Latest reviews of new albums:
  • Composed by Nuno Malo
  • MovieScore Media MMS-10024 / 2010 / 47:54

A 2008 film about legendary Portuguese Fado singer Amalia Rodriguez, I don’t suppose Amalia will find much of a following outside its home territory.  For film music fans, it is certainly worth following, for the outstanding score by Nuno Malo.  Malo’s music is rich, melodic and quite spectacularly beautiful.  The main theme, “Lament: Fado Dos Meus Erros”, is a ravishing orchestral masterpiece, also heard at the album’s conclusion for an equally-gorgeous solo cello version.  It – and some of the other orchestral segments of the score – remind me of Ennio Morricone at his most melodic and orchestral, which is about as high praise as this particular reviewer could dish out to music like this.  The second score cue, “Opening: Close to Death”, is quite haunting, full of sorrow yet quite exquisitely beautiful.

While that style of music dominates, this score has several other facets.  Some sprightly, playful passages (often for solo guitar) make a welcome change of pace when they appear; guitar also plays a role in “Amalia Tenders to the Poor”, another piece which will tug at most listeners’ heartstrings.  There is so much strong melodic content here – realistically, we are unlikely to hear a Hollywood score like this in the foreseeable future, but they do still exist around Europe and, if any label is likely to discover them and give us a chance to hear them, it’s MovieScore Media.  This is probably my favourite release so far from the label and I hope people who love the kind of melodic orchestral writing which not just Morricone but also composers like Nino Rota, Georges Delerue and occasionally Maurice Jarre practiced, give this one a shot.  For me, it’s clearly one of the finest releases of 2010.  *****

Buy Amalia from and help support by following this link.

Tags: ,

  1. Michael (Reply) on Monday 20 December, 2010 at 12:55

    OK, purchased based on your recommendation. Hopefully I enjoy it as much as you did. Good to see the reviews coming thick and fast. Next up, Inception!!! (hopefully)

  2. dominique (Reply) on Tuesday 21 December, 2010 at 15:41

    thank you very much, james for this review!i just bought it on amazon and i have to say, wow! to me its one of the most beautiful , finest scores of 2010, maybe the most beautiful…
    thank you for your always appreciated reviews! have a merry christmas and all the best for you and your loved ones.

  3. john mansell (Reply) on Saturday 1 January, 2011 at 17:14

    I agree with you on all points, this is a superb soundtrack. I wish more of this wonderful composers work was available to purchase on recordings.

  4. ANDRÉ - CAPE TOWN. (Reply) on Friday 22 November, 2013 at 09:25

    I’ve just discovered NUNO MALO…and his score for THE CELESTINE PROPHECY contains the most beautiful music I’ve heard this year. The orchestral sound is hypnotically mellow> and when either guitar, pan pipes, piano or wordless chorus interpret the exquisite primary theme, the effect is mystical– the soul is stirred. NUNO was a young man of 15 years when he first read James Redfield’s novel… and the memory of his emotions then and during the following 10 years inspired this magnificent music. There are no [noticeable] electronics nor heavy, sampled percussive rhythms–the orchestra is quite capable of supplying any demand without resorting to Hollywood’s preferred modus operandi. If you were to review THE CELESTINE PROPHECY James, the score would feature among 2013’s Best Scores. Based on your review I’ve ordered a copy of AMALIA…I’ve heard a few tracks on Screen Archives site > they’re lovely, but CELESTINE PROPHECY’s emotional & harmonic structures reveal MALO’s progressive mastery of film scoring. He is now based in Los Angeles & I hope the ZIMMER conglomerate doesn’t persuade this talented composer to join ranks with Remote Control Productions.