Downton Abbey, from WGBH’s Masterpiece Classic, won the 2012 Emmy Award for Original Dramatic Score for a Series. Classical New England talks with John Lunn, the composer of the winning score.
Highclere Castle, the setting of Downton Abbey
(image by Mike Searle, via Wikimedia; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
When you think of Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey, the first thing that comes to mind might be Highclere Castle, which “plays” Downton Abbey itself. Or maybe the mind-boggling “proper-ness” of practically every single character depicted.
One especially powerful aspect of Downton you may not have noticed – at least consciously – was the music you heard.
In a way, that’s as it should be. The score was written by John Lunn and accomplishes precisely what any film score must: a ratcheting up of the emotional trajectory of the story while simultaneously going unnoticed.
You might imagine Lunn as a wizard-like composer in a meticulous process, weaving together strands of silvery sound to form a gorgeous tapestry. But as he told me, that’s not exactly how the process started:
To hear more about Downton Abbey from actress Elizabeth McGovern, visit The World.
Here's a look back at Season 2: