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Alexander OST - Vangelis


Review: Jack Foley

WHO better to compose a soundtrack about one of history's greatest military leaders, Alexander the Great, than Greek synth-score pioneer, Vangelis?

No stranger to soundtrack work anyway, Vangelis delivers a typically sweeping, occasionally rousing and altogether more satisfying soundtrack than the film by Oliver Stone itself.

And while it doesn't rate as memorably as his best-known work, Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, there is enough about Alexander in musical form to appeal to fans of classical scores.

Naturally, much of what's included will mean very little to anyone who hasn't seen the epic, given its reliance on visuals, but there remains the odd moment of Vangelis individualism that could easily transfer well to a compilation album (of which there have been several before now).

The signature tune, for instance, which marks Alexander in all his greatness, is open to comparisons with the likes of Hans Zimmers' Gladiator score, and works well as a piece of music in its own right.

Hence, moments such as Across The Mountains, which includes a rousing orchestra behind it, or the slow-building Eternal Alexander, add a great deal of nobility to the music and sound right for the genre.

The stand-out track, however, has to be the Clannad-style Roxanne's Veil, which features some sublime violin by supremo, Vanessa Mae, and some intoxicating vocals by Konstantinos Paliatsaras and Irina Valentinova-Karpouchina, that set it apart from most of the other material around it.

Elsewhere, the primitive martial rhythms of Drums of Gaugamela and the ethnic-folk of Roxanne's Dance remain a little too stuck in the moment of the film and, therefore, naked without the visuals (or memory of them).

But fans of Vangelis shouldn't be disappointed, as should anyone who found anything to admire in the movie.

It is, as previously mentioned, probably a more satisfying experience than the film itself.

Track listing:
1. Introduction
2. Young Alexander
3. Titans
4. The Drums of Gaugamela
5. One Morning At Pella
6. Roxane's Dance
7. Eastern Path
8. Gardens of Delight
9. Roxane's Veil
10. Bagoas' Dance
11. The Charge
12. Preparation
13. Across The Mountains
14. Chant
15. Immortality
16. Dream of Babylon
17. Eternal Alexander
18. Tender Memories

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