There Be Dragons: Secretos De Pasion
Music Composed And Produced By Robert Folk
Performed By The Northwest Sinfonia
Text By James Ordonez
Executive Producer for Varese Sarabande: Robert Townson
Varese Sarabande VSD-7135
28 Tracks – Running Time: 52:23
Rating of 7.5 of 10
There Be Dragons which was released last year was Director Roland Joffe’s (The Killing Fields, The Mission) latest film the came out in Europe and made its debut on DVD and Blu Ray in January here in the U.S. The film is about a Madrid-born, London-based journalist Robert (Dougray Scott) is assigned to craft a book about Opus Dei founder Father Josemaria Escriva (Charlie Cox), he turns to the best source possible: his own estranged, dying father Manolo (Wes Bentley), who had been a childhood friend and seminary classmate of the canonized priest. The writer as learns how the rifts of a Civil War-torn nation spilled into their relationship as well. The film also stars Olga Kurlenyko, Rodrigo Santoro and Geraldine Chaplin.
Adding to the drama and suspense of this rather historic tale is one of the most underrated and really, underappreciated composers in Hollywood, Robert Folk. Folk, who started his career with the hit comedies Police Academy (which he would compose the music for the entire series) and Bachelor Party starring then budding star, Tom Hanks. Unfortunately with such success in a particular genre comes the dreaded typecasting which has really dominated his carrer which also overshadows the terrific work he’s done in other genres with movies such as A Troll In Central Park, Miles From Home, Toy Soldiers, Beastmaster 2 and Neverending Story 2.
The music for There Be Dragons isn’t what one would expect when you look at the albums’ artwork, but it is one of Folk’s most operatic and flavorable epic scores that really is full of drama and action. It’s almost reminiscent of Ennio Morricone’s classic score for The Mission, but not quite in that league however. Still the music is very strong and thematic which something sorely lacking in film scores today. The music mixes a grand traditional orchestra and choir performed with gusto by the Northwest Sinfonia that also features a Spanish aura and grandour to it.
From that lush guitar and string opening “Main Titles” which establishes the score’s signature theme. It’s operatic and full of hope in range of scope with its triumphant brass section as it segues into “Battle Begins” where the theme is expanded even further with even more lush sensibility and heroism. “Romance” is lovely track which is essentially the love theme featuring a classical guitar and chorus which has almost a tragic feel to it at times, but great all around. For the most part, the music concentrates on the revolutionary take on the film storyline which features the score’s best material which includes “Love & War Finale”, as the orchestra and chorus really pull out the operatic feel to it, “Battle For Madrid”, “Oriol Is Dead”, and “Manolo Meets Generals”. There’s also lots of suspense and drama throughout as well featured in the tracks “Robert’s Investigation”, “Priest’s Calling”, “Killing Priests”, “Who To Kill” and “Idilko By The Lake”, which add more power what the score has already established with it’s terrific main theme reprised here in more varied and sometimes melacholic ways. “An Epic Story” rounds out the pretty lengthy score with a rather elegaic and tender track that gives way to the “romance” theme to give the score and the album a real solid ending.
This is the first real soundtrack for Robert Folk in quite sometime and it really does feel like forever since any of his music was released. This is score is quite an achievement in its own right because it really does show off Folk’s true talents and its pure orchestrial score that really ups the ante in terms of its operatic structure. The music has a great flow to it and an album that was put together quite well.
Most of us haven’t heard about the film There Be Dragons, but Robert Folk’s music will certainly outlive the film for those who would and will appreciate it for sure.
There Be Dragons is available locally at Barnes And Noble and J&R Music And Computer World as well as Amazon, Varese Sarabande and Itunes
1. Main Titles (1:57)
2. Battle Begins (1:04)
3. Romance (2:35)
4. More Dad (1:17)
5. Killing Priests (3:53)
6. Love & War Finale (2:52)
7. Robert’s Investigation (3:36)
8. Change Plans (2:43)
9. Hanging Bridge Battle (:53)
10. Manolo Starts His Story (1:32)
11. Pray For Him (2:29)
12. Kidnap & Kill (2:41)
13. Priest’s Calling (2:29)
14. Battle For Madrid (2:10)
15. Franco’s Government Files (1:57)
16. Oriol Is Dead (2:38)
17. Manolo Meets Generals (1:36)
18. Lord Open My Eyes (1:30)
19. Idilko By The Lake (1:42)
20. Train Station Patriots (:40)
21. The Priest, I Knew Him (:57)
22. Who To Kill (3:17)
23. Factory Strike (1:02)
24. At First Sight (:46)
25. Sitting Ducks (1:04)
26. A Baby Is Born (:47)
27. Then God Is Just (:40)
28. An Epic Story (1:23)
– Danny Gonzalez
Film Music Examiner NYC