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5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the Greatest Movie Scores of All Time
Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2018
This is a moving and beautiful score, good movie too. It has a great melody that carries throughout many of the songs that makes you want to hear it again and again. I love the use of many different instruments and song styles. This is powerful music worth listening to.
I love "The Mission" track but most of the rest of the CD is too "way out" for my taste. I just play a few tracks over and over whenever I want to listen to this. Wish I could have had a CD with just "The Mission" on it but didn't see one.
I have come to the conclusion after many listenings to this soundtrack that Vangelis 1492 film score is much better and more varied in content,(not so boring)! The soundtrack is much more powerful when used in the films poetic narrative. I even wish I would not have bought this soundtrack and bought Vangelis Spiral album. This Soundtrack is too monotonous to really keep me interested,Morricone should have used different themes instead of the same one over an over an over,lol...
The CD is another example of what popular music is, its truly great failure. Lack of development. Repeating itself. The superficial variety of the music is quite great: here there is a quite wellcome assemby of different musical idioms: the peaceful way (à la New Age) of "Falls" and "The Mission", the neobaroque of "Gabriel's oboe" (resembles the lyricism of the famous slow melody of the Marcello's oboe concerto, which was played in the preliminary version of the film which was presented to Morricone to induce him to write the score), the impulsive, vital and protean force of "primitive" people ("the river") and the idiom of the XX century music ("Refusal", "Alone"; some passages I find quite similar to Bartok's style). This last aspects may be less appealing to some people but I find them spiring and paradoxically the least flawed. And some tracks combine them eg the 1st juxtaposes the "gabriel" with the "river" themes. Other music present is choral sound, choral themes, very beautifull, sung by a choir which does not sound so polite (as villages must have sung that at that time).
What about the bad news? Morricone may create ravishing melodies but does not know to develop them and he repeats them several times with very little modifications. Other film music eg Lord of the rings or star wars can be more sofisticated without pretending him to be Beethoven (listen to the 1st mov of his famous 5th symphony: the 1st theme is based on the universally known ta-ta-ta-tooo and the sencond one on ta-re-ra-ro-ti-re-ra-ro; and he builds a 7 or more minutes movement with this, a much, much, much poorer material than "gabriel's oboe" tune. I think, which lasts 2 min).
Even though this failing aspect (with the same ideas a more competent composer could have written much more successful music) the scope of this score is far greater than that of "Cinema Paradiso", which is so awfully repetitive after listening to the CD soundtrack.