- 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. *****