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Soundtrack review: Maria di Nazaret (Guy Farley – 2012)

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“Maria di Nazaret” is a television movie from 2012, directed by Giacomo Campiotti. The two part movie was a huge success in Italy as it recounts the story of Jesus’ mother Maria and accompanies her throughout the life of the son of God until his death on the cross. The music was written by Guy Farley who had a very interesting score last year with “Secret Shearer”. Bible themed scores are almost always playing ground for great and powerful music.

When I hear “Maria’s theme” I wonder if Guy Farley is really British or if there’s a lot of Italian music genes in him. This is a perfect romantic theme I would have expected from none other than Morriconne. I instantly travel back in time to the era of Italian romance and to maestro Ennio’s most melodic scores. Then I remember John Barry and it all makes sense. I close my eyes and almost hear “Somewhere in time”. What a stunning opening this was. A first cue like this can alter my expectations of the score and maybe hurt other cues which would otherwise sound very nice.

But what if I can’t hurt any cue? What if most of them are so good, tender and emotional that they touch me in different ways and move me in different ways? There’s the romantic beauty of “The serpent”, there’s the mysterious and atmospheric “Mary’s journey” which is so wonderful in its simplicity. I understand what the composer is showing me here. I see beauty and innocence, I see a clean and simple life and this cue makes me long for it. “The shepherds” gives me goose bumps. The ethnic flute, the emotion, the heartbreak….I don’t even know which cue I like best. I will listen to all of them again for sure and take my time in deciding.

The music has that certain something that makes me see it as a legend brought to life. I have a strong feeling of the past when I listen to it, a beautiful past, another world which cannot be replicated. I see old photos and text and I have the desire to experience what the music suggests to me the characters experienced. Guy Farley focuses on the purity rather than the turbulence of those times and it’s perfect.

“Maria di Nazaret” is one of the most intimate and beautiful score I’ve heard in a while. The subtle and melodic piano strokes are like drops of rain in the desert. You almost can’t believe they are real. The female choral parts give me shivers and the ambient moments are soft and intense like a prayer. Guy Farley wrote a musical fairytale that I just want to put in a glass globe and have with me all the time. I stand by the two names I mentioned in the beginning: this is a score John Barry would have written after a meeting with Ennio Morricone and it’s amazing to find a composer worthy of that legacy. Get this score and welcome it into your life…

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 54 / 4

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

  1. Maria’s Theme
  2. Maria Titles
  3. The Serpent
  4. Mary’s Journey
  5. Shepherds
  6. The Game
  7. Elizabeth’s Dance
  8. Maria At Prayer
  9. Anger & Apparition
  10. A Place To Stay
  11. Israel
  12. Birth
  13. The Census
  14. Magi
  15. Premonition
  16. My Son
  17. Lost And Found
  18. Denial
  19. 39 Lashes
  20. The Cross
  21. Calvary
  22. He Will Live
  23. Memories
  24. End Titles – Maria’s Theme

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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