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The Paradise Season 2 (Maurizio Malagnini)

December 18, 2015


Maurizio Malagnini, 2015, Silva Screen Records
23 tracks, 53:54

In anticipation of Maurizio Malagnini’s “Peter and Wendy”, we look back at the lovely “The Paradise (Season 2)” which was released earlier this year.

Review by Pete Simons

What is it?

“The Paradise”, based on the novel “Au Bonheur des Dames” by Emile Zola, tells the story of live in and around the first department store in the North East of England. It is a period drama playing to a similar (if not the same) audience that fell in love with “Downtown Abbey” and later “Mr Selfridge”.

In the second season, Mr Moray (Emun Elliott) and Denise (Joanna Vanderham) are still madly in love, though Mr Moray’s position at “The Paradise” is being threatened. Again various bits of drama unfold over the course of 8 eight episode, accompanied by Maurizio Malagnini’s colourful, orchestral score.

What does it sound like?

The album once again opens with the shows opening theme “Lovebirds”, a light-hearted, darting little melody with a classic touch. “A Letter from Paris” reprises a love theme from the first season, and adds an accordion for a little French touch. It’s gorgeous, but more importantly… it’s reassuring to know that Malagnini is clearly not going to deviate too far, if at all, from the first series’ music.

The main theme is reprised on several occasions, each one as pretty as the one before. “A Scorpion in the Paradise”, features a slightly fragmented rendition of the theme. It’s as if the melody is reluctant to fully expose itself. Playful strings and bells feature prominently.

“Clemence and Dudley” is a playful dance between strings and accordion. I don’t really know my dances (despite having watched an entire series of “Strictly Come Dancing”), so I have no idea whether this is a tango or something else, but it’s beautifully written and the play between the instruments, as well as the accelerando towards the end, is exquisite.

The album offers one pretty cue after another. “The Fireworks” is lush, featuring strings and violin; “Susy and her Mother” is more melancholy, with piano and strings; whilst “The Music Hall” is an energetic, quite comedic cue that changes course every thirty seconds or so.

A mournful cello features in the dramatic “Impossible Love”, whilst “The House on the Hill” is almost Elfmanic with its bells and ooh-ing choir (not temped with “Edward Scissorhands”, by any chance?). The album concludes with the romantic “Denise Runs to Moray”. Aah… all’s well that ends well, eh?

Is it any good?

I said of “The Paradise“, over two years ago now, that “it’s an album one could easily return to time and time again, especially since the music itself is to timeless. Earth-shattering it is not. Incredibly well-written and orchestrated it is.” And that remains to be the case, both for the first as well as for the second album. It may be a little too saccharine for some listeners. It’s all strings, twinkly bells, soft piano and darting woodwinds. What I love about Malagnini’s music is that it’s always melodic and always light-hearted, it never appears to take itself too seriously… and as a result, I don’t think it’s ‘too sweet’. It’s absolutely lovely, very pretty, completely innocent, and very easy listening.

Rating [4/5]


01. The Paradise Lovebirds (0.32)
02. A Letter from Paris (2.44)
03. Once Again on the Bridge (2.21)
04. A Scorpion in the Paradise (1.44)
05. Clemence and Dudley (2.53)
06. Clemence’s Past (2.26)
07. The Fireworks (2.18)
08. Jonas and the Conspiracy (1.18)
09. Susy and Her Mother (3.51)
10. Tom Weston’s Suspect (1.53)
11. The Music Hall (4.08)
12. Tension Between Denise and Moray (1.12)
13. Hypnotising Susy (2.35)
14. Hypnosys with a Spoon (0.53)
15. Dreaming of Paris (0.50)
16. Hide and Seek (2.21)
17. Edmund’s Heart Attack (2.19)
18. Impossible Love (3.13)
19. Tom and Katherine (2.01)
20. The House on the Hill (4.07)
21. Prelude to the Duel (1.32)
22. The Duel (3.26)
23. Denise Runs to Moray (3.17)


For more information visit Silva Screen‘s website

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