Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Soundtrack) by Stephen Warbeck



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Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Soundtrack) by Stephen Warbeck

World War(beck) II
Review by Christopher Coleman

Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Soundtrack) by Stephen Warbeck

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Soundtrack) by Stephen Warbeck




Originality 7
Music Selection 6
Composition 8
CD Length 8
Track Order 7
Performance 8
Final Score 7/10


Composer Stephen Warbeck
Stephen Warbeck


Quick Quotes

"Stephen Warbeck's score for Captain Corelli's Mandolin has a gentle, romantic air, but this is also an imposing work full of highly captivating, warm music." ****.5

Andrew Keech - Music from the Movies Reviews Captain Corelli's Mandolin



Composed and Produced by Stephen Warbeck
Orchestrated by Stephen Warbeck, Paul Englishby,
Andrew Green, Nick Ingman
Conducted by Nick Ingman
Performed by Russell Watson (Vocals) Giovanni Parricelli (Mandolin),
Dario Roetti-Bonell (Guitar), Rolf Wilson (Orchestra Leader)
Released by Decca Records August 2001

The pairing of director John Madden with composer Stephen Warbeck proved a successful venture as both men walked home with Oscars in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love.  The success of the this duo's first, but much less talked-about-collaboration, Mrs. Brown, actually prepared the way for the successful, Shakespeare in Love and since taking home his grand prize, Stephen Warbeck has kept busy with acclaimed efforts for films such as Billy Elliot and Quills.  In 2001, the director and composer combine their talents once again for Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Stephen Warbeck's most recent release is influenced heavily by the film's southern Mediterranean setting.  While the score contains a few of noteworthy secondary themes as well as underscore that, fairly effectively, communicates the darkness of war in Europe, this effort truly hangs it's hat on Warbeck's lyrical title theme. 

The main theme for Captain Corelli's Mandolin or Pelagia's Song is a charmingly simple tune that finds a plethora of performances in Decca's release.  The soundtrack opens tenderly with theme being played on the mandolin (of course) but the piece eventually builds into a much fuller performance.  Upon first listen the theme is a little underwhelming, but after the entire soundtrack has been listened to it is this main theme that remains at the forefront of one's mind.

The ultimate performance of the main theme for Captain Corelli's Mandolin comes from European vocalist, Russell Watson, in track 22, entitled Ricardo Anchor.  While not of "Three Tenor" status, Russell Watson smoothly croons the Italian lyrics set to the familiar theme.  This is easily high point of the soundtrack and after listening to this piece the theme becomes delightfully embedded in one's mind.  The following track, Reunion (23), is anti-climactic, but, at the same time, the positive effect of track 22 is felt; heightening the experience of Reunion some.  After the vocal version of Pelagia's Song is heard, the main theme becomes very enjoyable in each of the other tracks in which it appears...if only as a reminder to the wonderful vocal version.

Warbeck's score is not all flowery-romance.  The romance does take place during Italy's occupation of Greece and the score duly reflects darkness of war as well.   At times, these opposing elements cohabitate the very same pieces, but neither take the spotlight from the other.  This particular approach could contribute to the score's sometimes lack of "zest."  Then there are the utter annoyance-tracks:  LaScala Songs (7), The Tango (8), and Santa Lucia (9).  Certainly representing the film well-enough, these tracks actually distract from the mood set by Warbeck's score.

In any event, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is an adequate effort from Warbeck.  It may not reach the overall standard of Shakespeare in Love, but it approaches it.  For those in search of something a little more "fringe," something a bit different, Captain Corelli's Mandolin should do nicely.  Other than Russell Watson's addicting performance, the soundtrack is unlikely the type one listens to repeatedly.  It is instead a sort of a musical palette-cleanser that, when listened to occasionally, will generally be an enjoyable experience.


Track Listing and Ratings


Title Time


1 Pelagia's Song 4:11  ****
2 The Recruiting Officer 1:30  ****
3 To Albania 2:03  ***
4 Horgota Beach 1:51  ***
5 Albania 2:11  ***
6 The Arrival of the Italians 2:36  ***
7 La Scala Songs 3:08  *
8 The Tango 2:14  **
9 Santa Lucia 3:24  **
10 The Mandolin 1:50  ****
11 After the Dance 2:17  ****
12 Afil Fanentes 1:35  ***
13 Lemoni 1:25  ****
14 The Guitar 1:45  ****
15 Surrender 1:15  ***
16 On the Jetty 2:09  ****
17 The Battle 3:03  ***
18 Senza De Te 3:01  ****
19 Escape From the Island 1:45  ***
20 The Aftermath 6:47  ***
21 Iannis Letter 1:37  ***
22 Ricardo Ancor (Pelagia's Song)* 3:47  *****
23 Reunion 3:48  ****

Total Running Time


Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Soundtrack) by Stephen Warbeck

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.





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