Sunday, May 22, 2022

Vangelis - Alexander (OST) (2004)

Vangelis Papathanasiou - Alexander (OST) (2004)

Tracklist front / back album covers

"Introduction" – 1:32

"Young Alexander" – 1:36

"Titans" – 3:59

"The Drums of Gaugamela" – 5:20

"One Morning at Pella" – 2:11

"Roxane's Dance" – 3:25

"Eastern Path" – 2:58

"Gardens of Delight" – 5:24

"Roxane's Veil" – 4:40

"Bagoas' Dance" – 2:29

"The Charge" – 1:41

"Preparation" – 1:42

"Across the Mountains" – 4:12

"Chant" – 1:38

"Immortality" – 3:18

"Dream of Babylon" – 2:41

"Eternal Alexander" – 4:37

"Tender Memories" – 2:59

Alexander is the original film score of the film Alexander (2004), scored by Greek electronic composer Vangelis. It received the Public Choice Award at the 2005 World Soundtrack Academy.

The film, directed by Oliver Stone, portrays the life of Alexander the Great in an epic style that is also reflected in the score. Alexander was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon who expanded the Hellenistic civilization with his conquests on the 4th Century BC; Vangelis, himself a Greek, was already famous for his scores to Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner and Conquest of Paradise. He was directly approached by Stone.

"I tried to remember how it was to live at the time, to be there. At the same time, I must speak the music language which is understandable today, because we're addressing thousands, millions in the audience." - Vangelis in documentary Vangelis Scores Alexander.

"You could say that I composed it from memory, which is the most important thing in all of us... when you close your eyes, and make yourself available, you can really remember, and imagine certain things. And all of those ethnic, musical flavors will come to you. It's a universal music language." - Vangelis on ethnic music from Alexander's time.

The CD was released in each market with one of three different covers. In some markets, a bonus track (not used in the film) was included, titled "Bizarre Bazaar".

At the Billboard New Age Albums chart peaked at #5 position. In Portugal reached #28, Belgium #96, and France #97.

Vangelis composed, arranged, and produced the music on his synthesizer since September 2003, and took almost a year to score due to re-editing of the film. He recalls "with Alexander I started working immediately, because Oliver needed music for his shooting. So some of the music, for the dances, for instance, I composed before the scenes were shot, working with the choreographer and so forth". He gave it to Nic Raine, who orchestrated it and conducted the result, with violinists Vanessa-Mae and Dominique Lemonnier, harpist Maria Bildea, the Epris Polyphonic Ensemble, tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras, singer Irina Valentinovna Karpouchina, with around 200 players in the orchestra. According to Vangelis, 40% of the album is live while 60% synth.

The soundtrack features a combination of synthesisers, acoustic instruments and percussion with the choral lines, such as "Titans" and "Drums of Gaugamela". The "Eternal Alexander" and "Tender Memories" are more reflective tracks with an exotic oriental flavour, beginning with a folk tune, and feature a chorus, symphony orchestra and guitar. "Gardens of Delight" and "Roxane’s Dance" for example feature violin, harp and percussion.

Vangelis recorded double amount of music than was released on CD, however, not all film music was included or had the same editing like in the album, or was later released. The one track that wasn't heard in the movie at all, "One Morning at Pella", showed up in the "Final Cut" version of the movie.

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