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Friday, December 31, 2010


The Bounty
Music by Vangelis
Arranged, Produced and Performed by Dominik Hauser
BSX Records BSXCD 8881 (US)
20 Tracks 68:03 mins

It's New Year's Eve and I'm bound and determined not to end the year on a sour note, so I'll temper my comments on this new release from BSX Records. Actually, what's to criticise really about the actual release? Vangelis' score for Roger Donaldson's 1984 version of The Bounty is one that many have wanted to hear on CD for a long time now, and so what if it is not an original recording? To the best of my knowledge, it's a pretty faithful recreation by Dominik Hauser, who has produced a number of re-recordings of themes for the label in recent times. Of course, I'm no expert on the score because, as with practically all of Vangelis' cinematic output, I have heard it once on film and once only. And I will not watch this or any of the period films he has scored again until they are appropriately re-scored. Granted, Vangelis is a talented melodist, as can be evidenced by this album, but electronic music does not and never will belong in a period film. Here, aside from some nice melodies, the remainder of his music comes across as B-movie sci-fi meets John Carpenter.
But that's enough. Be positive, I tell myself, and so, yes, the album is nicely produced, with an accompanying 12-page booklet, sadly lacking in stills and artwork from the film, but with informative notes by Randall D. Larson and profiles of Hauser, vocalist Katie Campbell, who performs the traditional shanty "She Moved Through the The Fair;" and violinist Elizabeth Hedman, who features on another traditional tune "Drowsy Maggie." There is also the additional attraction of suites and themes from three other Vangelis-scored movies, Bitter Moon, Francesco and La Peste - all again reveal the composer's gift for melody; the album concluding with the single edit of the "End Credits" from The Bounty.
Limited to just 2000 units, you'd best hurry along to and grab your copy. If you're not a Vangelis fan and need some convincing, you'll maybe want to check out the samples there first.
It only remains for me to wish you all a very happy New Year, one in which you continue to find plenty of good screen music, old and new to enjoy.


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