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Princess Mononoke: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture Soundtrack

85 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 12, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

This score to Japan's anime megahit stresses Western musical influences over Eastern, despite the movie's themes being more attuned to Japanese heritage and mythology. Hisaishi (who has contributed music to more than 30 Japanese films) employs a traditional Hollywood-style orchestral movement that is generally lush and pleasing--a soundtrack that could easily fill the boundless skyscapes of classic horse operas. There are occasional exotic moments involving woodwinds or solo violin or both that digress into more indigenous folksongs, but these, too, have soothing melodies akin to what one might demand from sushi dinner music. The operatically trained Sasha Lazard offers the sweet and ethereal "Theme Song" (with lyrics by director Hayao Miyazaki). These tracks may not always be distinctive but they manage to evoke moods of mysticism and, of course, ritual violence. --Joseph Lanza

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Legend of Ashitaka
  2. Demon God
  3. Journey to the West
  4. Demon Power
  5. Land of the Impure
  6. Encounter
  7. Kodamas
  8. Forest of the Gods
  9. Evening at the Ironworks
  10. Demon God II-The Lost Mountains
  11. Lady Eboshi
  12. Tatara Women Work Song
  13. Furies
  14. Young Man from the East
  15. Requiem
  16. Will to Live
  17. San and Ashitaka in the Forest of the Deer
  18. Princess Mononoke Theme Song
  19. Requiem II
  20. Battle Drums
  21. Battle in Front of the Ironworks
  22. Demon Power II
  23. Requiem III
  24. Retreat
  25. Demon God III
  26. Adagio of Life and Death
  27. World of the Dead
  28. World of the Dead II
  29. Adagio of Life and Death II
  30. Ashitaka and San
  31. Princess Mononoke Theme Song
  32. Legend of Ashitaka Theme

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: November 26, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Milan Records
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • ASIN: B00001U06H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,434 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
For those who have seen and simply loved the film "Princess Mononoke", this soundtrack is the perfect companion. For those who haven't seen the movie, it doesn't matter; this soundtrack is still the perfect thing to pick up.
The sountrack consists of 32 songs, but don't let the number of songs fool you. The vast majority of the tracks found in "Princess Mononoke" are BGMs (BackGround Music), so most of the songs drift around a 1:00-3:00 length. But Joe Hisaishi manages to create a tapestry of classical sounds that seem to accompany each other perfectly.
This is where the catch comes into play. To fully enjoy this music, you have to listen to it from beginning to end. This isn't a soundtrack that you can listen to with "Random" set on your player. A few songs can be listened to independently, but these are few. But trust me, listening to the entire CD is a rewarding experience you'll not regret.
Another minor catch might be the somewhat repetitiveness of the music. Several of the smaller pieces found on this soundtrack are actually variations of a familiar part of one of the main songs. But luckily, Hisaishi manages to make each variation unique and enjoyable, so the listener won't be prompted to push the "Skip" button on his player.
While most of the music is classical, there are two vocal pieces on this soundtrack. The first, Track 12 (The Tatara Women Work Song), is in Japanese and the second, Track 31 (Princess Mononoke Theme Song), is in English. This is where I had one small gripe about the sountrack. Instead of the longer, Japanese version of the "Princess Mononoke Theme Song", a shorter English version was used for the American release.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C. Moon on November 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Ever since I was introduced to Miyazaki a few years back, I have greedily inhaled every snippet of his celuloid available to the american public (which saddly isn't enough!), and when the soundtrack to Mononoke appeared at local vendors I was quick to pick it up, knowing how fantastic Hisaishi's work was in Totoro and Kiki's. Yet never having seen the film, the music was not immediately compelling, albeit still quite good. But just last week Mononoke was given 'wider' release affording me the opportunity to see this amazing film, and since then I've probably listened to the soundtrack a few dozen times. For those who have fallen in love with this film (and you should!) you will need this soundtrack; perhaps the only thing to ease the anxious waiting for Mononoke to come out on video (hopefully DVD!).
There is really no seperating these two works--the film would be empty without Hisaishi's beautiful score, yet without first understanding how these pieces connect with images and emotions, the soundtrack at first might seem too repetitive. Somehow this differs from soundtracks which work only within the context of the movie, instead we have a very strong and elegant score which uses several subtle themes which do not seem to take form until given an image by which to solidify in the listeners mind. Perhaps it is also a somewhat difficult score, often dark and not seemingly melodic, yet moments too beautiful for words shine through, such as the mononoke theme, the music (I believe it is track 3) which is used during the evening scene where Ashataka and Yakkle leave the villiage and Ashataka says goodbye to his sister (formerly his fiance in the original version), as well as the already mentioned Taratara work song.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By sei on December 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This cd is sublime. i grew up in Japan + this music reminds me of home. :) But WHY did they dub over the main theme?!? They kept the Tatara work song in the original Japanese! So unfortunately i have to give this cd four stars. If you get a chance, listen to the original Japanese theme song. It blows this version way out of the water.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By fli on October 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I enjoyed the soundtrack as much, if not more, than the other reviewers, but I was disappointed that this release did not include the original Japanese version of the Princess Mononoke theme performed by Yoshikazu Mera. Hardcore fans may want to seek an import instead.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Biblibio VINE VOICE on December 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
What people say that this soundtrack isn't the best of Hisaishi's is true. He has done better than this. On the other hand, that just shows how incredible he is, because this is a wonderful soundtrack. It's a slightly dark, dramatic soundtrack with several recurring themes. The themes are dark and mysterious, and almost haunting. They are mostly in the lower register, played by cellos and basses, beautiful and dark.

The disc starts off with "The Legend of Ashitaka". This is mostly the recurring theme in the movie and soundtrack. It's played by low, dark strings and then rises slightly and then the brass comes in. It's a dramatic opening piece that is fitting to what it happening in the movie. "The Demon God" is another recurring theme. It's even lower than Ashitaka's parts, dark and dangerous. Starting out with a long, low note it moves on to a steady heavy beat with some high, kind of creepy strings and then percussion, and then underneath all of that the low notes come back with the low strings and low brass. A creepy piece that fits the creepy part of the movie well.

"The Journey to the West" is a quieter piece. It takes advantage of woodwinds and slightly higher strings than the previous songs. With the use of flutes, it gives off a more delicate touch. "The Demon Power" is a fast, frightening sort of song. "The Land of the Impure" is less dramatic than the others. It's kind of quieter and less dark, though not without it's dark moments. It too has the themes. "The Encounter" brings to us the theme that will be recognized as a more gentle, recurring theme, with flutes and more gentle instruments. "Kodamas" is a cute little piece that fits what is happening in the movie wonderfully.
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