1492 is one of the Vangelis soundtracks that will live on longer than his own name. Conquest Of Paradise is undoubtedly his most recognised piece of music, leaving behind even the End Titles from Blade Runner (also a Ridley Scott - Vangelis co-venture) or any of his numerous non-film-music compositions.
Preparing and producing his tale of the famous medieval explorer, Ridley Scott knew he wanted the music to connect the modern viewer with the 15th-century setting. Vangelis was from that point of view the only right choice for composer.
Speaking from a film-score perspective, Vangelis' approach is unique. There is no other composer who combines synthesizer, acoustic orchestra and choir as fluently and powerful as Mr Papthanassiou does. It is a unique and overwhelming sound - tranquil and exhilarating at once. Despite the music largely being dreamy - without obvious narrative structures or changes in pace - it creates a perfect, almost nostalgic, thoughtful mood for each scene.
The famed Main Titles aside, highlights on the album are: the regal choirs of Hispanola, the guitar of Moxica And The Horse and the gentleness of Twenty Eighth Parallel.
There can nothing structurally be said against the quality of this music. The only reason for not liking this soundtrack would be not liking Vangelis' style broadly. If that is so, this album will not convince you of the contrary.
For the other-opinionated of the world: along with Blade Runner, this is a Vangelis album worth your money and time.
From me, this one gets four stars.