Samuel Sim’s original score for BBC’s Emma (2009) is one of the most exemplary period drama scores to exist, and one that is constantly circulating on replay here. (As is the film if we’re being honest.)
There is something so inexpressibly autumnal about the score and each track feels like the perfect kind of escape to regency England. It is transportive, breathtaking, and somehow, although composed in our time, it feels like it is straight from the 19th century. I adore the 2020 Emma score as well, and there’s something so different about each of their means of providing escapism. But this one especially feels like it is taking us further into a world none of us have lived through.
2009 Emma’s original score has a number of fantastic tracks, starting from “Emma Main Titles,” which is a gorgeous theme for our leading lady’s entrance before we get into the real one, “Emma Woodhouse Was Born.”And then there is “Expansion Project,” “A Ball” “Knightley’s Walk,” “The World Has Left Us Behind,” and “Donwell Dancing Again,” which are all utter magic. There is something so special about “Frank Is Free” in the way the strings feel like a flight to an acute type of serenity and knowing the story, it makes it that much more extraordinary.
We start to approach my personal favorites toward the end, which also mark my favorite parts of BBC Emma as a film: “The Seaside,” “Love Story,” and “Most Ardently in Love” all of which work in perfect unison to create the kind of escapism that a score of this genre should by its curtain call.
Samuel Sim’s original score is a work of art entirely, full of tracks that will be memorable regardless of how many times you actually listen to the album. When the first and last few notes come together, you know you’re in the world of Highbury and Donwell Abbey.
Listen to the BBC Emma original score below and tell us which tracks are your favorite.