BRUC.

1320940042_Bruc_MMS10025Epic and future classic film scores come along rarely, so when one does arrive it is important that we, as soundtrack collectors, support it and its composer. We must also ensure that our fellow collectors are aware of its existence so they can also appreciate it. BRUC is one such example. This is a score which I would say is already on my top twenty film score list. The reason for this being that it is not only a work of thunderous and epic proportions but also a score which oozes class and boasts a remarkable collection of melodious and haunting compositions courtesy of highly talented Spanish Maestro Xavier Capellas. BRUC is a period piece set in 1808 and centres around a young man Joan who is just 20 years of age who leads a small group of followers and ambushes Napoleon’s Grand Army on the border of France and Spain. Because of the element of surprise, the smaller force inflicts a humiliating defeat upon the superior French force and infuriates and embarrasses Emperor Napoleon who sends his most trusted Captain to track down the young Spaniard. What ensues, is a brutal and relentless manhunt. Capellas’ music is as brutal and unrelenting as the film itself and heightens the already taut and exciting atmosphere of the production. But in saying this, the composer also etches the movie with some of the most haunting and melodious tone poems that I have heard for some time. Again and again you will listen to this score and on each occasion will find something new and fresh within it. This is a score which has many faces – sensitive, emotive, savage and powerful. It is performed in the main by a large orchestra (The Kiev Symphony) which is supported by the use of featured instruments such as bouzouki, daduk, cello, violin and guitar. The composer also effectively utilizes choir and solo female voice; the latter adding a softer and earthy sound to the work. In track eleven, ‘When Will I See You Again?’ we are treated to a heartrending melody as bouzouki, violin and cello combine to create a mournful but highly emotional piece which is unfortunately short lived. Track two is also a short but affecting cue where the composer utilizes daduk, underlined by subtle strings and augmented by guitar; again creating an poignant mood.
Track three ‘Echo’ is one of the highlights; thunderous percussion and female voice herald its beginning, then the brass enter the equation creating a tense and urgent atmosphere. Strings join the proceedings and carry it forward in a forthright and purposeful fashion. The strings then combine with horns and percussion to give the central theme a full workout. This is a powerful and resounding composition. The entire score is a triumph, to be savoured, enjoyed and held in high regard by collectors and aficionados of movie music. I am of the opinion that the many composers who are now becoming popular from Spain will in the future be our A-list or high profile movie music Maestros. And Maestros they are, in the true sense of the word, as they are all meticulous and original musicsmiths who bring much to the art of scoring films and have studied the subject of music composition in depth and earnestness. Xavier Capellas is one of the most talented composers I have come across during my time reviewing and talking/writing about film music. Buy this disc or regret it forever!

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