“Crucifix” features the London Contemporary Orchestra conducted by Hugh Brunt, with lush instrumentation that feels fitting for the royal drama. Greenwood previously spoke about mining “all that baroque tradition” in a September interview with NME, explaining that he tried to update the music “to emphasise how chaotic and colourful Princess Diana was”.
“I suggested we get a baroque orchestra in,” he says, “so I wrote music in that regular royal style, with kettle drums, trumpets, harpsichords and pipe organs.” However, he then swapped the orchestral players out for free jazz musicians.
“We had it mutate into a free jazz performance,” he adds. “That said, at first they were too restricted by the chords. It was like they were trying to improvise to the theme from Antiques Roadshow. The key was to still sound vaguely baroque, while leaving enough space for true anarchy and chaos.”
Larraín’s biopic follows Princess Diana (played by Kristen Stewart) over a long weekend at the royals’ Sandringham estate in the Christmas holidays, which forms the backdrop for the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.
Last month, we received the first full-length Spencer trailer, filled with tense arguments, uncomfortable glances over dinner, and overwhelming crowds of photographers.
Listen to Jonny Greenwood’s first track from the score below.