on 22 February 2002
This music is so easy to listen to and relax. There is the feeling of history and the toil and danger, but never a feeling of depression.
Though I had the title track on my Vangelis compilation, 'Portraits' which was a real highlight, I only recently came to know this lesser known film score by the London based Greek keyboard wizard.
I bought the DVD of the film, but as anyone who knows that film, with Gerard Depardieu awkwardly handling his leading role as Columbus, and with the lumpy narrative, the music suffers.
Much better to let this CD unfold at a decent volume either on proper hi-fi or through good headphones. Then, you get that epic journey washing over you, refreshing and submerging, so much so, that you can nearly smell the salty sea and hear the creaking timbers of the ship. It works as an album too, with most pieces (these are 'pieces', not tracks!) seguing nicely one from another.
1492 is more symphonic - and even 'classical' that than say, Chariots of Fire, but don't let that put you off and I think is probably an all-round better album than that one. But, this is still powerfully accessible and hugely emotive stuff, you just have to appreciate good music, crafted by the best man who composes AND plays all his own music, in the World.
on 21 September 2007
If you ever saw the movie (who did't??) you must agree with me that the music was awesome. This is one of those CD's that have been composed very well and even without the movie you get a very good picture in your mind what's going on. There is one song where I just imagine the 'Pinta', 'Niña' and the 'Santa Maria' sailing through the rought seas towards the new world...really gripping. Even after so many years I still play this CD on a regular basis. Stronly recommended.
I received this as a Christmas present way back in 1992 when it was released. I've been playing it on my hi-fi and in my car on and off since. I think this is one of Vangelis's best soundtrack albums. It is luscious and dreamy in its soundscapes and essence of the high seas and of Christopher Columbus's conquest across the Atlantic to discover the Americas way back in 1492. For this brilliant piece of music, Vangelis uses his usual standard of sounds and music on his synthesizers accompanied by an orchestra and choir along with solo voices to get the atmosphere of the 15th century.
My favourite tracks if I were to choose any would be "Conquest of Paradise" because of its vision of riding across the surf and travelling through the waters and "Pina. Nina. Santa Maria (Into Eternity)" for its epic feel and quality of the music mixed in with the various sounds Vangelis conjures up on his synthesizers.
One of my favourite Vangelis CDs and it's this album that made me fall in love with Vangelis's music and made me realise how much an influence he has become to many musicians out there. This CD is relaxing and makes you drift and visualise the landscapes that gets painted on the listeners' minds when they're listening. A wonderful soundtrack to a pretty decent film by Ridley Scott. Celebrating 500 years since Columbus 'sailed the ocean blue'. Magnificent.
For me, this is not a soundtrack to a film but a whole musical journey into the past and into vaguely explored personal territories. It can also be a journey through an epic landscape but one of great depth and subtlety too, through `Light and Shadow', as one of the tracks has it; almost a religious experience. So much so, that for years I put off ever seeing the film on video for fear that the marriage between sound and vision would destroy the magic.
I have thousands of CDs and LPs. Vangelis's `1492' must be in the top ten favourites. His broad palette of instrumental sounds and voices here combine in a consistent soundworld, but one which also can mix Amerindian indigenous drums with that of an Arab muezzin, an English chorale, Spanish guitar, and a Balkan cimbalom. All of this is washed with Vangelis's skilful play of sequencers and western orchestral effects.
There is not one duff track here. The opening sets the dark scene but it is futile to resist the main theme that follows. The soundworld of `Monastery of La Rabida' caresses and atones with grace and dignity, whilst `City of Isabel' has the atmosphere of a late-medieval royal court. `Light and Shadow' demonstrates Vangelis's typical series of processional choral crescendos (such harmonies!) mixed here with a pastoral and Handelian flute. This leads without a break to `Deliverance', where a Spanish guitar trills whilst sustained string chords pass over like clouds. There is the thunder of distant drums and a reprise with echoes of `Dies Irae'.
