JESUS OF NAZARETH (2019).

 

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It is not often these days that we see a religious or Biblically slanted movie, I think the last big box office movie dealing with the Bible and Jesus must have been THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. So, I was pleased to see new movie, JESUS OF NAZARETH, (not to be confused with the Zefferelli version). The music in religious movies is so important, the composer walks a very fine line, and it is sometimes the score that can make or break certain scenes as we know, but with religious movies this is I think probably more so. Does the composer go for a full-blown symphonic score with choir and celestial sounding nuances, or does he go for something that is not so Epic or grand sounding? Mexican born composer, Alejandro Karo I am pleased to say walks the fine line between both approaches and has in my humble opinion produced a score that is remarkably haunting and compelling. The opening cue for example has a running time of five minutes, the composer utilising female wordless voice that has a mellow but at the same time earthy sound, and one which invades one’s mind and soul.

Alejandro-Karo

 

 

The composer supports the vocal with strings which not only complement and enhance the vocalist’s performance but soar and glide to elevate the overall performance and the affect of the piece into something that is not only special, but stunningly beautiful. Track number two THE DESERT is also a vibrant and descriptive piece, the composer employing both synthetic and conventional sounds to create a composition that actualy makes one feel hot and thirsty if that is at all possible. The score is an interesting one, with numerous musical colours and textures entering the equation to fashion an innovative and entertaining work, the majority of the cues on the soundtrack are short lived, but there are also a handful that the composer develops and expands into strong and vibrant pieces, that are rich in melody and thick with atmosphere, the cue HEROD, is one that does stand out as with the DESERT creating a sense of heat and thirst, the composer somehow manages to purvey an overwhelming mood of tension and rage which is subdued but certainly present. The cue NONE SO BLIND I think is one of my favourites from the score, the composer once again utilising Female voice, which is introduced by Morricone-esque sounding sliding strings that entice the listener in. THE FIRST STONE too, is a poignant and highly emotive piece, that tugs at the heart strings and haunts the listener long after it has finished. THE DEATH OF JESUS, too has so many emotions entwined and purveyed within its 2 minute running time, strings and voice fuse and work in unison to bring forth a melancholy but at the same time hopeful sound. This is a score that I highly recommend, there is no official release yet, but I hope that this will change, and we will see this score on compact disc for all to enjoy.