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Thursday, December 23, 2010


Music by Xavier Capellas
MovieScore Media MMS10025
26 Tracks 53:11 mins

MovieScore Media bring another new name to my attention with their release of Spanish composer Xavier Capellas' epic orchestral/choral score for the Napoleonic war film Bruc. In addition to standard orchestra and choir, Capellas also calls upon ethnic instruments, like duduk and bouzouki, as well as ethereal vocals credited simply to Beth.
The album opens with the suitably downbeat "A Defeated Empire," the mood continuing into "Secret Memories," with its duduk solo. Beth's vocals first make the scene with the powerful drums-lead "Echo," which marches determinedly onward. "Building a Dream" is in complete contrast to that which has gone before, presenting the main theme in an almost ethereal arrangement for harp, duduk and violin.
After this quiet interlude, it's back to more grim matters with the suspenseful "Enter the Dark," but "Hostage" follows in surprisingly hopeful vein. A somewhat religious-styled a Capella choral opens "On Your Knees," with orchestra eventually joining to take the track to another hopeful conclusion. Percussive conflict ensues in "I Want His Head," leading to more action in "Fear vs Love," which ends rather coldly. Bouzouki and violin offer a sad refrain in "Will I See You Again."
The dramatic "Hidden Shot" ends somewhat sadly, and there's tension a plenty in "The Trap," whilst "Bruce's Destiny" is a light, barely audible piece until strings join the solo harp at the end.
"Where Is He?" is another increasingly tense affair, a mood continued in "Black Soul," but brought to an end by the fateful "Birth of a Legend," with ethnic drumming, brass and female voice giving it a feeling of importance. The sad piano-lead "Killing a Friend" follows, and then the expectant "Bruc Raises" culminates in the warmth of "Twin Souls" and increasing hopefulness of "Back to Life," which continues into "The Big Lie," which is completely at odds with what has gone before, as the opening piano theme suddenly picks up a modern pop beat. It's all very jarring and inappropriate and spoils the moment.
The album closes with Beth singing both Spanish and Catalan versions (the latter only available on the download version) of the title ballad, which thankfully returns us to the more appropriate sound of the remainder of the soundtrack.
Go to for samples, a trailer for the film and ordering suggestions for your CD or digital download purchase.


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