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Elizabeth - The Golden Age (Music from the Motion Picture)

Craig Armstrong & AR Rahman

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Album Review

Since it was only two years earlier in 2005 that HBO covered the same material in a two-part, three-and-a-half-hour mini-series called Elizabeth I, starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons, and there have been earlier depictions as well, one may wonder why the world needed yet another movie about the 16th century queen of England in 2007. But director Shekhar Kapur could make prior claim to the story in the sense that Elizabeth: The Golden Age was really a sequel, nine years on, to his 1998 film Elizabeth, also starring Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, and treating the famed monarch's early years. Elizabeth: The Golden Age moved on to the familiar events of the 1580s, well into Elizabeth's long reign, including the execution of Mary Queen of Scots and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. To handle the scoring, Kapur turned to two composers, Craig Armstrong and A.R. Rahman, who are co-credited on all the compositions. Their writing, for an orchestra with bits of "programming" (the percussion sounds augmented by synthesized effects here and there), seems well shaped to the story, providing stately, majestic themes like "Immensities" before turning to an ominous, foreboding cue with choir for the inevitable "Mary's Beheading" and drum rolls and rollicking rhythms for "Battle." At odd moments, for instance in the vocal solo in "Mary's Beheading" and in a sitar-like sound in "Divinity Theme," there is a seemingly inappropriate Indian flavor to the music. Such sounds recall similar elements in another adaptation of a thoroughly English story, Mira Nair's 2004 film of Vanity Fair, and one can't help wondering if the Indian or Indian-heritage artists making these films and these scores felt compelled to sneak a bit of their own culture in, whether it makes sense or not, perhaps as a claim on the Indian influence on the British Empire.

Customer Reviews

I've been waiting for this one!

What a gorgeous album, and what an amazing day for soundtrack releases! I found this one, Transformers, and Hole in the Paper Sky all in a row in the "Just In" section - bingo, three full-album purchases where every single cue is amazing. This music is really a wonderful mix of sweeping & romantic cues that makes me want to see the movie that much more. FYI, the music from the trailer is "My Name is Lincoln" from Steve Jablonsky's score to THE ISLAND.

Title Menu song

The title menu song is by Steve Jablonsky and it's from the movie "The Island", which, unfortunately, iTunes does not currently offer. The song is the second to last on the CD and is called, "My Name is Lincoln". Please give us this CD, iTunes! Oh, and the music from this movie is great too. Very stirring :)

Great album, but...

Does anyone know what the background music is in the extended trailer? I couldn't find it in the album, and I did buy it. I'm not talking about the "My Name is Lincoln" song. In the new trailer, there is an amazing orchestral piece that fits perfectly, and I expected it to be in the "Battle" Part, and I was dissapointed that it wasn't in the album. Anyone know what the song is?

Biography

Born: January 6, 1967 in Chennai, India

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Since Roja hit movie screens in South India in 1992, A.R. Rahman has redefined the country's widely popular film music. Generally regarded as the finest Indian film composer of his time (and certainly the most commercially successful), Rahman produced music for dozens of widescreen releases just during his first five years in the industry. He has worked with many of his country's brightest music stars and...
Full Bio

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