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Barrington Pheloung (1954-2019) - composer for film, TV and Theatre

Barrington Pheloung Barrington Pheloung is an Australian born composer who studied in and moved to the UK. Here he has created music for the concert hall and the theatre (including a number of ballets), done some work for radio and commercials, and a considerable amount for British television including series and one-off programmes. More recently he has composed for film, notably the film "Hilary and Jackie" based on the life of the cellist Jaqueline du Pre, and her relationship with her sister Hilary. (Jackie was a leading cellist, had a celebrity marriage to pianist Daniel Barenboim, and died tragically from multiple sclerosis.) Coincidentally, one of the TV movies Pheloung worked on also featured music played on a cello. This was the highly regarded "Truly, Madly, Deeply" featuring a duet for Cello and Piano where one of the players is a ghost.

Barrington Pheloung - Inspector Morse Volume 3 CD cover Pheloung can clearly get his inspiration from surprising places, like wordplay for example. The theme for the TV series "Inspector Morse" about a police inspector has an accompaniment which is not only a rhythmic morse code figure on a single note but also spells out the letters M.O.R.S.E in morse code. (Another composer who has used morse code in film music is John Williams when ET was "phoning home".) Pheloung has created all the music for the morse series, recording his own compositions and classical works used within the programme. Among the wealth of classical music included in the series, you will find Debussy's Arabesque No.1 for piano and Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. The London Metropolitan Orchestra was formed in 1994 from the group of musicians put together to record "Inspector Morse" and "Truly, Madly, Deeply".

For the stage production of "The Graduate" starring Jerry Hall, Pheloung contributed additional songs and music to the familiar melodies of Simon and Garfunkel. The show has been a hit in the West End and on Broadway and is touring in various parts of the world. Phelong has also said that he intends to release the music from "Truly, Madly, Deeply" at some point. Pheloung's contribution to Video Game music has included several titles in the "Broken Sword" series. Sadly the composer died in 2019 at the age of 65.

Films by Barrington Pheloung:

    Barrington Pheloung - Hilary and Jackie soundtrack CD cover
  • Nostradamus (1994) - contains some medieval music
  • Hilary and Jackie - about the famous cellist Jacqueline du Pre and her sister Hilary, this also features classical music for cello including the Elgar Cello Concerto for which Jackie was famous for her interpretation
  • Twin Dragons (Shuang long hui) - with another Jackie, Jackie Chan
  • Touching Wild Horses
  • Shopgirl - with a moving love theme for the opening sequence
  • And When Did You Last See Your Father?
  • Blown Apart
  • Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 - the third TV movie of this Series
  • Incendiary
  • My Feral Heart

TV themes by Barrington Pheloung:

  • Boon - Pheloung first met Anthony Minghella on the show and the pair went on to collaborate on Truly, Madly, Deeply
  • Saracen
  • The Legends of Treasure Island
  • Dalziel and Pascoe
  • The Politician's Wife
  • Inspector Morse - with its Morse Code accompaniment
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply - with its love-death duet
  • Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1983 - TV Movie
  • Lewis - spinoff series from Inspector Morse, and perhaps set to be as long-running as its parent series
  • Endeavour - the prequel series with a young Morse

Barrington Pheloung recommendations:

There is sheet music for Pheloung's "Inspector Morse" theme, and his music can be found on one or two CDs. Pheloung's own website is at www.pheloung.co.uk and many sources will provide more information about the cellist Jacqueline du Pre. The following recordings give a good representation of Pheloung's best-known music as well as some classical works: