Events from the life of the author Jane Austen inspired this romantic historical drama, which speculates of a romance that may have had a significant impact on her life and work. Twenty-year-old Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) is the daughter of Rev. Austen (James Cromwell), a minister who looks after a flock in a small rural community in Southern England with his wife (Julie Walters). While her older sister, Cassandra (Anna Maxwell Martin), is engaged to be married, Jane resists her family's efforts to match her up with Mr. Wisley (Laurence Fox), the wealthy but dull nephew of Lady Gresham (Maggie Smith), a minor member of the British nobility. Jane has the heart of an artist, and hopes to distinguish herself as a musician or a writer, though her parents don't think much of her prospects. When Jane meets Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy), a young man her own age, she's intrigued; while he scoffs at her writing style, he clearly sees she has talent, and is eager for her to learn more of the larger world by exposing her to more daring literature and modern pastimes such as boxing.
For Becoming Jane, Adrian Johnston delivers an elegant score that perfectly captures the poignant and bittersweet, utterly romantic tone of the film. Johnston was given permission to study the surviving music books that once belonged to the Austen family in preparation for scoring the film, and that study shows. By weaving music from the period throughout the score, he gives this highly speculative "biopic" a genuinely authentic feel. Particularly notable is the inclusion of themes from "The Irishman" in the tracks "Bond Street Airs" and "A Letter." Also noteworthy are the tracks "The Basingstoke Assembly," featuring "The Recruiting Officer," and "Laverton Fair," featuring "Softly good Tummas" - both pieces of source music by Kynaston/Walsh and arranged by Johnston sparkle with energy. Track after track of the score features cues of music positively dripping with the sound of delicate strings and exquisite piano solos. This is music to think, to read, to write, to DREAM by - it encourages a quiet, reflective mood (perfectly suited to curling up with one of Austen's novels and a cup of tea).
Vol. 2 in BIS' complete Sibelius Edition is given over the Finnish master's chamber music for strings and for strings and piano. Fifty years earlier, this release would've included only the "Voces intimae" string quartet. But BIS' 2007 release includes all four quartets and all four piano trios, plus 35 other works or substantial fragments lasting between 13 seconds to 32 minutes. One thing is instantly clear: Sibelius scholarship has made enormous strides since the mid-twentieth century.
Original LP was edited to fit the length of sides possible on vinyl. This CD releases the piece in their full length for the first time and 96kHz/24-bit digital remastered.This was released in 2007 on Japanese label Em Records.