one of the most underrated scores ever. Despite a Golden Globe nomination (the award eventually went to Michael Giacchino for Up), Korzeniowski was never involved in major mainstream productions until Madonna approached him for this project.

While we have no idea whether the romantic drama about the complicated story of King Edward VIII and the American woman he abdicated his throne for will ever reach our shores, we are glad that the soundtrack album is available for our listening pleasure. The 47 minute album kicks off with “Charms”, a sweeping cue which transports you to a romantically lush realm. The enchanting track is followed by “Duchess of Windsor”, a somewhat contemporary and rhythmic cue, and “Revolving Door”, a melancholic piece showcasing a heartfelt arrangement of piano and strings. “I Will Follow You” breaks the mood a little with its hurriedness, while “Abdication” is melancholically bittersweet.

Like his work on A Single Man, Korzeniowski’s emphasis is on stings here. Be it the brooding “Six Hours”, the classy “Satin Birds” or the forlorn “Dance For Me Wallis”, the emotional experience is one of a kind, making this album a must own for any movie score fan. The piano cues aren’t too bad either – “Evgeni’s Faces” and “Letters” are charming and affecting in their own ways. 

Maddy’s end credit song “Masterpiece” is also included on this album. The Golden Globe winning tune (a shame that the song isn’t eligible for the Academy Awards because it started too late during the film’s closing credits) composed by the director herself, while not as classical as the rest of the album, provides a nice closure to the highly recommended soundtrack. 


Recommended Track: (1) Charms

Review by John Li


Charms - Abel Korzeniowski
Duchess of Winsor -  Abel Korzeniowski
Revolving Door -  Abel Korzeniowski
I Will Follow You -  Abel Korzeniowski
Abdication -  Abel Korzeniowski
Six Hours -  Abel Korzeniowski
Brooklyn Faces -  Abel Korzeniowski
Evgeni's Waltz -  Abel Korzeniowski
Satin Birds -  Abel Korzeniowski
Letters -  Abel Korzeniowski
Dance For Me -  Abel Korzeniowski
12 Masterpiece - Madonna



Composer: Abel Korzeniowski
Label: Interscope
Release Date: February 14, 2012