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Vangelis - 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise (OST) CD (album) cover



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5 stars Ridley Scott's movie about Columbus doesn't stand repeated views. But nevertheless the soundtrack is among my favourite albums (it gives much more than what you actually hear in the film). Many of you probably have heard the majestic title track with a choir. Frankly, if the whole album sounded that calculated, I wouldn't appreciate it much. It's glorious and energic all right, but the real pleasure is what follows. Like El Greco, this reflects a man of history (both men were foreigners living in Spain; Cristoforo Columbo was born Italian) and therefore the music has elements of the era, Queen Isabel's Spain, perfectly melted into Vangelis' own musical laguage. I believe 1492 is guaranteed to please enormously all who enjoy later romantic Vangelis. It includes his most beautiful piano melodies, almost unearthly atmospheres that take you deep into your own emotions. Let the closing track in all its 13 minutes hypnotize you.
Report this review (#34970)
Posted Monday, May 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is nearly a five star album, but maybe the music associates too much with the movie for me, in order to make this disc spin very often in my stereos. But there are grand themes and emotional movements found from this album, and those who are not interested of RIDLEY SCOTT's film, could still be fond of this record, I'm sure of it. This record is also an ideal choice as background music for personal hobbies related to history, like drawing or playing war games.
Report this review (#39307)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Vangelis continues here to produce flamboyant New Age albums. The crystal clear sound is practically irreproachable. Inspired from his marvelous "Mask" album, which is clearly detectable on tracks like "Hispanola", he still makes here mythological, majestic and grandiose atmospheres: there are omnipresent male & female choirs creating refined church ambiences, in a slightly catchy & accessible manner. The temptation to compare this record with the Era's stuff is big: only the choirs have a little resemblance, so that Era's tracks are much more pop and less refined. Vangelis' floating, loaded & melodic spacescapes here are always magical, grand, graceful, elegant, celestial and VERY ethereal. The overall rhythm is slow, so that this record is very relaxing, and the tracks are not dark. There are some complementary exotic & acoustic instruments and Middle Eastern chants, so that this record does not sound too artificial. The music is not very complex, but the beautiful atmospheres are professionally made. This album generates respect and recollection; it induces many pleasant emotions. This record is the soundtrack of the "1492: Conquest of Paradise" movie, but you do not have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the music. A perfect climax is reached at the end of "Hispanola": those powerful & ethereal voices through intensely floating keyboards and echoed string instruments are absolutely spine-tingling. The wonderful "28th parallel" is just celestial, as reveals the brilliant combination of harp, choirs, floating streams of keyboards and echoed piano.


Report this review (#40973)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the 90's Vangelis finally reached his peak. With a more romantic approach, where emotion is more important than technique, this amazing electronic music artist finally faced the line of perfection after 20 years of career. There's no words to describe how great and deep Conquest of Paradise is, you just have to listen to it from start to finish to realise that this is definitely one of the best instrumental albums ever released. Within songs like Hispanola, the title track and Pinta Nina Santa Maria are contained several different emotions and rooms that will blow the various corners of your mind away. It is impossible to not get touched by the beauty contained on each of these twelve songs (perhaps an exception would be the intro of Eternity and the several whistle sounds announcing it - but even though i once hated this short moment on the album i now see that it is excellent with the rest of the tracks and i don't mind it anymore at all, since it only increases the intensity of the experience).

The properly named opening track with its ship-like sounds is a shiver-your-spine intro showing that something GREAT is going to arrive...and in fact it leads to one of Vangelis most popular and beautiful compositions: "Conquest of Paradise". This title number is very touching since it has a choir driving the song with a repeated violin- synth sound at the background and some piano. After these amazing initial six minutes we are led to the third song, "Monastery of la Rabida", which is the song that most affects me emotionally on the album. I do avoid to listen to it when i feel sad because the music here is very very influential on the mood, and if you have depression problems just don't listen to this because it can make you feel with even more angst. Actually i love this song and would rate it as one of the best of the album. "City of Isabel" is very different from the preceeding song but mantains the flow very well, and remains interesting during its short lenght despite even if it is a bit repetitive. But this album has to be appreciated in my opinion, and if you have a problem with songs being sometimes repetitive you should give them a chance since they are all masterpieces on their own. "Light and Shadow" brings the choirs back and sounds like a prayer. Absolutely beautiful! The next two tracks are very mesmerizing and add a lot to the "voyage" factor. "Eternity" kicks in and if the whistles don't annoy you then you'll love the following melodies of the song which are almost as deep as the ones on "Monastery". Both "Hispanola" and "Moxica" show the album's most angry face, very opposite to what has been featured until "Eternity". "28th Parallel" repeats the title song's melodies in a piano instead of a choir, and then there's the closing track which is the album's best which will literaly fix your ears to it while you listen to it. "Eternity" returns and closes the album with glory. An amazing and emotional album, please try this and forget any prejudice against Vangelis and New Age music in general, you won't regret it.

