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Angela's Ashes Soundtrack

29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, December 7, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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Given that John Williams has his pick of much of the $80-million, thrill-packed boilerplate that comes clanging out of Hollywood every summer and fall, it's especially noteworthy (and often gratifying) when he doesn't exercise his option. In scoring Alan Parker's adaptation of Frank McCourt's Pulitzer-winning memoirs of his dire Irish upbringing in the 1930s and '40s, Williams has produced a graceful, autumnal work of compelling, though decidedly delicate, emotional power. Using spare piano and solo woodwind melodies filled with longing eloquence, Williams effectively punctuates a sweeping, largely string and wind ensemble. As he did to great effect in The Phantom Menace, the veteran leans heavily on his classical moonlighting duties for inspiration. Interspersed throughout (and also effectively underscored by his music) are concise, telling excerpts of the film's narration read by Alan Bennett. --Jerry McCulley


1. Theme From Angela's Ashes
2. My Story
3. Angela's Prayer
4. My Dad's Stories
5. Lord, Why Do You Want The Wee Children
6. Plenty Of Fish And Chips In Heaven
7. The Dippsy Doodle
8. The Lanes Of Limerick
9. My Dad
10. Pennies From Heaven
11. My Mother Begging
12. If I Were In America
13. Delivering Telegrams
14. I Think Of Teresa
15. Angels Never Cough
16. Watching The Eclipse
17. Back To America
18. End Credits Reprise

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 7, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: December 7, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Sony
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • ASIN: B00003A9QG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,195 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Daniel V. Reilly VINE VOICE on January 31, 2002
Format: Audio CD
When I saw Angela's Ashes in the Theater a few years ago, I was so taken with John Williams' beautiful score that I rushed right out and bought the Soundtrack CD. I was VERY disappointed to find that about 80% of the Score is drowned out by the over-dubbing of dialogue from the film. If I wanted to hear film dialogue, I would get the DVD and play that. It's too bad that Mr. Williams' lovely music is forced to play second fiddle to an actor playing Frank McCourt, and the CD packaging says NOTHING about every track having a monologue over the music. (There is an import version of the CD that omits the annoying voice-over, but that didn't do me any good......I had already bought this version.)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Williams continues to surprise and amaze me everytime he writes a new score. This is no exception. This is the somber side of Williams, like Schindler's List, Presumed Innocent, and Seven Years in Tibet. If you like those, you'll like this one. If you're interested in the music, I recomend the Decca release (at Amazon.co.uk) because it doesn't have narration over the music like the US Sony release.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "pathetique" on February 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Wow. Angela's Ashes--wow. If you're looking for a "Star Wars" fanfare or something lively to pep you up for a good sprint, this isn't the CD to buy. But if you are looking for something beautiful and almost spiritually moving, this is perfect. It has a lot of similarities to "Seven Years in Tibet," "Schindler's List," and "Empire of the Sun," only with an Irish/American twist. It is so amazing how John Williams can make even the most saddening situations absolutely gorgeous. He definitely sees the beauty of them.
I haven't even seen the movie that inspired this soundtrack, and yet, the music is so powerful it touches and moves me every time I listen. When track #17 plays, I almost cry....and don't even know the circumstances of the moment. If you enjoy any of John William's before-mentioned soundtracks, I guarantee that you'll enjoy this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Zachary S. Houp on November 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Forgive me is I blaspheme, but it is my opinion that Angela's Ashes stands out as Williams' greatest dramatic film score-yes, surpassing even Schindler's List. Never before has he achieved the emotional magic and personal tragedy that this story illustrates. I regret his history didn't delve into this genre more frequently.
Angela's Ashes isn't Star Wars, so anyone gravitated to it for that reason would no doubt be disappointed. A.A. represents the pinnacle of Williams' orchestral, string grandeur with moving, tragic themes that take the listener to the center of the story without seeming manipulative. This is simply beautiful music at its best.
This is not to indicate that the score is not varied, for it is and surprisingly so. There are fun, pizzicato string passages and light harp cues to evoke Frankie's innocence, but the listener always returns to the stirring passages of intense strings that tear into your soul. From beginning to end, the score-and the movie for that matter-is entirely listenable with passages that never bore, never become redundant, and always are developing one of the fabulous melodies that Williams has composed for this project. This score was nominated for an Academy Award, and as far as I am concerned it deserved to win.
Unfortunately, while the score is flawless, the packaging is far from perfect. As is the plague to many film scores, there is unwanted, unnecessary, intrusive dialogue that detracts from the listening experience and disturbs the music. There is no excuse for the inclusion of dialogue, and I condemn all Record Labels who persist in doing this.
Underneath the dialogue, however is one of John Williams' best-one of CINEMA'S best.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roger T. Yokubaitis on October 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This Sony release of "Angela's Ashes" contains voicetrack over the John Williams score. It is a matter of opinion whether this voicetrack is annoying. If you prefer to hear the very same original soundtrack score, but without voicetrack, order Decca 466 761-2. The album covers for both the Sony and Decca albums appear identical.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Coheteboy on February 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
John Williams'latest score falls in the line of his calmer, gentler, and more classical category such as Schindler's List and Seven Years in Tibet. You won't find any brassy cues here but if you're a fan of John Williams, you will of course get this regardless of this review. The one point that takes a star away is the voice-over narration in the beginning of about every track. It takes away from every track, yet gives a little bit back in terms of seeing how the piece fits in with the movie. Just a reminder, this is one of those scores that is sad in tone but also a very well written one. Nominated for best score 1999.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Don't buy this terrible Sony release! The music is wonderful, but Sony decided to include some audio excerpts from the movie for the US release. When I buy a soundtrack CD, I want the actual music, not dialogue from the movie. - That's what videos are for!
Fortunately there is a solution. Decca released the same score in Europe WITHOUT the annoying dialogue. It can be obtained through some mail order services that mostly deal with soundtracks. - The Decca release is well worth the hassle!
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