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Cleopatra - Original soundtrack of the film featuring Elizabeth Taylor (2CD) (OST) [Soundtrack]

Alex North Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 17.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Cleopatra - Original soundtrack of the film featuring Elizabeth Taylor (2CD) (OST) + Ben Hur + Spartacus
Price For All Three: 28.21

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Mar 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B00005A3N8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,766 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Finally available after four decades, this complete two-CD set of Alex North's monumental two-and-a-half-hour score for Cleopatra (1963) is a dream come true for serious film music aficionados. The story of the restoration of this music is an epic in itself, well told in the excellent accompanying 24-page colour booklet. The score is a landmark in film composition, combining elements of the bold militarism of Miklós Rózsa's Ben-Hur (1959) with North's own much more modernistic style to create a work which ranges from cold menace and atonality to the deep lyricism and romance. Considering the overlapping subject matter it is unsurprising to find references to North's own music for Spartacus (1960), though the material here is almost entirely new and is based on separate themes for Cleopatra's relationships with Anthony and Caesar, together with an "ambition" theme. Around these North weaves an extraordinarily complex fabric, interspersed with such bold set pieces as "Moon Gate" and the 14-minute "Sea Battle". Use of percussion, from the savagely warlike to the glitteringly mysterious is always imaginative, never resorting to Hollywood cliché. The restored sound, while lacking the impact of more modern recordings, is full and highly detailed. This is probably the most essential archive soundtrack release since John Williams' Superman. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

Twentieth Century Fox and Varèse Sarabande Records present one of the most colossal film score restorations of all time! Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison star in one of the most breathtaking epics in motion picture history the story of the Queen of the Nile's tumultuous love affairs with Marc Antony and Julius Caesar. Directed by the great Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve), CLEOPATRA's astounding recreation of the eighteen years leading up to the formation of the Roman Empire makes for one of the most lavish productions in Hollywood history. Equally historic is this first-ever presentation of over 150 minutes of Alex North's glorious and Academy Award-nominated film score. The composers own score for Spartacus and Miklós Rózsa's magnificent Ben Hur are perhaps this score s only peers. Recorded with an orchestra of unprecedented size, it is truly one of the most extraordinary scores ever composed for a film. CLEOPATRA has never before been available on CD. An LP of recorded highlights of North's music spent some six months on the charts and was in the US the countrys number 2 album for three weeks. Now, for the first time ever, the complete original soundtrack from the film, digitally re-mastered and sounding better than ever, is presented on this elaborately packaged double CD.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLEOPATRA,S BACK WITH AVENGANCE! 10 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
FOR MOST OF MY ADULT LIFE I,VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR A COPY OF THIS BRILLIANT SCORE BY ALEX NORTH, WHEN I FIRST HEARD THE MAIN THEME I JUST COULD,NT GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD, BUT NOW IT,S HERE AT LONG LAST, THE MUSIC ON THIS DOUBLE CD HAS BEEN TOTALLY REMASTERED TO TODAYS STANDARDS, THE MUSIC SOUNDS AS FRESH AS IT DID ALL THOSE YEARS AGO, THE MUSIC HAS BEAUTIFUL SWEEPING THEMES FOR CLEOPATRA,JULIUS CEASAR AND MARK ANTONY, THIS SOUNDTRACK IS FOR ALEX NORTH FANS OR FANS OF THE FILM ITSELF.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soundtrack as they should be 30 Sep 2003
Format:Audio CD
The opening music of this film have stayed with me for over 40 years (I even wrote some lyrics for it) The composer had his own ideas of how this score should be done and most of it is inspired. From the use of the the original style of Roman horns for blaring fanfares, to cues reminiscent of Prokofiev, to the almost 50's love theme for Anthony and Cleopatra, the music is interesting and compelling. The amount of music for the film was immense. Some have said North borrowed from Spartacus, but this is pure nonsense. These were two very different films. There is none of the innocence of the love in the other film. Cleopatra is about people who know their way around. The jet setters of the Roman World, and the music reflects this. As far as I can tell every cue is there on the discs.
The recording is crisp and the double disc set comes with a 24 page booklet crammed with information about the film and the music.
This is a must for anyone who claims to be a serious collector of film music, or indeed for those who just love music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alex North's "Cleopatra" 19 May 2011
By NormaE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Since its release in the early 60s, the film "Cleopatra" seems to have divided opinion sharply; some see it as a cinematic triumph, others as a sprawling mess. Nevertheless, most seem to be in agreement on one thing, and that is the quality of Alex North's score for the film.
I have great difficulty when attempting to sum up this mammoth effort in a few words. Is the music eerie, hypnotic, and haunting? Absolutely. Is it mysterious, evocative, and beautiful? Definitely. Indeed, when listening to this score, I'm struck by how subtle and sophisticated it is. So what do I actually mean by that? Well, the primary aim of a film score must be to augment the subject of the film itself, thus enhancing the viewing experience of the audience, and here, North succeeds admirably. However, the music has a freshness and vitality, a sort of "timeless" quality, which gives it a life of its own beyond the boundaries of the film.
I must admit that I'm not an admirer of all of North's work, some of which I find to have too "abstract" a quality about it. Of course,this is purely subjective, and comes down to a matter of personal taste. Objectively, anyone who listens to his music for the likes of "Virginia Woolf", "Spartacus", "Cheyenne Autumn" and "The Agony and the Ecstasy" can only acknowledge the man as a master craftsman, and "Cleopatra" as his masterpiece.
Finally, thanks to Varese Sarabande for making this double cd available.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for all ears. 3 Dec 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For years and years I wore out my Cleopatra vhs tapes and dived into the enchantment of Ancient Egypt. The movie is a feast for all five senses and Alex North's soundtrack is truly fantastic - I love working (I'm a literature researcher) listening to this wonderful edition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cleopatra 2 disk soundtrack review 6 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having previously heard only some of this score via inferior earlier CD releases, I can say that the sound quality of this restoration is a revelation. The music has presence, depth, great separation and now I can hear instruments that were barely audible before. Wonderful!

Its a long album though. Both disks are in excess of 70 minutes, so I'm still working my way through them.

If you are a fan of Alex North's music or a film score collector, then you need to hear this two CD set from Varese Sarabande.
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