Report this review (#46753)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I should rave about Conquest To Paradise more. This makes the Mission by Ennio Morrichone look positevely juvenile. The film is an epic with Gerard Depardieu playing the lead role. Cinematics abound but without this wonderful soundtrack by Vangelis I personally believe the movie would not have been as successful. Such was the force of the music, so carefully crafted and delivered on COP. There is a scene in the film where Colombus puts his first foot on the Americas ' Eternity' and the result of the music and film is ' goosebump' material. As I mentioned musically very very strong and also an excellent work from Vangelis, perhaps his best soundtrack work ever.Three and a half stars.
Report this review (#108929)
Posted Friday, January 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Amongst so many excellent Vangelis releases like El Greco,China,Mythodea etc I find this to be extremely mediocre.The music lacks strong enough themes to carry it and instrumentally isn't that interesting either.All quite surprising l given the subject matter of the film should have suited Vangelis down to the ground.Maybe it was a problem for him to recreate the magic of Blade Runner with the same director (Ridley Scott)?! Very disappointing and one to skip in my view.Collectors/Fans only.
Report this review (#110780)
Posted Monday, February 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Music for the first Caribbean cruise

It is of course no coincidence that this album was released in 1992, exactly 500 years after the date mentioned in the title. This is in fact the soundtrack to the Ridley Scott film of the same name. The film was originally to be simply called Columbus, but the title was changed to emphasise the anniversary. Vangelis would work again with Scott on the music for Blade runner.

After a brief introductory Opening, the title theme Conquest of paradise is a magnificently pompous synth and chorale piece which can roughly be described as To the unknown man meets Chariots of fire. The slow marching rhythm builds majestically, Vangelis floating his synth in and out between the voices.

While much of the rest of the album is dominated by the almost ambient sounds of Vangelis synth, the choirs do return at various points, along with what sounds like acoustic guitar, flute and sundry other instruments.

The music flows as a continuous piece, the tracks merging seamlessly from one to the next. There are inevitably parts which paint pictures of the vast oceans and ships sailing upon them, but there is also the occasional suprise, perhaps in the form of an ethnic flavoured, world music type theme or sound.

Those who enjoy the music of Vangelis will probably look upon this as a highly satisfactory album. Those less familiar would be well advised to use it as an introduction to him. While it lacks some of the dynamics of his early releases, this is a highly melodic and thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Report this review (#156804)
Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Vangelis now enters into what I consider a golden age of his music. Throughout his career so far we have seen an artist who was never content to repeat himself. Starting here, though, he begins a process of extending himself further and further with each new release, a process that would not end for another twelve years. The past has been revisited, the best has been brought forward to serve as a new foundation, and the rest has been left behind.

1492 ? Conquest of Paradise is the soundtrack to Ridley Scott's film of the same name coordinated to have been released on the 500th anniversary of Columbus' first landing in the Americas, an event which has changed the course of history. Whether that is for good or ill depends on whom you talk to. Great soundtrack, terrible movie.

The album begins with a tense and dream-like piece conveniently titled Opening, which then blends into Conquest of Paradise, a rousing march featuring a humming male chorus and appropriate synth symphonic bombast. The next three pieces, Monastery of La Rabida, City of Isabel, and Light and Shadow, are atmospheric pieces that express the late 1400's in Spain, a time when Islam was completely driven out, and Medievalism was still prominent yet there was some influence from the early Italian renaissance. West Across the Ocean Sea is an acoustic guitar driven piece depicting the drudgery of a long ocean crossing and the doubt that such a crossing will actually lead to anything. Simple and haunting. Eternity is an oddly timed tune attempting to recreate the life of the natives on Hispaniola. Not so much a period piece as an original piece conveying a mood. I'm not too sure how well it really works, but the high flutes which give way to lush synthesizers are a thing of beauty. A thing not of beauty is the battle which Hispaniola tells, another driving piece lead by a rich and plaintive solo vocal. The exuberant melody generates a lot of drama. The next three pieces make up more than half the album. First off is Moxica and the Horse, driven by a syntho beat in world music mode, and dreamy yet dynamic vocals that are really a kind of a cry. The song moves forward, but does not move anywhere in particular. In Twenty Eighth Parallel, Vangelis has attempted to create the most lush romanticized version of location ever. The main theme is exceptionally beautiful, almost cloyingly so, with an unutterably rich orchestration A flourish of the harp leads us into the climax, Pinta, Nina, Santa Maria (Into Eternity), a thirteen-minute example of classic Vangelis. We start with a rhythm, then we are introduced to the main melody and its counter, a theme that never waivers for the entire piece. Vangelis' masterful orchestrations build one atop the other over the duration and ends with a massive crescendo. Majestic. We are dealing with one of the most important events in human history here, and no amount of grandeur is really too much for it. Unfortunately, it is too much for Scott's film, but we can't blame that on the music. We finish with a reprise of Eternity, with a lush symphonic background added. The album resolves on a satisfying note that completes everything that has come before. Masterful, simply masterful.

