The Most Incredible Thing: Original Score

by Bill Biss
Wednesday Mar 23, 2011

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys have already carved their initials into our musical psyche with their unique sound. Whether it’s "West End Girls," "Go West" or "Domino Dancing" and numerous other electronic dance wonders, they have proven to be "Absolutely Fabulous" as they say.

With The Most Incredible Thing, The Pet Shop Boys have crossed the tracks of musical genres and have stepped into the world of ballet. The partnership of Tennant and Lowe created the score for this production that is based on one of the final fairytales of beloved Hans Christian Anderson. Anderson’s inspiration for this story was his consternation in regards to The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the rising militant attitude of Germany at the time. The fairytale is centered on a contest to create "the most incredible thing" and how a princess, an artistic subject and a brutish subject come together and apart in love and aggression within the perimeters of the kingdom.

The ballet is currently being performed at Sadler’s Wells theatre in London and all ten performances of The Most Incredible Thing are sold-out. Not being able to jet over to London, my imagination took hold [with the help of a synopsis in a smartly designed CD book]. Listening to this score, there are strong flourishes of the Pet Shop Boys definitive musical style... while at the same time, Tennant and Lowe have stretched their musical imagination as well.

The score, performed by Pet Shop Boys with the Wroclaw Score Orchestra and broken into three acts, is at times majestic, melancholy, romantic, tense and magical. Aficionados’ of symphonic scores will find touches of Danny Elfman’s work scoring Batman or Edward Scissorhands, the lush arrangements in composition of Franz Waxman’s Sunset Boulevard and Taras Bulba or even a bit of the frenetic intensity of Bernard Herrmann’s film scoring at times. The Most Incredible Thing is meant to be taken in on both a visual and audible level of the senses. However, just hearing The Pet Shop Boy’s creation in this musical fantasy, one finds themselves crying out "Bravo! Encore" as the simple realization hits of why the two very talented gentlemen didn’t do something like this sooner.

The Most Incredible Thing
Pet Shop Boys with the Wroclaw Score Orchestra
EMI Records


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