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Cleopatra [Original recording remastered, Soundtrack]

Alex North Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $21.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Composer: Alex North
  • Audio CD (March 20, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B00005ABKF
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,356 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Overture
2. Main Title
3. Pharsalia
4. Caesar to Egypt
5. Vips/King Ptolemy
6. Pompey's Ring
7. Gift for Caesar
8. Only Yesterday
9. Epilepsy
10. Great Library
See all 29 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Cleopatra's Barge
2. Most Becoming
3. Food
4. Antony and Cleopatra in Tarses
5. Bacchus
6. Antony and Cleopatra's Love
7. One Breath Closer
8. Love and Hate
9. Athens
10. Cleopatra's Ambition
See all 46 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It would be impossible, not to mention unfair, to state with any degree of persuasion that this movie score or that movie score is the greatest ever written. There have been far too many great composers in film history, each of whom has written truly great scores.

In 1950, an innovator named Alex North came to Hollywood to score "A Streetcar Named Desire" -- a combination of jazz and symphonic music that changed the nature of film music composition.

North's masterpieces are considered, arguably, to be "Spartacus" and "Cleopatra" -- the latter is seen as having evolved from the former. Whereas "Spartacus" is raw, dissonant savagery commingled with some of the purest of melodies, "Cleopatra" is nearly pure intellect, with hints of savagery at the fringes -- any time, in fact, the might of the Roman Empire interferes with Cleopatra's grand designs. "Spartacus" is drums and horns screeching and wailing (and in amazing rhythms and tempos...enough to bring human blood to a fighting boil), "Cleopatra" is exotic chimes and percussive effects, along with gentle strings weaving warm, sinuous lines of music underneath dialogue and around grand palace sets. Then, too, it is a rawly sexual, sensual procession into Rome, as well as tender, heartbreaking farewells.

Varese Sarabande, executive producers Nick Redman and Robert Townson and restoration producer Lukas Kendall have all worked a miracle with their efforts on this score. Running at a combined time of just over 150 minutes, this score presentation sounds like it was recorded yesteday, rather than in 1963. The liner notes offer tantalizing glimpses into the gigantic puzzle everyone involved faced when working with the recording masters.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLEOPATRA SETS THE STANDARD FOR SOUNDTRACK REISSUES! March 26, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This release sets a standard of excellence which future reissues of classic soundtrack albums should be judged. Using as many as nine separate tracks on some of the cue fragments, producers Nick Redman and Robert Townson have assembled the best representation of Alex North's monumental score ever made available to the music-buying public. To say that this 2 CD set is a vast improvement over the original LP release is an understatement that can only be fully appreciated by buying and listening to this wonderful album. In fact the sound quality is so good that you will find it impossible to believe that the source for this reissue is almost forty years old.
Every note of this splendid CD is derived from the original multi-track "music only" magnetic masters of the motion picture, which means that, unlike the recently mutilated Rodgers and Hammerstein soundtrack reissues on EMI-Angel, there are no Foley effects, dialogue or other intrusions to mar your enjoyment of this great score. The music comes first in this presentation so even if you rightfully think of North's CLEOPATRA as one of the great theatrical symphonic works of the 2oth. Century instead of just a musical souvenir of a movie, you will not be disappointed.
The 20th. Century Fox Orchestra plays magnificently, as always, on this recording and these CD's contain practically every note Alex North wrote for CLEOPATRA and for once the inclusion of all this music instead of a traditional suite of themes is not only appropriate but essential.
Alex North's musical style can be appreciated by a wide spectrum of listeners. Whether your tastes lie rooted in classical, jazz, new age or other genres this lyric, beautifully orchestrated music is accessible to all. That this CD release was a labor of love for all the parties involved in its inception is clear in listening to it. Alex North's score for CLEOPATRA is a musical masterpiece that has been given its due magnificently in this expanded reissue.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Alex North and his music occupy a rarified postion among the pantheon of men most widely considered to be the masters of film music - his peak is compositional intellect while exploring the deepest troves of musical emotion found anywhere in film composition. For "Cleopatra", a film that can be referred to without the slightest reservation as one of the most enormous productions ever to emerge from Hollywood - is being re-released on DVD (3-DVD-Set) on 4/03/2001 running time of 248 minutes - completely restored.
North composed one of the masterpieces of the art form - at long last to be presented as it should have been here, is cause for great celebration. The score manages to display both a convincing authenticity of the period - and North's distinctive gift for explosive, striking modernism - touching on the transition of Rome from Republic to empire.
Our composer with his passion and skill for exploring human emotions, coupled with a unique gift for striking and exotic orchestral colors, that made his epic scores so distinctive and unforgettable. North's spectacular works of large-scale modernism in this film works of dazzling darkness and light, of explosive power and dizzying beauty.
We are grateful to - Nick Redman (producer), Robert Townson (executive producer/CD booklet design/outstanding liner-notes), Lukas Kendall (restoration producer), Dan Hersch (digital editing/mastering), Jeff Bond (score liner-notes) and Varese Sarabande - the resurrection of Cleopatra and ALEX NORTH!
Total Time: Disc One 76:12 on 29 Tracks & Disc Two 74:49 on 24 Tracks...Varese Sarabande 302 066 224 2...(2001)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Get lost in ancient Egypt, Hollywood style.
I really enjoyed this CD. Listening to it takes me back in time, so to speak, and relive the movie. You can envision the scenes from the movie as you listen to Alex North's fine... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lotte
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC CD!!!
This is the first time I've heard this in stereo, and the music is just incredible. I've played both CDs several times already, and it's the kind of music you cannot possibly... Read more
Published 9 months ago by jakedaisy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sountrack
This CD is an excellent remaster of the original soundtrack first released on vinyl. I recomment this to anyone who likes Alex North soundtracks or this style of music.
Published 12 months ago by Jer
5.0 out of 5 stars Soothing Egypt
Saw the movie many years ago and liked the album. In my teaching I taught about about the life in ancient Egypt Played the music as my students worked on different assignments. Read more
Published 13 months ago by peter w stackpole
5.0 out of 5 stars Exotic
I bought this album on vinyl back in the 60's when the movie debuted and I loved the music then and I re-discovered it via these CD's This 2-CD version of the soundtrack is... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Don Roberto
5.0 out of 5 stars cleopatra score
The sound is wonderful. It is the best motion picture score known to me. Rather restrained in brass with vibrant percussive effects.
Published on February 26, 2012 by Herman L. Hamm
5.0 out of 5 stars Another spellbound 13-year old
I read all the reviews on the Cleopatra CD issue and found them fascinating. Several echoed with uncanny closeness my own experience with this score, which is not only my... Read more
Published on February 7, 2012 by Gordon Urquhart
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Musical Companion To A Good Movie.
Note: I converted the tracks into mp3 files from YouTube.

Whatever I may think of the film Cleopatra, the score is undeniably a masterpiece. Read more
Published on November 7, 2011 by HAMLET
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Exotic
When I was 14 years old I bunked school to see Cleopatra,I was in boarding school and was late for shower and dinner..it was worth it. Read more
Published on June 10, 2011 by Retnev
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine companion piece
to the great Alex North's SPARTACUS. It has been said by many that these two scores are the late composer's masterpieces and I will concur with that statement. Read more
Published on June 5, 2011 by Lou B.
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