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  • Composed by Xavier Capellas
  • MovieScore Media / 2010 / 53:02

A Spanish film, Bruc tells the story of a small group of villagers who defeated the army of the mighty Napoleon in the early 19th century near Barcelona.  Xavier Capellas is a veteran composer of film and television music in Spain, having written over fifty scores during the last two decades; I believe this release is the first international one of any of his music.  It comes courtesy of MovieScore Media, who for several years have been showcasing fine music generally for films which are little-known in the English-speaking world and frequently are by composers who are similarly not widely-known outside their homelands.

Bruc does all the things one thinks the score for a historical epic should do – massed orchestral (and occasionally choral) forces, powerful percussion, sweeping themes.  There’s a tremendously moving theme too, frequently heard in very thin arrangements (solo duduk or cello) – it’s really quite exquisite, always welcome, refreshingly not overused.  There’s even a vocal version, performed by Beth Rodergas in Spanish (the download version of the album also features a Catalan version) which is very beautiful.  Capellas doesn’t just do the expected, however – there are many passages of very gentle music played by a small ethnic ensemble – duduk, bouzouki, tanbur – which the composer explains in the liner notes represent the isolation of the film’s heroes.  I’m not quite so sure about the electronic element of some parts of the score – it has a certain ethereal quality but sounds, well, electronic, maybe a little too modern for the context.  But in general this is a well-balanced album, a mixture of action, adventure, romance and spiritualism.  Recommended.  *** 1/2

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