Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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"Holiness is in right action, and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

The idea for this album came about because of my recent discovery of the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven at suitboyskin's recommendation. As I was watching the film on Blu-ray, I found myself thinking that there were certain properties that Harry Gregson-Williams' score had in common not only with Hans Zimmer's music for Gladiator (which itself wouldn't be terribly surprising given their association over at Media Ventures/Remote Control) but also to Vangelis' music for 1492: Conquest of Paradise. And, of course, I have used cues from 1492 and Gladiator in making mixes, often on the same album, and so an approach for an album consisting of scores from Ridley Scott's historical epics crystallized right then and there.

I briefly toyed with the idea of including Howard Blake's score from The Duellists, but in I don't really think that film qualifies as an "epic," despite its sprawling narrative. Instead I concentrated on 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Gladiator and, of course, the aforementioned Kingdom of Heaven, three films for which the "epic" moniker is in absolutely no doubt. While there are great differences between each of these scores, each one has a hypnotic quality that is required for Scott's intense visual style. Moreover, each one has a specific quality that ties it to the others; Harry Gregson-Williams' and Vangelis' music both feature liturgical choirs, both Vangelis' and Hans Zimmer's music have a strong, production-heavy electronic component, and both Zimmer and Gregson-Williams have strong string passages; all three have at least occasional exotic instrumentation. And they are all majestic. I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised at how well all three of them melded together.

Strangely enough, given that it has been the case on all of my recent mixes, I didn't even think of making a "Side One" or "Side Two" for this disc, instead opting for an "ebb and flow" approach to the structure. I had used some of this music on previous mixes, most notably on the three (thus far) entries in my Philosopher's Cycle: Sensations, Textures and Ethereal. As with "Journey To Hamunaptra" on my Sandcastles and Breadcrumbs compilation, I took an idea for a suite that I had created for The Farthest Reaches: World Influences In Modern Film Music and reworked it to include here. Rather than build to a thunderous climax as is my usual custom, I instead opted to concentrate on closing the album on a more spiritual note.



20 Tracks • 81:30

  1. A NEW WORLD (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 3:59

  2. PROGENY • THE WHEAT (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard) 4:33

  3. CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 4:42

  4. STRENGTH AND HONOR (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 2:08

  5. HISPAÑOLA (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 4:47

  6. THE KING (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 2:52

  7. PATRICIDE (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 3:52

  8. LIGHT AND SHADOW • DELIVERANCE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 7:19

  9. THE PILGRIM ROAD (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 2:44

  10. THE OUTER PROVINCES (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 6:38

  11. MOXICA AND THE HORSE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 6:58

  12. AM I NOT MERCIFUL? (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 4:44

  13. CORONATION (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 2:54

  14. LANDSCAPE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 1:25

  15. BARBARIAN HORDE (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer/Nick Glennie-Smith) 6:04

  16. MONASTERY OF LA RÁBIDA (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 3:37

  17. SYBILLA (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 1:44

  18. TWENTY-EIGHTH PARALLEL (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 5:16

  19. ELYSIUM • HONOR HIM (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard/Klaus Badelt) 3:57

  20. RISE A KNIGHT (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 1:06



1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

Composed. Arranged and Performed by Vangelis Papathanassiou

Featuring the English Chamber Choir Conducted by Guy Protheroe
Bruno Manjarres, Pepe Martinez: Spanish Guitar and Voices;
Francis Darizcuren: Mandolin and Violin; Didier Malherbe: Flute
Recorded at Epsilon Laboratory and CTS Studios by Philippe Colonna



Gladiator (2000)

Composed and Arranged by Hans Zimmer

Additional Music Composed by Lisa Gerrard, Klaus Badelt and Nick Glennie-Smith
Orchestrated by Bruce Fowler, Yvonne S. Moriarty, Walt Fowler, Ladd McIntosh, Elizabeth Finch and Jack Smalley
Performed by the Lyndhurst Orchestra Conducted by Gavin Greenaway
Lisa Gerrard: Vocals, Yan Ching; Heitor Peira: Guitars;
Djivan Gasparyan: Duduk; Tony Pleeth: ‘Cello; Maurice Murphy: Trumpet
Recorded at Air Studios by Alan Meyerson and Slamm Andrews



Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Composed and Conducted by Harry Gregson-Williams

Orchestrated by Harry Gregson-Williams and Alastair King
Performed by the London Sessions Orchestra, Fretwork (Consort of Viols),
the Bach Choir and the Choir of the King’s Consort Conducted by Robert King
Catherine Bott, Nicole Tibbles: Soprano Vocals; Iestyn Davies: Tenor Vocals (Counter Tenor);
Brian Gulland, Lisabeth Scott: Vocals; Abdelkader Harir: Arabic Vocals;
Diler Ozer Efe, Selda Ozturk Yildirim, Feryal Akkaya, Vedat Yildirim, Riza Okcu: Kardes Turkuler;
Martin Tillman: ‘Cello; Yurdal Tokan: Oud; Jacob Herringman: Lute;
Goksel Baktagir: Quanun; Neva Ozgen: Kemence;
Hugh Marsh: Electric Violin; Nigel Eaton: Hurdy Gurdy; Richard Harvey: Woodwinds;
Dawson Miller, Frank Ricotti, Tim Garside, Hussein Zahawy, Mercan Dede, Paul Clarvis: Ethnic/Tribal Drums
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Peter Cobbin






  1. A NEW WORLD (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 3:59
    As usual with my compilations, I start off with a sort of 'overture' to introduce each included score. I decided that rather than starting off with something iconic from either the immensely popular Vangelis or Zimmer scores, I wanted to open the proceedings with the lesser-known Kingdom of Heaven to set the tone. This track features both the performances by Fretwork (Consort of Viols) establishing the 12th Century period for the death of Godfrey de Ibelin (Liam Neeson) and a dramatic reading by the Choir of Kings Consort of the monastic theme for Balian (Orlando Bloom).

  2. PROGENY • THE WHEAT (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard) 4:33
    We then segue to the first appearance of the sinuous "Progeny" theme (the album has additional a Yan Ching track not present in the film mix) which represents the childlike Commodus (Joachin Phoenix) and his connection to the Imperial throne; I had formerly included this particular cue on my compilation. This leads into a passage for the Spanish guitar motif for Maximus (Russell Crowe), played by Heitor Piera. "Wheat" introduces Lisa Gerrard's vocals intoning the longing of Maximus for his home and family; while this was not the original source of the 'moaning woman' sound, this score was what made it one of the main sounds of film scores of the new millennium. While it is not mentioned in the track listing as so to avoid having an unwieldy title, this track continues past "The Wheat" and into "The Battle" to present the first appearance of the "Maximus the General" theme (the shortening of the album version of this specific sequence was Zimmer's choice, not mine).

  3. CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 4:42
    The noble strains of Vangelis' end title theme for 1492 features the artists' trademark expansive sound along with vocals by longtime collaborator Guy Protheroe conducting the English Chamber Choir. A variation on this theme is heard as Columbus (Gérard Depardieu) sets off on his voyage and again when he and his brothers raise a steeple in Santo Domingo. This piece has seen a lot of use outside its original context, as an introduction theme for German boxer Henry Maske and a campaign jingle for the Portuguese Socialist Party. This particular track was sourced not from the original soundtrack album, but rather the single that was released in 1995 that had a 'clean' opening and closing and gave me more flexibility in both its appearance and its finale, so that I could close off my 'overture' and lead directly into...

  4. STRENGTH AND HONOR (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 2:08
    ...the electronic theme for the Proximo (Oliver Reed) — of whom this icon is — a former gladiator who won his freedom long ago. The music has a quietly authoritative quality to it, but is also ever yearning to rise higher. I had included this track on my Ethereal compilation.

  5. HISPAÑOLA (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 4:47
    The thunderous main title from 1492 is a musical representation of Spain of the 15th Century, burning with the flame of the Inquisition, the choir and twisted synthesizer passages evocative of the religious fervor gripping the country. This track also appeared on my one of the first of my first 'official' compilations, The Farthest Reaches. The theme is heard several times in the film, including a jungle battle, but makes its greatest mark when the three ships land, and the euphoric finale of this piece is the film's signature shot of Columbus rushing through the water to a beach of the New World.

