I think that the two genres of movie that are most difficult to write music for must be comedy and also religious stories. it’s a fine line the composer treads at times especially with Biblically slanted tales, does he or she go all out and create a overly symphonic and celestial sound and risk swamping the key scenes with a veritable flood of music or do they go down the more subdued and delicate route? Either way music in religious movies has to be just so or the composer risks becoming over the top engaging a multitude of heavenly voices supported by tumultuous brass and stirring strings only for these to work against the storyline because it is just to full on. We all know that there are any religious films or films based on the Bible and stories that are from the Holy land that have been scored perfectly, the composers in question such as Rosza, Newman, Debney etc writing music that not only supports and enhances but ingratiates each and every scene and frame and getting the balance correct. BEN HUR, THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, THE ROBE, PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and their like being prime and perfect examples of music working wonderfully for the movie and also working as an entity on its own away from any images. Composer Marco Frisina, is I have to admit one of the very few composers in recent years that I have heard that manages to get the formula and the mix right on every occasion, his rich and deeply emotive themes becoming an extension of the films that he has scored and also becoming another part of the story that is unfolding on screen giving each character and each scenario greater depth and dimension. CHRISTUS (1916) is for me one of Frisina’s most spiritual and emotionally poignant soundtracks, it is not only uplifting and filled with a fragility that comes from delicate tone poems that delight and haunt the listener but it also has to it a beauty and a celestial magnificence which is created by the composers utilization of a large string section that underlines and also leads within the perimeters of the score. Choir too is present which is embellished by the use of rumbling percussion which can either be fearsome or a precursor and announcement of a miracle or something beguiling the percussion combined with proud brass flourishes at times creates an aura and mood that is deeply moving. CHRISTUS is a silent movie so the score is more or less continuous the composer punctuating and supporting proceedings with an ever present musical background, but it is more than just a musical wallpaper that runs throughout the duration of the movie, it brings a freshness and new life to an already classic motion picture. The score has never been released on disc before, it was released as a digital recording but now at last Kronos records have issued the score for collectors, it is a soundtrack that will truly entertain and inspire you, a score that will make you sit up and listen and also one that you will return to many times.
It is one of those rare moments in film music where you feel a deep connection with the film which is made even stronger because of the music, I know you will love it as I do. Lets hope that Kronos will release more of the film works of Marco Frisina soon. CHRISTUS the score is overflowing with an attractive and magnificent sound that enhances the images on screen but never becomes overpowering. Recommended.