Along with a new actress playing the role of Elizabeth II – we bow to you, Olivia Coleman – a different composer has also taken the, ahem, reigns for Season 3 of Netflix’s critically acclaimed and generally edge-of-seat period drama The Crown. Award-winning virtuoso Martin Phipps (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders), replaces Rupert Gregson’s previously lush orchestral scores with a darkly haunting soundtrack solidly anchored in emotional depth-plumbing and atmospheric gravitas.
Phipps collaborated with director Peter Morgan to incisively connect the score to the show’s gripping ongoing narrative, placing his focus on the visceral complexity of each of the historical characters – most poignantly, HRH herself.
The soundtrack’s minimal, singular sonics powerfully emphasize the weight the monarchy must carry alongside their ability – or, rather, inability – to cope with their own personal demons. The music is especially stirring and evocative during Episode 3, which recalls the Welsh mining disaster which killed more then a hundred small children.
From the darkly moody “Black Widow” to the eerily beautiful “Aberfan,” the skillfully constructed 16-track score (released via Sony Music Masterworks) evokes the turbulence of both the times and inner lives of the Windsor family, while remaining eminently listenable on its own.
“The genius of The Crown is its ability to find the human stories inside the heightened world of the monarchy,” Phipps enthuses. “In Season 3 we tried to connect the score less with the grandeur and pomp of our character’s surroundings, and more with the emotion of their personal journeys. I hope we feel the suppressed power of the establishment lurking beneath these more personal melodies.”
The Crown Season 3 Soundtrack is available now via Sony Music Masterworks.