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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music
  • ASIN: B00JHH20SC
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Johnny be good on Oct. 27 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good soundtrack to the movie...dark but very appropriate
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By murrie redman on Sept. 8 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The music is gorgeous. Now to get the movie, please?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Somber & Beautiful Score From Patrick Cassidy July 17 2014
By Kaya Savas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If there is one thing the McDonagh brothers share besides actor Brendan Gleeson, it’s their musical sense as directors. While Martin McDonagh has shown effort to stick with Carter Burwell in his directorial efforts, John Michael McDonagh has used a different composer on the pair of his feature directorial efforts. Patrick Cassidy may not be a household name, and frankly his filmography is small when compared to other working composers. I was first introduced to him when he composed a piece of music used in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal. He wrote a piece called “Vide Cor Meum”, and it was a street opera performed in Florence in a scene in the film. The piece made it onto the soundtrack, and Scott loved it so much that he reused it again in Kingdom Of Heaven. Calvary is probably the first time most people are hearing Cassidy in full-form. He co-composed an instrumental album with Lisa Gerrard titled Immortal Memory that is worth checking out too. For Calvary he has composed something of substantial beauty, momentum and emotion. This is truly a gorgeous score structured with a grand beauty pushing it forward.

Calvary tells the story of a good-natured priest who is suddenly threatened while performing a confessional. The man confessing says he will murder the priest in 1 week, and the film follows him as he sees the dark forces around him closing in. The score opens and closes with a beautiful movement backed by stirring vocals. As we enter into the score, Cassidy gives us the central Calvary theme, and this anchors the entire score. The entire body of the score never strays too far from that central theme. Instead, certain melodic elements are introduced to sort of hover over this theme. It builds magnificent layers of emotional weight. This is not necessarily a religious film and the score doesn’t come across preaching anything. I interpreted the score as something resembling a journey wading through the mud and trying to come out the other side of it clean. Atoning for sins and forgiveness also echo in this score, but it is completely void of the dark humor in the film which makes it a more resonating standalone experience. The score has a slow tempo and moves in an elegant fashion, but the air is filled constantly with strings so the emotional weight never fades. Once we come to the conclusion we feel a tinge of tragedy but a satisfying bookend as well.

Calvary is a beautiful score filled to the brim with emotional weight and some existential significance. You can portray it on the religious aspects of the film or reflect on your own inner beliefs like I did. The score is emotionally accessible and relatable, and is an extremely strong effort from Cassidy. Don’t skip over this one as it will immerse you with a somberly beautiful and memorable journey worth taking.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Reverence from the Emerald Isle Aug. 13 2014
By Jon Broxton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Calvary is an Irish comedy-drama film written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, starring Brendan Gleeson as Father James, a Catholic priest at a church in rural County Sligo. When Father James’s life is threatened during confession by an anonymous parishioner who claims he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a now-deceased former priest, he uses what he believes will be the final week of his life to right old wrongs and bury long-standing feuds involving a bitter millionaire (Dylan Moran), a wife-beating local business owner (Chris O’Dowd), a disaffected teenager (Domhnall Gleeson, Brendan’s real life son), an atheist doctor (Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen), and his estranged daughter from his pre-priesthood days (Kelly Reilly). It’s a deep, thoughtful, moving film, with a rich vein of black, black humor running through it, and with Gleeson’s lead performance being especially critically acclaimed.

The music for Calvary is by Irish composer Patrick Cassidy, who grew up speaking Gaelic, and is widely considered to be one of Ireland’s finest contemporary classical composers, but is best known to film music fans for the spectacular aria “Vide Cor Meum”, which he wrote for the Hans Zimmer-scored Hannibal in 2001. As one might expect, based on the quality of that piece, the score for Calvary is supremely beautiful. It dwells in that wonderful place between reverential, liturgical church music and potent cinematic drama scoring, and adds a real sense of weight, depth, and importance to Father James’s story.

