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  • Amistad: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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Amistad: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Soundtrack

25 customer reviews

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Amistad
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Audio CD, Soundtrack, December 9, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

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Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams have forged a remarkable partnership over the past 20 years, one that's evolved in recent years into a very practical balance of art and commerce. The Spielberg/Williams team followed the blockbuster Jurassic Park with the risk-taking Schindler's List, the bloated Jurassic sequel The Lost World with the moralistic Amistad. Williams admirably rises to the challenge again, underplaying the volatile emotions involved and utilizing African rhythmic and modal influences with surprising subtlety. The choral touches of the title and wordless aria of "Cinque's Theme" bring to mind similar stylistic flourishes by Morricone--and that's high praise. --Jerry McCulley

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 9, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: December 9, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • ASIN: B000005AME
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,516 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brenden S. Matthews on December 14, 2007
Format: MP3 Music
This is extremely misleading. The download is NOT the score. Do not be fooled! What it SOUNDS like is that someone ripped the vocals from the acutal soundtrack, and then used a standard onboard 128 voice midi synth to replace the score, and then somehow Amazon let them attach it to the soundtrack like it was a real product, so they can steal your money.

Great soundtrack, but do NOT BUY THE MP3 DOWNLOAD!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Cutro on January 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
John Williams gives an effective and listenable African sounding score to Amistad which contains a wonderful African chorus, ethnic percussion, and great horn passages. The main theme is really good and really stands out in the first and last tracks. It utilizes the African chorus to great effect with the words "U yama mu yay, Afrika" repeatedly, which translates to "Dry Your Tears, Afrika", the title of the first and last tracks. This theme is repeated a few times in the middle tracks, such as in "Middle Passage" and "The Liberation of Lomboko". Another theme is found in "Cinque's Theme" which is a quiet and wonderfully played flute and string passage. The remainder of the tracks contain slow and more laid back music as in "Crossing the Atlantic", "Cinque's Memories of Home", and "July 4, 1839". Some other tracks contain bold horn solos such as in "The Long Road to Justice", "Mr. Adams Takes the Case", and "Adams' Summation". Overall, a good ethnic score that while it is not as good as some of Williams' other works, it still is worth listening to more than once. I think you will enjoy this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel G. Berk on September 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Although he had written a number of film scores prior, John Williams really began to score as a film composer with Star Wars. Since then he has composed a number of winning film scores, this score from Amistad certainly being no exception. As good as the film is, this music is good enough to stand on its own and is worth the listen, even if one has not seen the film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1998
Format: Audio CD
From the exquisite trumpet solos of Tim Morrison ("The Long Road to Justice") to the full orchestra and choral group in "Dry Your Tears, Afrika," John has really outdown himself. In my opinion, John should have won the Oscar over "Titanic," but I still have respect for Horner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The scores for "Cinque's Story" and "The Liberation of Lomboko" were absolutly stunning. And the choral piece "Dry Your Tears, Afrika" was stirring enough that even OUR choral director, who is extremely picky, chose it as a piece to use in this year's concert.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By KySgt64 on May 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you watch--and listen to--enough movies, you can almost name the composer of certain scores, they're so similar. John Barry's scores to "Dances with Wolves," "Out of Africa," and "Somewhere in Time" (except for the Rachmaninoff), are like that. James Horner's scores are a little better differentiated. But the two best, able to write evocative scores that capture the essence of the film's story and make us FEEL it--without leaving us thinking we've heard this before--are Jerry Goldsmith (e.g., "The Sandpebbles") and John Williams. Here, like Goldsmith's score to "The Wind and the Lion," Williams is able to take a truly exotic motif--the musical forms of West Africa--and mix it with truly American, if a little Copland-esqe-sounding, music. And that's the whole idea. People were violently ripped from their homes and transported to, for them, a place no less alien and bizarre than Africa was to white Europeans and Americans. And yet the United States was a place that declared "All men are created equal." The contemplative, high-principle-sounding music to "Mr. Adams Takes the Case," is as stirring as the exotic "Dry Your Tears, Afrika," but in a completely different way. That John Williams is able to do that in score after score is what makes him one of the all-time greatest in a genre that hasn't been around all that long. My only wish is that film score composers would more often produce true, symphonic suites from their film scores that can be played by orchestras as stand-alone, concert pieces. I hope this music becomes such a suite. Like the subject matter of the movie--the eternal human quest for freedom and equality--it would become timeless.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most beautiful and overall impressive soundtracks I have ever heard. The "Dry Your Tears, Afrika" score can be described with one word: glorious. This soundtrack not only brings your mind back to the beauty of the film itself, but also allows you to feel the joy, sadness, and inspiration that Williams hoped to portray in his music.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Kaufman on February 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Amistad is another collabiration between one of the most famous director-composer combos of cinema, Steven Spielburg and John Williams. And once again, Williams does not disappoint as the second half of this combo
Thbe soundtrack opens with "Dry Your Tears, Africa", which is a wonderful choral piece that sounds like it's right out of Africa. It's quite tuneful, grand, and is pure Williams. It's reprised at the end in a slightly different, even better form. This is definatly a worthwhile main theme comparible to Jurrasic Park, ET, Indy, Star Wars, and so on.
Most of the rest of the soundtrack, however, is quite laid back. Lots of lush harmonies and colorful orchestrations abound, but there really isn't much energy to it. It's the kind of music that makes your emotions turn but doesn't get your heart pumping. The music also has a very overall patriotic feel to it, with lots of slow trumpet and horn fanfares.
So there really isn't too much to say about Amistad's music. Four stars sums it up nicely -- not a must have, but still a worthy buy for any Williams and general score fan.
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