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Alexandra Harwood’s score for All Creatures Great & Small. Set in 1937, this new adaptation of James Herriot’s books follows the previous BBC series of 90 episodes that ran from 1978 to 1990. The new series was produced by Playground Entertainment for Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, and PBS in the United States.
The Guardian describes the feel and look of the new series “If Morpheus from the Matrix ever convinced your grandmother to take the blue pill, this is what she would have seen… From the very first scene, in which Herriot gently bandages up an adorable fluffball of a cat, it is resoundingly clear that we are still going to need All Creatures Great and Small…The Yorkshire Dales are still breath taking. The problems faced by the characters remain minimal and easily resolved. Everyone, even the most overt of villains, still operates with an abundance of pleasantness.”
Channel 5’s new adaptation successfully manages to preserve the rich spirit, tone and values of Herriot’s iconic characters and stories. Starring Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot, Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon, Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon, Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson, and Patricia Hodge as the wonderfully eccentric Mrs. Pumphrey, with her spoiled Pekingese Tricki Woo, All Creatures Great & Small returns for an all-new season across 6 episodes of heartfelt moments, friendship, and mischief.
The original series music was composed by the late British composer Johnny Pearson. The origins of the main theme stem from Pearson’s 1969 library piece called Piano Parchment, which he re-recorded with orchestra for the series in 1978. Alexandra Harwood’s new All Creatures Great & Small theme echoes the original, with a sweeping piano line, bright strings, woodwind and harp. The album includes musical highlights from the second series with the last 2 tracks, Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot and All Creatures Great And Small – Christmas, featuring in this year’s Christmas special.
The critics reflect on Alexandra’s brilliant new score for the first series “Harwood showcases her uncanny knack for delightful melodies with a wide array of creative orchestrations taking full advantage of the entire spectrum of her ensemble. All Creatures Great and Small is an absolutely wonderful entry into the subgenre with rock solid orchestrations and thematic writing. It’s easily one of the best mainstream scores of the wild year that is 2020 and continues to prove what a fantastic talent Alexandra Harwood is. Recommended without hesitation.”
Alexandra Harwood is a classically trained, BAFTA Cymru Award-winning composer, whose films have screened worldwide. Previous to her work on All Creatures Great And Small she has composed scores for Mike Newell’s feature film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society starring Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Glen Powell and Sir Tom Courtenay, the Ballet Geisha for the Northern Ballet and Thatcher: A Very British Revolution BBC Documentary Series.