Debbie Wiseman: Wolf Hall


First broadcast in 2015, BBC’s Wolf Hall is a six-part historical series based on Hilary Mantel’s novels of the same name. The story follows that of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII through to the death of Sir Thomas More. Debbie Wiseman wrote the original music to the show, with Claire van Kampen composing the Tudor-specific score. 


The Music

The opening theme for Wolf Hall begins as a string chamber ensemble. The chugging cello keeps the beat pulsating as the upper strings begin the theme. A cor angalis appears in the mix and takes over the solo, playing a lyrical account. The strings are a strong foundation for the soloist as the music keeps pushing along. As the piece goes on, more voices enter. From a lone clarinet to an acoustic guitar, the different timbres entering the mix are intriguing and keep you listening. The addition of the harpsichord is very of the period the show is set in, which adds that historical performance feeling to parts of the theme. Wiseman layers up the voice as the theme comes to its natural climax and the main theme is cut dead. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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