The score is based around three main themes: the Calvary theme, which is a leitmotif for Father James and ties the score together; the Ben Bulben theme, which represents the Irish location of the film’s action, and is named after a table mountain in County Sligo which is famous in Irish mythology and poetry; and Veronica’s theme, which is meant to represent faith and spirituality, and is named for the abused wife of one of Father Jack’s congregation.

The Calvary theme, the most haunting and evocative of the three themes, features Odhran O’Casaide’s lovely violin textures, and occurs frequently in the score, most notably in the two stunning “Na mBeannaíochtaí” beatitudes pieces which bookend the score, and in other cues such as ‘The Beach”. The theme unfolds slowly, gracefully, with a languid pace and a thoughtful aspect, and allows both the gravitas of the situation and the decency of Father James to emerge simultaneously. The “Ben Bulben” theme is distinctly darker and more oppressive, although the voice-and-harp harmonies in the second half of the theme are spine-tingling, while “Veronica” features extended performances by Michael Edwards’s piano and Michael Eskin’s whistle in a piece which is much more rooted in sadness and solitude.

Voices also play a large part in the score. Popular Irish vocalist Iarla O’Lionáird from the Afro Celt Sound System, who himself wrote the well-received score for the film I Could Read the Sky in 2000, provides the sublime, haunting Gaelic-language textures in both the Beatitudes cues and in “Say Your Prayers”, while Lisbeth Scott sound-alike Aya Peard lends her gorgeous, earthy tones to the aforementioned “Ben Bulben”, “Memories Fade”, “Fiona Awakens” and “Third Act Revelation”. Later, massed voices, soft and solemn, feature in the beautiful “Teresa” and “But I Will Go On”, although it’s unclear whether this is a live choir or high quality samples.

Other than the Gaelic lyrics O’Lionáird sings, it’s interesting to note that Cassidy completely eschews the stereotypical fashions of what most people think Irish music sounds like. There are no uilleann pipes, no bodhrán drums, and nary a pennywhistle to be found – as Cassidy explains, the drama and circumstances of the film are universal, whereas the Irish locale is generally incidental to the unfolding story, and as such he did not want to drown the score in fiddle-de-dee silliness. While this approach is admirable and wholly understandable, I can nevertheless anticipate a little disappointment from some listeners who hear ‘Irish movie’ and ‘film score’, and think they know what they’re going to get.

One other slight drawback to the score is the lack of any real development in the music, and the almost complete absence of variation. With the exception of “Your Church is On Fire”, which is the closest the score gets to having an action cue, almost every other cue is the same: slow, soft, reverent, beautifully structured and featuring gorgeous harmonies and textures, but likely to lull the unwary into a calm, peaceful sleep.

I personally found Calvary to be an intoxicating journey into the spiritual and personal heart of a man in turmoil. The two sublime Beatitudes cues are worth the price of the album alone, as is the associated Calvary theme, but I fear that anyone who requires more energy or action to their film scores are likely to find it a little drab and, dare I say it, boring.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Hauntingly Beautiful! Nov. 10 2014
By Jane H - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Gorgeous music! I can't stop listening to this!

I knew of Patrick Cassidy from his collaboration with Lisa Gerrard on Immortal Memory (check it out!). He is now one of my favorite composers.

If you love hauntingly beautiful music that gets right into your soul, you'll love Calvary. I hope to hear much more from this composer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ireland and its soul in music. Feb. 4 2015
By Susan Noonan-Forster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This cd is so spectacular that I bought 30 copies and have given them as Christmas presents, and to my fourteen fellow travelers from our tour of Ireland in September. That tour was led by Cultural Crossroads and Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed the movie as one of the best I have ... Oct. 31 2014
By Aixue Wang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I enjoyed the movie as one of the best I have ever seen, but the music of the movie is more amazing. The themes of the score have been murmuring in the mind since I saw the movie several months ago. I am glad I can eventually get the sound track from amazon.

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