Part two includes some mesmerising percussion in `Hispanola', like the sound of a dark forest. With the shamanic chant in `Moxica and the Horse' we travel deeper into the darkness, but the piano with `orchestra' of `28th Parallel' brings us back into the light, reprising earlier themes. And so, we sail home in the thirteen-minute long final track; thirteen minutes of blessed return to the everyday world, but now feeling much richer from the experience.
These words could never fully express the force of this music, which can be heightened further when listening to it whilst travelling by train. In a way, music is motion, existing as it does in the four dimensions; and sometimes listening to music in motion can be an unforgettable experience where glimpses of eternity are seen. `1492' is one of those pieces that can enable such glimpses.
on 6 July 2014
I've had this soundtrack for almost a year now & I still love playing it! During that time it has become one of my favourites & is almost as good as Blade Runner. However, unlike that soundtrack, I've not seen the film to which it belongs. The main reason I bought it is because it shares the same composer as that sci-fi classic; Vangelis. But why has he made so few, as he seems equally at home creating the warm choral & orchestral sounds of the 15th century as he was in the cold synthesised sounds of the imagined 21st? Of course, in creating his soundtrack for 1492, he still employs his trusted synthesisers. Perhaps Vangelis is choosy about the projects to which he agrees to work on.
The best thing about this soundtrack is its lack of repetition, bar the re-occurence of the 'Conquest Of Paradise' theme in 'Twenty Eighth Parallel', though in a completely different arrangement on piano. IMO, there is not a weak piece on the album but my three favourites are, the aforementioned 'Conquest Of Paradise', 'Light & Shadow' & 'Hispanola'.
So, if you are a fan of soundtrack music, you really must have this in your collection!
on 17 April 2012
My last copy of "Conquest of Paradise" was stolen which does not surprise me as it is a great piece of music. I was worried that I would not be able to replace it but this c.d. is just what I wanted. Every track is evocative of the time and place in history and so very well presented as to make you want to cry! I would recommend this c.d. to anyone who loves top class background music and it goes particularly well with Sunday lunch!
on 14 February 2010
This is a brilliant album. Vangelis has created some beautiful and moving passages of instrumentation and some dramitic and hypnotic rythems which are backed up with deep synthesised base. This is a great CD for long car journeys and you just have to play it again when it finishes. My favorite track in 10, moxam and the horse which lasts for about10 minutes. Superb!
on 26 May 2014
This was one of these soundtracks that I remembered themes of, but could never remember what they were originally from and so I was glad to eventually find this soundtrack CD of Vangelis's original score. Although many of the electronic sample sounds may sound dated now to many; the arrangements, melodies and soundworlds created are still beautiful, moving and unique in their mix of medieval / renaissance styles, eastern & spanish references and contemporary sounds and infuences. The main theme from this is of course iconic now, often used on TV and for the olympic games; understandably so with it's catchy melody, uplifting and heroic style.
I feel this score and Vangelis influenced many film composers after this, especially when concerning historic / epic / fantasy films; there are many striking similarities stylistically here in Hans Zimmer's music for example; when concerning his instrumentation, electronic sample sound usage, heavy percussion, heroic, rhythmic romantic melodies, spanish / eastern references and medieval / renaissance influences (a good example being Zimmer's score to 'Gladiator', in which he similarly collaborated with director Ridley Scott).
Overall I would highly recommend this soundtrack to any film music / Vangelis fan; the only criticism I would have is that this soundtrack doesn't have more of the score. Nevertheless it is a classic of it's time and paved the way forward for many film scores after this.
on 14 September 2013
It's one of the only Vangelis albums I have that I could listen to over and over again.
The music is detailed and very melodic and for me very relaxing.
My Wife enjoys listening to this album too despite being a pop music fan.
Infact, I think she has turned into a Vangelis fan too.
The tracks on this album are pieced together well and really suit the soundtrack for the film.
Vangelis at his very best!