The Draughtsman's Contract
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Best Movie Soundtracks - 1980s
11. The Draughtsman's Contract
Peter Greenaway's curious British Murder Mystery, released in 1982, is set in 1694 (during the reign of William and Mary). Charged with capturing the spirit of this period through music was Michael Nyman, who composed new melodies based on a series of 'grounds' by Henry Purcell. The goal was to create a generalized memory of Purcell, rather than specific memories, so Michael Nyman based his melodies around more obscure Purcell works, although the first music heard in the film is, in fact, a bit of Purcell's song, "Queen of the Night". Brilliantly, Purcell is credited as a "music consultant." on the film, surely the oldest ever member of a film crew!