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Soundtrack review: Christus (Marco Frisina – 2016)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Christus (Marco Frisina – 2016)


Kronos Records continues to do the seemingly impossible: I am now listening to a score for a epic biblical film from…100 years ago. I am not exaggerating, the movie “Christus” was made in the silent age, in 1916 while the score was added at the restauration from 1999 and was composed by Marco Frisina, who is not only a composer but also a Roman Catholic pirest. He is the director of the Pastoral Worship Center at the Vatican. It will be fascinating to hear this score written by someone like him and on the day of the Catholic Easter Sunday.
The prologue takes me completely by surprise: I feel as if I’m back in the musical world of Miklos Rozsa’s “Ben Hur”. I came in ready for a religious inspired score but I didn’t expect to find so much emotion and so many layers right from the start. I expected to hear choirs and chants but I didn’t expect the music to start telling me a wonderful story so early. I feel as if the first cue starts building the stones and pillars of the musical temple I am going to worship in. The music is gorgeous without being heavy or imposing and it makes me feel at home. I am comfortable in this world and I go all in. The gentle horns and the tender flow of the music caressing me like sun beams make me believe in this album and make me love it with all my heart.
If I didn’t know I would be certain that this score was composed sometimes in the 50s. It has that honest sound stripped of processing and exaggerations. I’ve always felt very close to that sound because the music is so beautiful and melodic. The dramatic parts are just as believable and complex. I feel the sweet anticipation for hearing the flute at some point in this score because there’s no way a composition that deals with such a beautiful subject will not have an innocent flute motif that will just make me want to close my eyes and dream. I find my dear friend for the first time in “Strage degli innocent” and I adore listening to this. “Maddalena” is another gorgeous theme that will stay with you long after it’s gone.
“Christus” is the kind of score that exposes the beauty and warmth of faith, of truly believing in something. The music gives me that certainty that I found my place and nothing can go wrong as long as I stay there and just believe. Something like this could only have been written by someone who understands faith, who loves and who knows that believing in something with all your heart is the most beautiful thing in the world. I believe in film music like this. As far as religious inspired scores go you will find few as beautiful as this one. I could extend that to film scores in general. Once again Kronos Records releases a stunning composition you will never forget.

Cue rating: 96 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 63 / 77
Album excellence: 82%

Prologo del Christus
I Magi
Strage degli Innocenti
Fuga in Egitto
L’infanzia di Gesu’
Due Civilta’
In Galilea
Ingresso in Gerusalemme
L’ultima Cena
Davanti a Pilato
La Croce sul Golgota
La Deposizione della Croce
La Resurrezione dal Sepolcro
L’ascensione sul Monte degli Ulivi

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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