1492 ? Conquest of Paradise is easily Vangelis' best work since 1979 and one of his best releases overall. He has abandoned the electronic rock of the Direct era for a return to theme, melody, and orchestration. A necessary and enjoyable contribution to any Vangelis collection and for anyone who just plain loves good music.

Report this review (#294560)
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars 1992 - Conquest of the film soundtrack

I usually avoid rating film soundtrack albums, but I make an exception here as I did with Chariots Of Fire as these albums contain some of Vangelis most famous pieces. Very often when music is explicitly made for a film, rather than to be heard solely on its own merits, the result is not very interesting musically. This is partly true of both Chariots Of Fire and the present album, but it is certainly not wholly true. Several moments and passages on this album stand up well on their own. Still, listening (as opposed to merely hearing) to the whole album in one session can however be a quite daunting task.

Vangelis is known for his minimalistic electronic soundscapes, with which he nonetheless sometimes manages to create something quite bombastic. Chariots Of Fire is one example. On 1492 he relies not only on electronic sounds but brings in male and female choirs as well as a plethora of acoustic instruments. The influences are New-Age, World-Music and Classical. It is typical Vangelis, yet at the same time different from anything else I've heard from him. This is majestic, heroic and pompous but without being overblown. There is no doubt about the fact that Vangelis is talented and that the present work is the result of much care and attention to detail. The sonic quality of the recording is simply impeccable.

I have not seen the film for which this music was made, but it is easy to imagine pictures of the vast Atlantic Ocean, the majestic ship, the long coastlines of the unknown land, etc. This is mostly a very pleasant listen and considered as a film soundtrack it is surely among the best of its kind. It is not in any sense "progressive" though, and it is by no means related to Prog Rock. It can thus hardly be put side to side with Vangelis' best works of the 70's such as Spiral and Heaven And Hell where the relation to Prog is more apparent.

Report this review (#295236)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have reviewed quite a bunch of Vangelis albums so far and I have to say that since "Soil Festivities" I was not really pleased with his works (even if I rated "Direct" with three stars).

This album is a kind of rebirth with the bombastic ambiances of previous glory ("Chariot Of Fire") and the main theme is of course a tremendous piece of music. The music displayed in this album is of course well known by each of us who likes some stylistic motion picture (as I am).

This album is of course not reaching the heights of "La Fête Sauvage" or "Antartica" but it features some fine prog moments to be sure ("Delivrance"). The (over) use of choir is maybe too much but even if I am not the most inclined to the style, I am not its worst enemy either.

I am VERY interested in the historical theme of this movie, although I don't share the original Spanish views of the new continent. As such, I have an emotional feeling about the soundtrack as well. Of course, this is not a masterpiece but a good piece of music. I would suggest you to watch the movie while listening to the music if you can.

One of the highlights is the Bolero type track: "Eternity": it develops a phenomenal and powerful choir aspect as well as a fantastic and bombastic passage. It might be considered as pompous but my perception is just that it is one of the best pieces out there. The same sort of hypnotic vision can be experienced during "Hispanola".

"Twenty Eight Parallel" features some great melodies of the past and the combo is quite enjoyable. If you would like to enter into Vangelis music, this album is a good opportunity. For a more in-depth description, you can grab any of my previous reviews of the man.

The long and maritime closing track which is naming the three boats that were leading Columbus on the new continent and which will end up into the massacre of a whole civilization. I will never endorse this "Spanish grandeur". Pero estoy hablando con mi corazón.

Four stars. This is a good Vangelis album for sure.

Report this review (#306826)
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars A great soundtrack to a film that never was!

It's difficult to write about a soundtrack without mentioning the material that it was purposely written for. In the case of 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise, it's a 1992 movie by Ridley Scott. Did you notice the two dates? No, it's by no means an accident. This coincidence actually holds the key to why this movie wasn't as great as it was intended to be. It's simply a rushed production that took liberties with its source material. In result it became an overblown snooze-fest of a movie that has been bashed by critics and public alike, placing Scott's career into a ditch for the next eight years.

