- Composed by George Kallis
- MovieScore Media / 2013 / 48m
Yuri Gagarin was one of those people who could claim to have done something genuinely extraordinary – the Russian Cosmonaut who, on 12 April 1961, became the first human being to go to space. Gagarin: First in Space is a Russian film biopic. The elegant score is provided by Cypriot composer George Kallis, who attracted some attention a few years ago with his score for Highlander: The Source. His music for Gagarin is a mixture of orchestra, choir and fairly subtle electronics and is a mixture of a classical film score, with understandable Russian influences and occasionally some more modern tendencies. It’s very impressive and makes a very entertaining album. There’s a parade of main themes in the first few tracks. The brief “The Night Before” is a lovely orchestral piece before a Prokofiev-style chorus is heard in “Vostok”. “Yuri and Valentina” offers a tender piano-based love theme.
Some of the set pieces are wonderful. “The Launch of Vostok” – with slightly Zimmerish percussion accompanying the orchestra and choir – is flushed through with an incredible dose of heroism. “Levity” is a truly gorgeous piece of choral music expressing the grace and majesty of space. By contrast, “The Hanging” is a brutally dark piece of drama, as its name would suggest, rumbling and growling from the orchestra’s lower registers accompanied by unsettling electronics. “Cosmos” is one of my favourite tracks, wrapping up a lot of the grandeur and heroism of the early space flights in its four minutes. “Vostok in Space” has a spirit of adventure to add to its great beauty. “People in the Streets” is a wonderful later piece, an expression of joy and celebration. Gagarin: First in Space is a really impressive album from start to finish, definitely recommended, featuring music which is grand, heroic, sometimes beautiful, sometimes exciting – great stuff.