  6. THE KING (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 2:52
    A plaintive Oud intones the theme for Baldwin IV, the Leper King of Jerusalem (Edward Norton, who was not credited in the theatrical version of the film but is in all home video editions). The music represents both his wisdom and the tragic fate the disease has forced upon beleaguered monarch, and concludes with a lament heard as Sybilla (Eva Green) observes her brother's face after his death.

  7. PATRICIDE (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 3:52
    This thickly textured string passage is one of the cues that Hans Zimmer has said he is most proud. Commodus is understandably upset when Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) informs him that he will not inherit the throne. In one of the most inspired moments in the score, high stabbing violins illustrate Commodus' moment of indecision before finally giving in to his desperation for power in a flood of 'celli and basses, the low registers signifying his slipping into darkness as he embraces his father for the last time.

  8. LIGHT AND SHADOW • DELIVERANCE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 7:19
    "Light and Shadow" is stately piece for choir and electronics with a flute bridge; while it does not appear in the film, both the beauty of the piece itself as well as the poetic sound of the name inclined me to name the album after it. Forbidding Spanish guitars by Bruno Manarres and Pepe Martinez are the driving force behind the ominous "Deliverance." This cue is heard in the film during the grueling trek inland for gold, and also appeared on my Ethereal compilation — I once was 'scoring' a role-playing session in which my character was that world's equivalent to a Spaniard, and I played this track each time I introduced myself as "I am Don Fernando Sartorinio;" it was funny the first few times but I ended up driving people up the wall with it — and concludes with a dark rendition of the "Light and Shadow" theme for the passing of Alonso de Bolaños (José Luis Ferrer). The decision to include both these tracks in their album order came early in the process; they work so perfectly in succession I saw no reason to change them.

  9. THE PILGRIM ROAD (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 2:44
    "Jerusalem is easy to find, go to where the men speak Italian, then continue until they speak something else." Exotic sounds mix with liturgical choral passages (including a variation on Balian's theme) as Balian is set in charge of protecting the route by which Europeans flood the Middle East on their holy quest.

  10. THE OUTER PROVINCES (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 6:38
    While I did some editing on some of the other tracks, this track is the only real suite that I made, and it's not much of one at that, being based heavily on the suites Zimmer himself had created for his album presentations. I had included a suite of the same title on my compilation The Farthest Reaches and they do overlap in content. This, however, is a new edit that opens with a reprise of Proximo's theme introduced in "Strength and Honor" (track 4), now treated with African percussion as befits the Algerian setting, a town called Zuccabar (mislabeled as a province in the film); this is an early version of the desert journey which evolved into what is one of my favorite motives from the score, an amalgam of Arabian and Moroccan sounds heard immediately afterward. These pieces were sourced from "The General Who Became a Slave" from the More Music from Gladiator album, then I segue (via the use of an unreleased cue from the training sequence) to the parade and (after a fleeting appearance of the "Earth" theme heard in more detail later) frenzied music for Maximus and Juba's (Djimon Hounsou) first public combat as heard in "The Slave Who Became A Gladiator," although I mixed in a bit of the tail end of the same music as it appears in "The Might of Rome" on the original soundtrack album to create a 'cleaner' end on Lisa Gerrard's vocal for the crossfade into...

  11. MOXICA AND THE HORSE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 6:58
    ...one of Vangelis' most sensual compositions for Spanish guitar, vocals and electronics, which is heard throughout 1492, but most fully in one of the film's most tactile scenes, in which Moxica's (Michael Wincott) horse is an object of great fascination for the natives. I had previously included this haunting track on my Sensations compilation. Once again, the "Conquest of Paradise" single had this track without the crossfades that appear on the soundtrack album, and so I didn't have to isolate this track before including it.

  12. AM I NOT MERCIFUL? (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer) 4:44
    The thick string textures from "Patricide" (track 7) return as Commodus, fallen into jealous madness of Maximus, explains to Lucilla (Connie Neilsen) what his intentions are for her and her son. The piece is based upon insistent variations on the "Progeny" theme, which also appears in its original form first as punctuation to the string passages, then taking over to close this piece's appearance here. This is probably my single favorite moment in the Gladiator score.

