For this, his seventh soundtrack for director Peter Greenaway, Nyman deftly orchestrates a mix of strings, horns, and voices to produce another of his fetching and romantic minimalist backdrops. The opening "Memorial" is the highlight of the lot and drives along with stuttering saxophones, an insistent string arrangement, elegiac brass solos, and the soaring vocals of soprano Sarah Leonard (Leonard would be featured on a large part of the Prospero's Books soundtrack). The piece was originally inspired by a 1985 Belgian soccer match tragedy, in which 39 Italian fans were killed. Nyman utilized a death march in his earlier Greenaway collaboration, Drowning by Numbers, and revives the scheme to great effect here for what would become the main theme of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. Nyman contrasts the piece's climatic quality with two relatively sedate yet brooding numbers.
Frederick Osborne, Junior is slightly agitated because his father, Senior, is acting more like a college student than the president of a huge merchantile fleet. Senior reveals that he is going to marry Leslie Collier, the famous stage star, and Junior and his wife Enid are horrified and expect the worse from the hot-tempered father and the volatile actress. They have been married only five minutes before they have a quarrel, and have to be carried out of the house to begin a sea-voyage honeymoon.