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Alexander [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Put the saga of history's greatest overachiever -- Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great had conquered 90% of the pre-Christian world before his death at 32 -- in the hands of Hollywood's favorite over-reacher, Oliver Sto... more »
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Put the saga of history's greatest overachiever -- Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great had conquered 90% of the pre-Christian world before his death at 32 -- in the hands of Hollywood's favorite over-reacher, Oliver Stone, and the result is three-hours of epic blood 'n' bathos. The soundtrack by Greek synth-score pioneer Vangelis Papathanassiou may be bookended by heroic orchestral/choral pomp of suitable scale and melodic dignity, but they buttress a far more compelling cocktail of primitive martial rhythms ("Drums of Gaugamela") and ancient ethnic-folk conceits ("Roxanne's Dance"). Though his film scores have become increasingly rare since the twin breakthroughs of his Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire and the sci-fi masterpiece Bladerunner, his work here argues that Vangelis' restless curiosity and musical range have only blossomed in the ensuing decades. With the exception of the final, club-targeted bonus cut, gone are his once overt electronics, replaced by a more organic, post-modern sense of fusion that evinces itself seductively on cues like "One Morning at Pella" and "Eastern Path." Elsewhere, cuts like "Across the Mountains" and "Tender Memories" are powered by Vangelis' trademark graceful lyricism, a trait that helps set this score apart from sword 'n' sandal contemporaries like Gladiator and Troy. --Jerry McCulley
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"Alexander, " a Musical Tribute From Vangelis
G M. Stathis | cedar city, utah USA | 11/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alexander, King of Macedon, Captain General of the Greeks, Shahanshah of Persia, Lord of Asia, son of Zeus-Ammon, Iskander Gojastak (Alexander the Cursed), Dhu L'Kairnan (the two horned), Alexander the Great. A figure as well known as Alexander has been known by at least the proverbial ninety and nine names. Some modern historians consider him to be the worst butcher in history, others regard him as the most significant figure of the Hellenic world. All of this and more will surely reemerge with the release of Oliver Stone's film "Alexander." It seems inane to worry about what musical sound should be associated with this historical colossus. But that is exactly the task given to the famous Greek composer Vangelis. To be fair no one has any accurate idea of what music in Alexander's tent may have sounded like. Most likely it would not work well in a twenty first century film, or a club in downtown Athens. But Vangelis has been equal to the task on numerous occcasions including incredible scores for "Chariots of Fire," "Blade Runner," and "1492." But in all three of these scores there was a common strength and weakness. All three possessed outstanding main themes, but suffered with rather mundane music in other parts of the score. Thus his "greatest hits" wears much better than the entire soundtracks from these films. With "Alexander," however, we have more of a comprhensive film score. There are still references to what might be considered period music and the various exotica that ply the edges of new age cliche, and some over the top choral arrangements, but as a sountrack album this works better than earlier recordings. The main strength is still a marvelous main theme, first heard in "Titans" that transforms into percussion driven battle music with "The Drums of Gaugamela," and reappears both triumphantly and mystically in "Dream of Babylon." These are the grand higlights of this very good score. The weakness of many composers is that they hit on a good theme and then beat it to death. Here Vangelis leaves us wanting more of that main theme, or more variations on it. It is unclear how this score will work with the film itself, but as a soundtrack album this is a worthy achievement that will, no doubt, strike a solid chord with many parts of the modern audience. Nicely produced and packaged by Sony."
Return of the King
Amazon Woman | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So glad to see Vangelis back on the scene doing soundtracks. I've been listening to his music since I was 9 years old. Remember "The Bounty" and "Bladerunner"? His non-soundtrack albums are also great: China, Heaven and Hell, etc.
Here he has immersed himself in less ethereal fare and into a more authentic sound, but still with his great musical sense. Definitely worth hearing apart from the film.
Having anticipated this movie for so long am really excited to see other works also inspired by the Alexander the Great story mentioned in other reviews of this album and so have checked out the infamous album "Alexander the Great: Posa Somata, Posa Pneumata" by newcomer Alex Kharlamov. Very, very impressive and evocative music and very recommended as well if you want to get a quality taste of dramatic music to put you in the mood for Mr. Stone's new epic."
A great soundtrack!
Beatlefan 4 | Los Angeles, CA | 11/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a wonderful soundtrack! Cannot wait to see the movie.
I just also bought Alex Kharlamov's "Alexander the Great: Posa Somata, Posa Pneumata" and it is incredible as well.