A guide to the soundtrack of BBC’s Poldark

As the final season of the much-loved period drama comes to an end, we explore the music behind the Cornish romance

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The main theme for BBC’s period drama Poldark is written by British composer Anne Dudley, who has also written music for TV programmes and films including Jeeves and WoosterThe HustleMamma Mia – Here We Go Again and The Full Monty, for which she won an Oscar for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score. She also worked as music producer on the film adaptation of Les Miserables, starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.

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As well as her work for screen, she is known as one of the founding members of the synthpop band Art of Noise, and was the BBC Concert Orchestra’s first Composer in Association in 2001.

The main theme in Poldark uses modes, often found in the folk music from Cornwall, where the programme is set. It features a solo violin set over a magnificent orchestral accompaniment, performed by the Chamber Orchestra of London. 

‘The music needed to underscore the sweeping Cornish landscapes and passionate love story,' says Dudley. 

Pianist Lang Lang has performed a solo piano arrangement of this opening theme, a recording that features on the album below:

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Seasons 1-5 of Poldark can be viewed here.