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Gods and Generals CD Cover
Image Sony Classical 2003

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(24 January 2003) In support of the major motion picture opening 21 February 2004, the original soundtrack to Gods and Generals (Sony Classical (USA) 2003) will begin to delight audiences on SuperBowl Sunday when two stunning videos promoting it are aired on the TNT network. The album is released from 4 February. The epic film tells an unforgettable story of the Civil Wwar.

Drawn initially to the soundtrack by the opening title "Going Home" sung by Mary Fahl, formerly with October Project we were equallly inspired by the closing title, "Across The Green Mountain," sung by Bob Dylan. That two such significant artists' work grace a motion soundtrack implies correctly that the 17 tracks between them and running time of almost 62 minutes is filled with equally delightful soundtrack music. The project is composed by John Frizzel and Randy Edelmen.

Music plays a powerful role in the film -- in addition to the haunting score by composers John Frizzell and Randy Edelman, with solos by Grammy-winning fiddler Mark O'Connor, the soundtrack features two unforgettable original songs. The first, "Cross the Green Mountain," is written and performed by the legendary Bob Dylan, marking his return to his roots as a folk balladeer. Mary Fahl, Sony Classical recording artist (and formerly lead vocalist of the Epic band October Project), has contributed the original song "Going Home," which opens the film. Directed by Ron Maxwell (Gettsyburg), Gods & Generals is based on the best-selling book recounting the dramatic early years of the Civil War -- from Manassas to the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Mary's opening track "Going Home" will introduce her powerful and evocative voice to a significant audience. Those not familiar with her October Project recordings are certain to be impressed with is warmth and lushness that has been criticially acclaimed and compared to a fine burgundy. Although the number shares its name with a well-known British hymn, this is an all new track with period orchestration and a modern almost Celtic texture that runs in and out through the rest of the album as well.

Enthusiasts of classically-influenced motion picture soundtracks will find Gods and Generals to be among the best new projects to emerge in recent times. Orchestration is lush and violin work plentiful. Arrangements are evocative and naturally moody, supporting themes and messages that run out as the film advances. Individual musicians' parts are played well, mixed superbly and mastered for repeated listening. The instrumental parts are equally notable, introducing individual musical themes and carrying them through the almost sixty minutes of running time included on the CD. Instrumentally the material balances strings, woodwinds and brass with crisp war-themed percussion. Accents of choir, bells and tympani evoke the grandeur this motion picture demands.

Interested readers should note that a (no more expensive than normal) special collectors edition of the soundtrack that can be ordered online includes a bonus DVD with video segments of Mary Fahl's and Bob Dylan's tracks and five scenes that have been deleted from the motion picture. That this product is available prior to the picture's release date is exciting.

Equally impressive is the extended closing folk ballad "Across The Green Mountain" sung by Bob Dylan. Like Mary Fahl's song, it enjoys the lush arrangements provided by the album composers but couples them with Dylan's folk-style lyrical delivery. Listeners will note the increased vocal depth and warmth that has developed since earlier albums. It is certain to enthrall long-time and new-found fans.

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. This is indeed a stunning soundtrack in all respects but the inclusion of an all new opening track by Mary Fahl and a closing theme by Bob Dylan tips it over the top making it a must listen!

 
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