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Soundtrack Review

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Original Score
(10th Anniversary Remastered)


Composer: Alex Heffes
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
SILED1740 (download)
Release Date: 05 December 2023

To mark the 10th anniversary of acclaimed biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, Silva Screen Records is digitally releasing the Golden Globe nominated original soundtrack, composed by Award-winning British composer Alex Heffes. The score has been fully restored and re-mastered for this digital release...

Alex Heffes original score for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is as fresh and engaging as it was on its original release in 2013. In preparation for composing the music, Heffes travelled to South Africa in order to record vocals and percussion in Johannesburg before returning to London to record the full score with a 65-piece orchestra.

Heffes collaborated with South African singing legend Caiphus Semenya who’s voice is featured to depict Mandela’s passing into manhood as a young boy and ultimately reprised for his inauguration as South Africa’s first black president.

The score consists of 22 tracks (57 min, 28 sec) and it works beautifully in the movie, taking on the characteristics and helping to give an emotional view into where Mandela is at each point in his life. Heffes really gets under the skin of the movie and adds an additional layer to the onscreen imagery. On balance, this is a melancholic score which really gets its claws into you.

Even tracks like 'Humiliation', which on the surface appears to be a background ambient piece, has its place. It's slowly building to something and the payoff is greater for the gradual reveal.

If you didn't purchase this on its original release, then now is the perfect opportunity to add it to your collection. It's a score you'll get many hours of listening pleasure from.


Darren Rea

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