Les Misérables stirs the blood

A rousing film soundrack to the 1934 version of Victor Hugo’s French masterpiece from the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Composer: Honneger
Repertoire: Les Misérables
Artists: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Adriano
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Naxos 8.557486

Once dubbed ‘the true leader of modern film music in France’, Honegger wrote 40 film scores including this immense work for the 1934 black-and-white version of the Victor Hugo classic. Wary of ‘big’ melodies and easy motifs, Honegger isn’t a ‘let-them-eat-cake’ kind of film composer. But his splendidly tub-thumping ‘convict’ theme – a masterpiece of downtrodden rage – and vast colouristic palette ought to stir the blood of all armchair revolutionaries.