Fortunately, there isn't a logical regression between movies and soundtracks. Instead, it works generally in favor of the soundtracks. Allow me to explain --- If a movie is good, the soundtrack is generally a hit as well no matter of its quality, mainly because bad soundtracks to good movies still remind its listeners of the good movie that it was made for. A bad movie, on the other hand, doesn't automatically result in a bad soundtrack and 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise is a perfect example of just that.

Not only can this soundtrack be enjoyed without the listener ever seeing the movie, but I would actually consider it to be an obligatory requirement! The title track is now considered a world renowned score that has been copied numerous times but has still not been outmatched in its excellence. The rest of of material is equally enjoyable and I really like that Vangelis separated the dramatic sections with masterful meditative moments. Overall, an excellent album for all fans of beautiful and peaceful instrumental music.

***** star songs: Conquest Of Paradise (4:38) Light And Shadow (3:47) Eternity (1:59)

**** star songs: Monastery Of La Rabida (3:39) City Of Isabel (2:16) Deliverance (3:29) West Across The Ocean Sea (2:53) Hispanola (4:57) Moxica And The Horse (7:06) Twenty Eighth Parallel (5:14) Pinta, Nina, Santa Maria (Into Enternity) (13:20)

*** star songs: Opening (1:22)

Report this review (#337517)
Posted Sunday, November 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Rather than making just a movie soundtrack, the album version has been enhanced by the atttempt to make a concept album. The way the "Opening" fades into "Conquest Of Paradise" that's the main theme of the soundtrack is an example. This is the big difference between this album and previous soundtracks like Chariots of Fire and Antarctica. We have a concept album and not just a theme repeated for 40 minutes like in Antarctica.

On 1492 the main theme "Conquest Of Paradise" is based on the end of the middle-age. The choir sings in a false latin language. Unlike other OST made by Vangelis, we won't see too much repetitions of it.

"Monastery Of La Rabida" is a totally different track. Slow, melodic, evocative, with a "monk" choir still in false latin.

"City Of Isabel" starts on the same chord of the previous, but evolves into a more "spanish" theme that mantains a medieval mood.

"Light And Shadow" is one of the highlights. A great arrangement for the choir highly dramatic and very "classical".

"Deliverance" is a sort of instrumental follow-up to the previous track. This time driven by classical guitar and keyboard's violins and harp. Very dark.

"West Across The Ocean Sea" has a celtic touch, similar to "Irlande" on "L'Opera Sauvage". A sunset over the ocean. I haven't seen the movie. When I mention images they are those the music evocates to my mind.

"Eternity" with its wooden flutes and the ethnic flavour should represent the first contact between Columbus and the Aborigens. Less than one minute and we have the dawn on the new world. A touching melodic track.

"Hispaniola" is the first partial reprise of the main theme. The rhythmic base is the same, but instead of the choir there is initially a female voice who sings like in a flamenco. When the choir starts it's very dark and dramatic. The melody is totally different and very "Spanish inspired". A medieval flamenco.

"Moxica And The Horse" is hard to describe. The sounds have some of indian in the sense of sitar and tablas, not native americans. The classical guitar and the male vocals are based on flamenco instead. It's an ethnic fusion that John McLaughlin shouldn't disapprove. A great track.

"Twenty-Eight Parallel" is very different in the choice of the instruments: harp and grand piano. The athmosphere is similar to that of "West Across The Ocean Sea" to fade into the first and only real reprise of the main theme. This time played by the piano instead of the choir. Very functional to the soundtrack and absolutely not bad. The coda returns to the Irish side of the track. piano, harp and violins who open the final track: "Into The eternity".

Vangelis at his best on this long track that reminds to the closer of his previous album "The City". 13 minutes to enjoy.

We can forget that this is a sountrack. It's probably better ignoring it at all and let the music evocate images without being influenced by the movie. Haven't seen the movie makes it easier for me. However, there must be a sinergy between Vangelis and Ridley Scott as the two best soundtracks made by Vangelis have been written for him.

4.5 stars.

Report this review (#371468)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Definitely, one of the best soundtracks ever (along with Zimmer's Gladiator). If this page would focus on new age music or soundtracks, without a doubt this album would be rated with 5 stars. Notwithstanding, this is an excellent album with excellent arrangements and a wonderful sequence song after song. One of the many elements a prof album contains is the story behind the album, the concept; Conquest of Paradise contains that, because it is the soundtrack of the movie 1492, what else do you want? From the beginning you can start picturing the movie in your mind, and if you haven't seen the movie, you imagine all the scenes with the musical arrangements of Vangelis. The choral aspects are amazing, the instruments used are as well amazing. I have listened to this album at least 100 times and never get tired of it!
Report this review (#1011357)
Posted Monday, August 5, 2013 | Review Permalink

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