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Soundtrack Review

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Transsiberian / Princesas
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Alfonso de Vilallonga
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
Click here to buy from Caldera Records
Release Date: 31 January 2015

Caldera Records release Alfonso de Vilallonga's score for Transsiberian and as a bonus his music for Princesas is also included. Transsiberian is a tough, edgy thriller which stars Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrelson as a couple who travels from China to Moscow only to get involved in a dangerous drug smuggling crime, turning their holiday into a fight for survival. Coupled with Transsiberian is the music for the Spanish production Princesas about the friendship of two prostitutes and their struggle in both their lives and their profession...

Alfonso de Vilallonga's scores for Transsiberian and Princesas would probably have passed most English speaking score lover's attention if it weren't for the sterling work done here by Caldera Records. Coupling the two short score on one CD is one that works incredibly well, especially as they're both beautiful soundtracks in their own right. The approach Vilallonga took for both films is very different, but both have heartbreakingly beautiful themes.

The entire album contains 27 tracks (56 min, 28 sec). Of this, the first 14 tracks (25 min, 37 sec) is music from Transsiberian; 12 tracks (24 min, 02 sec) are from Princesas; and the final track (6 min, 50 sec) is an interesting interview with the composer.

Transsiberian reminded me very much of Howard Shore's score for Dead Ringers, and 'I Will Still Love You' brought to mind Ed Welch's music for The Thirty Nine Steps (1978); while Princesas is much more a classical music affair. Both work incredibly well outside the film and are certainly scores that you'll want to keep returning to.

As an additional bonus we get an audio interview with Vilallonga, who gives us more of an insight into his approach. Of interest are his views on temp music and their use in pushing composers in the general direction that the directors want the music to encapsulate. He also gives us a background to his career and the two films he composes for here.

This is a remarkably impressive collection of themes.


Darren Rea