The Decca soundtrack to Elizabeth: The Golden Age will release on October 9 and features original music by Craig Armstrong and A.R. Rahman. Reprising the roles they originated in seven-time Academy Award®-nominated Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush return for a gripping historical thriller laced with treachery and romance--ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE. Joining them in the epic is Academy Award® nominee Clive Owen (Closer) as Sir Walter Raleigh, a dashing seafarer and newfound temptation for Elizabeth. The Golden Age finds Queen Elizabeth I (Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett--The Aviator) facing bloodlust for her throne and familial betrayal. Growing keenly aware of the changing religious and political tides of late 16th century Europe, Elizabeth sees her rule openly challenged by the Spanish king Philip II (Jordi Molla)--with his powerful army and sea-dominating armada--determined to restore England to Catholicism. Preparing to go to war to defend her empire, Elizabeth struggles to balance ancient royal duties with an unexpected vulnerability in her love for Raleigh. But he remains forbidden for a queen who has sworn body and soul to her country. Unable and unwilling to pursue her love, Elizabeth encourages her favorite lady-in-waiting, Bess (Abbie Cornish), to befriend Raleigh to keep him near. But this strategy forces Elizabeth to observe their growing intimacy. As she charts her course abroad, her trusted advisor, Sir Francis Walsingham (Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Rush--Shine), continues his masterful puppetry of Elizabeth's court at home--and her campaign to solidify absolute power. Through an intricate spy network, Walsingham uncovers an assassination plot that could topple the throne. But as he unmasks traitors that may include Elizabeth's own cousin Mary Stuart (Academy Award® nominee Samantha Morton--In America, Sweet and Lowdown), he unknowingly sets England up for destruction. The Golden Age tells the thrilling tale of an era...the story of one woman's crusade to control love, crush enemies and secure her position as a beloved icon of the western world. Universal Pictures presents ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE, opening October 12 in theatres nationwide.
In a bold move for a film set in 16th-century England, director Shekhar Kapur called on two very distinct composers for the music: Craig Armstrong (a Scot whos arranged tracks for everybody from Massive Attack to Madonna, while earning kudos for his Ray
and World Trade Center
scores) and A.R. Rahman (one of the undisputed musical titans of Bollywood, with roots in Sufi music). Even more intriguing, the two men collaborated closely, and there are no individual credits to distinguish who did what. Despite the occasional Indian cues in tracks such as "Divinity Theme," the overall result seems to lean more towards Armstrongs style, especially his most elegiac work like World Trade Center
. In the end, the score falls squarely within the current accepted parameters for big-spectacle music, from inspiring strings, to a lone flute plaintively whispering its theme, to the use of a choir and soprano voices. Its a competent CD, but the promising team-up had led us to expect more than mere competence. --Elisabeth Vincentelli