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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Heroes and Villains: Attila The Hun/Napoleon
Music by Daniel Pemberton
MovieScore Media MMS-09020
35 Tracks 60:43 mins

British composer Daniel Pemberton is perhaps best known for his work on the 2006 TV series Prehistoric Park, though he has contributed to many other TV productions, including series like Peep Show and The Great British Menu, and has also received good notices for his music for the Little Big Planet video game.
This album concentrates on his work for two episodes of BBC TV's Heroes and Villains (known as Warriors in the US), performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic, who are now regularly contributing to new scores, in addition to all the re-recordings they have worked steadily on over the years. A number of ethnic instruments are also utilised within the score, as is the voice of Nawroz, which features on a good many of the tracks.
The first 22 tracks feature Pemberton's music for Attila The Hun, which gets under way in mythic fashion, with the wailing voice of Nawroz, and cimablom, leading into strings and brass-driven action. After this "Opening," we have the desolate and eerie "Impalement Alley," with Nawroz again making a powerful contribution. The strident "Take Naissus" leads into the powerful and exciting set-piece "Naissus Battle," followed by more desolation in "Naissus Aftermath."
Other highlights include the brief, but propulsive "Heading East;" the initially brooding, but increasingly menacing "Leaving Constantinople/Aeitus Awakes/Orleans;" the grandiose opening of "Royal Tour/Bath;" the all-conquering "The Greatest Coalition;" the inspirational ending of "I Had a Dream;" the steely resolve of "I Have to face Him;" the other huge action sequence that is "The Battle for the Ridge," with its soaring strings of destiny, enhanced by Nawroz's vocals; and the suitably elegiac "Funeral Pyre/Immortality," with its very powerful conclusion.
Pemberton's approach for Napoleon is of course very different, though still powerful in its own way, as can be heard in the impressive "Opening." The score is very much influenced by Beethoven and has that recognisable classical sound. Other highlights include the expectant "Commander of Artillery;" the poignant solo piano of "Spotting the Brits;" the action and swagger of "Doppertt Attack;" the strident nobility of "Building the Battery;" the sadness of "Field Hospital;" the slowly building explosiveness of "Cannon Fire;" the six-minute "The Final Battle," which builds impressively, but suddenly gives way to a soaring vocal, before resuming its powerful course, ending with more piano poignancy, and leading into almost a lament for the defeated Napoleon in "Conclusion."
Available both on CD and as a digital download, go to for samples and details of how to order your copy.


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