To whit: "Tom Ripley, in the film's story, becomes a classically trained pianist, with a personality as clenched as the most formal of fugues, arriving in Italy terrified of letting go, of speaking from the soul in that way jazz demands of its players".
Suffice it to say, the way in which Gabriel Yared's score plays off the jazz which is contemporaneous to the '50s in which the film is set is nothing short of masterful. Given that there are the giants of the era - Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie - along with songs made famous by Chet Baker and Sonny Rollins, the score has to stand up to some heavy hitters.
As Minghella states, he suggested a Baroque theme for Ripley, which had a syncopated rhythm. It twists and turns throughout its various incarnations, be it the titular version or the later "Proust", which might as well be coming out of a music box.
The director and Yared went for a mechanical aspect to the piece, suggesting Ripley's tightly-wound nature, and it's quite effective, but also adaptable, nicely paralleling the character's own chameleonic nature. The end result is a collection of music equally suitable for cocktails, travelling the Continent, or committing hurried murder to cover one's tracks.
This particular repress is equally as classy as the music within its grooves. The gatefold jacket has a matte finish with plenty of sepia-toned photos, and it includes those wonderful Anthony Minghella liner notes which are easily worth the price of purchase alone. The record is pressed on transparent "Look-Right-Through-Him" vinyl, which is very clever indeed, and sounds lovely and rich. There's a tiny bit of crackle about halfway through the second side, but cleared up with some cleaning.
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY OST / PERFORMED BY: VARIOUS ARTISTS / LABEL: MUSIC ON VINYL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW