Stephen Warbeck - Love Themes Inc

Stephen Warbeck - Shakespeare in Love soundtrack CD cover Stephen Warbeck doesn't seem to have been on the scene for a long time, but he has certainly managed to make an impression. A particular highlight has been his oscar-winning turn on the soundtrack to "Shakespeare in Love". Although there are one or two Elizbethan tunes in passing, Shakespeare in Love largely avoids the temptation for historical accuracy in the music, since this isn't really historical film but a very clever one with very modern sensibilities. Instead the music is simple, earthy and direct like the times portrayed, the style very minimalist in nature, though not as dedicated to the cause as Michael Nyman. The music is rarely resolved with finality, retaining its tension throughout the movie (just as the leads' sexual chemistry and problems with the Romeo and Juliet production extend the tension on-screen). This ongoing delicate tension also gives a feeling of timelessness, and adds to the impression that the film's narrative qualities are not limited to its historical setting.

Stephen Warbeck - Charlotte Gray soundtrack CD cover Warbeck also scored "Mrs. Brown" another film with a historical setting. In fact it seems as though Warbeck has cornered the market in costume drama films featuring Judi Dench playing various English monarchs. "Charlotte Gray" starts off delicately enough, watching a Scottish woman in London during the Second World War, her life seeming normal in such times. Without losing its basic humanity, the music becomes more tortured as she becomes embroiled in the lives of people in occupied France, whose lives are turned upside down by the war. It ends with a certain acceptance, a realisation of the importance of those events and a love theme draws her back to that location after the war and reunites her with that community. More obviously "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" also features a love theme called "Pelagia's Song" and similarly represents bringing together people from different backgrounds in the time of war. The soundtrack quite naturally has some music for Mandolin, some Italian favourites like "La Donna e Mobile" and Russell Watson sings a version of the theme song.

Films by Stephen Warbeck:

  • Shakespeare in Love - oscar-winner in 1998
  • Mystery Men - superhero movie, with additional music by Shirley Walker
  • Mrs. Brown - with Judi Dench and Billy Connolly
  • Billy Elliot
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Pelagia's Song is played on a Mandolin and sung by Russell Watson
  • Charlotte Gray - a small thematic idea seems to remind us of Shakespeare in Love
  • Quills - some period music, and tracks which demonstrate a degree of insanity in the asylum where the Marquis de Sade is held
  • Birthday Girl
  • Blackball
  • The Memory of a Killer
  • Two Brothers - a fuller orchestral sound than much of Warbeck's music
  • Stephen Warbeck: Captain Corelli's Mandolin - soundtrack CD cover
  • Proof
  • Goal II: Living the Dream
  • Flawless
  • Red Mist
  • The Other Man
  • French Film - the Romantic Comedy starring footballer Eric Cantona as a filmmaker
  • Princess Kaiulani - story based on a Hawaiian princess
  • The Winter Butterfly
  • There Be Dragons
  • Gallowwalkers
  • Jadoo - for director Amit Gupta
  • Artic Heart - French title "Le secret des banquises"
  • Hampstead - a RomCom starring Brendan Gleeson and Diane Keating
  • The Journey
  • The Children Act - a courtroom drama
  • The Man in the Hat - with Warbeck also sharing credits as Director and Writer with John-Paul Davidson

TV music by Stephen Warbeck:

Warbeck has worked on TV drama series such as "Bramwell" and "Prime Suspect" and a number of TV movies.

    Stephen Warbeck: Indian Summers - soundtrack CD cover
  • Juliet Bravo - one episode of the police series
  • Prime Suspect - the long-running television series
  • Bramwell - a UK television series
  • Screen Two - the BBC's series of film dramas had stories scored by many leading British composers such as Carl Davis, Stanley Myers, Jim Parker, Rachel Portman and George Fenton
  • A Christmas Carol - a made for TV film version with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge
  • The Prince of Hearts
  • DreamKeeper
  • Skellig: The Owl Man
  • Just William - Theme for TV Series
  • Indian Summer - TV Series with Julie Walters

Stephen Warbeck Recommendations:

The award winning soundtrack to "Shakespeare in Love" can be found at or, and the piano sheet music is available at The Music Room or from Other recommendations are as follows: