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Soundtrack review: Albion: The enchanted stallion (George Kallis – 2016)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Albion: The enchanted stallion (George Kallis – 2016)

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“Albion: The enchanted stallion” is a 2016 adventure movie. The film follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old girl who gets transported to the mystical world of Albion with the help of a magical black stallion. Upon arrival, she discovers that she alone is the key to saving an entire race of people. George Kallis wrote the score.

I’m always looking forward to a fantasy adventure score as there are no limits to the imagination and a composer can just write whatever he dreams of. The opening “From your spirit” is just what I wanted to hear: a dreamy, melodic orchestral cue with a innocent vocal part to usher me into this musical world. The piano is suave, the violin inviting and the whole theme is my means of transport to the world of Albion. This is the kind of opening cue that lets me know it will be impossible for me not to like this score because a composer can’t start with a cue like this and go wrong from there. There’s also the appeal of an orchestral score, the comfort of hearing it, the warmth of the sound. “Riding to Albion” shows me a more alert tone but just as enjoyable with the furious strings and the background choir. The choir is used in a fantasy or fairytale score so often because it works and I never get tired of it. Here we get both choir and a dreamy solo voice that chants something and just makes the score more charming. “A long time ago” is very early in the score but already a magnificent, magical piece of music that will be hard to top.

The playful part of the adventure is also handled very enjoyably as the orchestra is joined by exotic instruments that explore the fantasy world in which the story takes place. I like the pace of a cue like “Split personalities” because it kind of reminds me of the Disney scores of old. It’s just another part of the story like evolution of this score and the more I listen to it, the more enchanted and excited I am to take part of it. The composer pulled no stops in painting this world with adventure, danger and emotion and I hear all of this in the music. There’s also a nice little victorian like piece “The river and the palace” that always sits well in a score like this; I love the Celtic vibe. I like the sudden melodic bursts that feel as if I was exploring a mysterious terrain and suddenly there are spectacular valleys.

I can barely find any flaws in this as a fairytale / adventure score; George Kallis imagined a musical landscape as fascinating as the visual one and wrote a warm, melodic and beautiful orchestral score in which I found all the elements I was looking for, from epic choirs to emotional or playful moments; once I closed my eyes the standalone journey for me was an escape to a wonderful and mysterious land and “Albion: The enchanted stallion” is the kind of score that doesn’t need the support of the images to enchant, move and inspire.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 31 / 51

Album excellence: 60%

Highlights:
Opening: From Your Spirit
A Long Time Ago
The Two Tribes
The River and the Palace
Mysterious Horses and Kelpies
The Abbess
A Friend
The Queen
Eriu Appears
A Wonderful Place of Nature
The Strength to Light Our Way

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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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