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Albion: The Enchanted Stallion
  • Composed by George Kallis
  • MovieScore Media / 2017 / 52m

A fantasy film screened at various festivals in 2016 before being released on home video earlier this year, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion tells the story of a 12-year-old girl transported to an ancient kingdom (Albion) and finding she holds the key to saving a whole race, with the help of Albion legends like Jeff Astle and Bryan Robson (OK, there’s a joke that won’t travel well across the Atlantic).  The music comes from the talented George Kallis and I’m pleased to report that its style shares much in common with the conventional view of fantasy film music and little in common with more contemporary takes.  For the most part it is bold and orchestral, focusing initially on various renditions of a good main theme, which in the first few tracks (starting with the grand opening “From Your Spirit” goes from rousing adventure music to an almost ethereal choir-backed version.  But there are numerous other themes and motifs running through the score, and an impressive array of different colours: I love for instance the contrast in styles but consistency of feeling between the gentle lilt of “The River and the Palace” and the spiritual “Mysterious Horses and Kelpies”.

The colour palette does include a variety of darker ones, which become more prevalent as the album progresses.  Kallis remains firmly in fantasy territory through them: there are some thunderous passages of brass and percussion, the choir reverts from heavenly to positively devilish at times; the Ravelian high-jinks of “Gallgaidheal” actually reminds me of Legend when the track reaches its most feverish.  The peak action/adventure moment is probably “The Abbess”, a rousing piece of dark action.  Things generally hang together very well: I am less enamoured by the occasional jaunts into more comedic territory, but they are few and far between and for the most part this is the type of film music that a lot of people really like but don’t get to hear that often any more.  Much seems to be packed into the 52-minute running time and the highlights are really great – by the time you arrive at the rich and moving finale “A Wonderful Place of Nature”, it feels like it’s been quite a ride (and in fact there are still two pieces left).  Recommended.

Rating:
*** 1/2
An engaging, old-fashioned fantasy adventure

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  1. , Andre>>Cape Town (Reply) on Sunday 11 June, 2017 at 23:07

    I heard `A Wonderful place of Nature` on u Tube…a lovely melody with emotive undertones. I heard a few other tracks– that might well be COVER versions–as the orchestral stylization morphed into rather distasteful sounding pop music???