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Kundun Original Soundtrack [Classical, Soundtrack]

Philip Glass Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 33.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

1. Sand Mandala
2. Northern Tibet
3. Dark Kitchen
4. Choosing
5. Caravan Moves Out
6. Reting's Eyes
7. Potala
8. Lord Chamberlain
9. Norbu Plays
10. Norbulingka
11. Chinese Invade
12. Fish
13. Distraught
14. Thirteenth Dali Lama
15. Move To Dungkar
16. Projector
17. Lhasa At Night
18. Escape To India

Product Description


For the second of 1997's dueling Buddhist epics (the other being Seven Days in Tibet, scored by John Williams), director Martin Scorsese made a wise--if commercially challenging--choice in tapping noted minimalist composer Philip Glass to score Kundun. Glass (who's previously scored the avant garde documentary Koyaanisqatsi trilogy, Mishima, and the strange Candyman horror series), is the perfect choice here; his own Buddhist beliefs play a key role in meshing image and music. Glass's familiar compositional techniques are wedded on Kundun to a sensitive use of ethnic instruments and the voices of the Gyuto Monks, adding an aura of spiritual power missing from most Hollywood fare. --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

KUNDUN is as rich in music as it is in dramatic imagery, and in fact, significant portions of the film were edited by Scorsese expressly to match the score. The film's soundtrack - excerpted from a lavish 100 minutes of material, including Tibetan singers and musicians - is by Philip Glass who, in addition to being one of the world's best-known composers and a Buddhist himself, is celebrated for his numerous collaborations with noteworthy filmmakers.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Glass with Tibetan Instruments April 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is vintage Glass. If you like "Koyaanisqatsi", you should like "Kundun". Like all of Glass's work, this one takes some time to get into, but once you've heard it, it becomes compelling, hypnotic, even addictive.
One of the reviewers below complains that this music isn't Tibetan enough. This is like complaining that Beethoven doesn't use Flemish folk songs enough. If you want traditional Tibetan music, buy some. If you want Philip Glass, buy "Kundun".
It's true that the music is vaguely reminiscent of "Koyaanisqatsi". This is not necessarily a bad thing, "Koyaanisqatsi" being one of Glass's greatest works.
Some of the music is also reminiscent of Bernard Herrman's score for "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Since Glass is a Minimalist instead of a Romantic like Herrman, however, don't expect to hear the great bursts of emotion you find in "Journey to the Center of the Earth". On the other hand, Herrman followed the action of the movie so closely that his score sounds like a series of unconnected pieces. "Kundun" is far more unified, and you feel like you've heard a symphony when it's over.
One of the reviewers complains that the orchestra doesn't seem to contain many Tibetan instruments. I wonder how many Westerners can recognize Tibetan instruments when they hear them. If you look at traditional non-Western instruments all over the world, you find the same general themes over and over again: flutes (like the Andean pan-pipes), horns (like the Tibetan horns heard in this music), drums, and stringed instruments (like the Chinese biba or the Japanese koto). It takes a sensitive ear to hear the difference between one of these instruments and the Western equivalent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "Not his best" Aug. 29 2001
Format:Audio CD
Phillip Glass is one of the best minimalists in film. "Kundun" in a great achievement (Movie & music) but not Glass' best score to date. "Kooyanisqatsi" is -to me- his greatest. But any score of you pick it is perfectly combined with the motion picture.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Middling May 22 2000
Format:Audio CD
You may like Glass, you may like his previous film music, but you may not like this. Just sharing the category I'm in!
Glass has done a lot of great work, and also a good deal of mediocre work, and this score is definitely in the latter. While it works well with the movie, listening to it on it's own is a disappointment. The difference between this and the great "Koyanisqaatsi" is important. The music for that movie was written with a core focus that permeates each piece, and althought the individuals sections are much longer than in "Kundun," interest never wanes. On this soundtrack, however, the trademark repetition never really catches hold, since there always seems to be a crucial musical element missing, as if there was nothing but accompaniment. While the tracks are briefer, they say very little, and there's no build up of musical drama. Of course, it's a soundtrack, and a good accompaniment to the other element of the movie, but as a stand alone recording it doesn't work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars this Glass guy is really getting to me April 20 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I used to HATE Philip Glass. I thought, how can such a no-talent hack get work-- all he does is make the same music and recycle it! Then I saw Koyanasqatsi and Powaqqatsi. Powaqqatsi really impressed me, particularly because of the music. I saw the CD sitting in a record store one day, and bought it (the clerk even forgot to charge me for it!)
Not less than a week ago I wrote a five-star review of the excellent Powaqqatsi soundtrack, relaying how great I thought the music was while knock, knocking Philip Glass for his repetition. After that I began browsing through the other Glass listings, listening to the samples. Later, I saw the Kundun DVD at my video store, and decided to watch it again. The next day, I searched out the soundtrack. I have to take back the statement I made about never having to hear another Glass score. Granted, all of his music seems to be variations of a similar theme, but he can take that in many directions. Kundun has an entirely different feel than Powaqqatsi. It is meditative, while Powaqqatsi is like a celebration of life. I own two Glass albums now, and now it seems likely that I'll own three (the Glass/Shankar collaboration looks appealing). I wouldn't have been able to fathom that a year ago.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Like Tibet:moving,haunting,enlightening... Dec 16 1999
Format:Audio CD
A film score like this comes around very rarely-Philip Glass''Kundun'is so powerful and inspired that one may wonder whether the music generated the brilliant movie or the other way around.However, I believe that this soundtrack is quite satisfying on its own;one does not really have to see the film in order to be moved by such a marvelous piece of work.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Glass is overrated Aug. 31 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the best CD that Ive listened to by glass and it is slightly above avereage. I have listend to other works from Glass, and this is the best one, which is not impressive...There are many artists that could have done a much more impressive job on this soundtrack such as, David Parson whom has done extensive Tibetian/meditation music. Maybe I am missing something here but the music seems to sound the same
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands on its own as a dark, enchanting suite
While I found Philip Glass's music a bit distracting while watching the film, the score by itself is incredibly beautiful. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 1999 by Clayton W. Hibbert
3.0 out of 5 stars good +, but little innovation
As most of the reviews state this is a good album
I'm just not convinced that it is a great album, or that it is better than Koyannisqaatsi. Read more
Published on April 15 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars TOTALLY HAUNTING
This is a totally haunting score, it just sweeps all over you. This is Philip Glass's second best foray into film-scoring, his best is CANDYMAN, extremely haunting music there.... Read more
Published on April 14 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed - Glass is stuck in a rut with this one
First of all I have been a fan of Philip Glass since the early 80s when I saw Koyanisqaatsi. I have had the good fortune to hear the Glass ensemble live a few times, saw The... Read more
Published on April 13 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't turn it off.
This music has hit me so hard that I literally can't turn it off.
Help me.
Published on March 9 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic enchantment that will haunt the listener for days...
An incomparable score to an incomparable film, it almost seems as if Scorsese filmed the movie around the score, not the other way around. Read more
Published on Dec 20 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have soundtrack
This is a great soundtrack. The movie was slow at times but you can not beat the soundtrack. It brings you to a different world altogether. Read more
Published on Dec 6 1998 by Justin Hall
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