  13. CORONATION (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 2:54
    Sybilla must accept the hand of Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas) in marriage for the protection of her son when Balian refuses to be party to the Templar's murder. Her sorrow at being forced into a loveless marriage is offset by the grandeur of the proceedings and a Lisabeth Scott vocal as Sybilla notices disturbing things about her son (this is a necessary plot that was eliminated from the theatrical version of the film).

  14. LANDSCAPE (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 1:25
    After the intensity of the previous two tracks, I introduced this placid piece evoking Scott and cinematographer Adrian Biddle's beautiful imagery of the New World. This track is from the "Conquest of Paradise" single that did not appear on the original soundtrack album.

  15. BARBARIAN HORDE (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer/Nick Glennie-Smith) 6:04
    The protagonists' first battle in the Colosseum of Rome, a re-creation of the Battle of Carthage is one of the major action setpieces of Gladiator, the voluminous cue for which has been distilled here; much of it was actually scored by Nick Glennie-Smith arranging Zimmer's themes. Zimmer reworked "Mars, the Bringer of War" from Gustav Holst's The Planets into a "Gladiator Waltz." In 2006, the Holst estate decided that this homage sounded more like plagiarism, and filed a lawsuit, which appears to have been settled out of court. The music is the harsh but ordered bustle that was the Roman war machine in the opening scene when Maximus commands Marcus Aurelius' armies, here it returns as he uses the organizational and tactical abilities that made him such an effective general to secure an unlikely victory. Bursting through the cacophony of the "Gladiator Waltz" is another rousing theme, one in the same vein as the composer's iconic Backdraft score (film score aficionados often refer to this Media Ventures/Remote Control stylism as the Iron Chef theme because of how often the various ones were used on that program, be they from Backdraft, Crimson Tide, The Rock or what have you...), which finally bursts through, followed by the "Earth" theme and then a bold statement of the "Maximus the General" theme from "The Battle" (heard on this disc as part of track 2) as the recognition of Maximus by the public cows Commodus, bringing the track to a thunderous finish.

  16. MONASTERY OF LA RÁBIDA (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 3:37
    After the explosive nature of the previous track, I wanted to take the album in a different direction, and "Monastery of La Rábida" was ideal for that purpose. While I had used the term 'monastic' before to describe Balien's theme from Kingdom of Heaven, this is the real thing, outlining Columbus' stay under the care of Antonio de Marchena (Fernando Rey) at the abbey at which his son Bartolomeo (Steven Waddington) trains. This is a combination of several variations on the theme heard throughout the the film, always associated with Columbus' sons (a very similar motif is used for his relationship to his brothers) performed primarily by Vangelis on keyboards and Didier Malherbe on flute, the English Chamber Choir eventually enters intoning "De Profundis."

  17. SYBILLA (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 1:44
    Delicate harps, piano and bells with a liturgical choir exhibit the character's beauty and vulnerability, as well as add a medieval-flavor to the proceedings. King Baldwin notices Sybilla and Balien's growing affection for one another, marked by brief quotation of his theme.

  18. TWENTY-EIGHTH PARALLEL (1492: Conquest of Paradise — Vangelis) 5:16
    Cascading harp glissandos (heard in the film as Columbus demonstrates his sextant) frame a moving rendition of the "Conquest of Paradise" theme (track 3) featuring a piano solo (the bulk of this track does not appear as such in the film). This is a perfect example of the way that Vangelis' sound can be at once both contemporary and ancient. It is the first track of this album's three-part endgame.

  19. ELYSIUM • HONOR HIM (Gladiator — Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard/Klaus Badelt) 3:57
    Lisa Gerrard returns in "Elysium" to form the sound introduced in "Wheat" (part of track 2) into a "Now We Are Free" theme, in which Maximus finds the fulfillment he'd been seeking throughout the film. This track continues into "Honor Him," the final statement of the "Earth" theme, and Marcus Aurelius' vision of Rome is fulfilled and the Republic is restored with Maximus' blood.

  20. RISE A KNIGHT (Kingdom of Heaven — Harry Gregson-Williams) 1:06
    Balien is forced to knight all of Jerusalem's men so that they may help defend the city from the forces of Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). His theme mounts into a powerful crescendo for orchestra and chorus, with which I close this album.

Tags: cinema, film music, hans zimmer, harry gregson-williams, my mixes, vangelis
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