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Spartacus (6 CDs+DVD+BOOK) [Soundtrack]

Alex NorthAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • ASIN: B0044YRW9A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,136 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

CD 1 - All surviving stereo tracks of Alex North's SPARTACUS recording, including all tracks from the original soundtrack album, assembled in film order. CD 2 AND 3 - The complete original film soundtrack of SPARTACUS, in astounding monaural sound. CD 4 - A selection of unused and alternate cues from the original film sessions, along with Alex North's original preliminary cue recordings for the film (used for film editing purposes). CD 5 AND 6 - SPARTACUS LOVE THEME AND VARIATIONS - 22 classic and newly recorded interpretations of Alex North's Spartacus Love Theme - featuring Bill Evans, Yusef Lateef, Carlos Santana, Lalo Schifrin, Dave Grusin, Mark Isham, Alexandre Desplat and many others. Newly recorded in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Tenerife. DVD - CONVERSATIONS ON ALEX NORTH'S SPARTACUS A 96-minute feature documentary on the importance of Alex North and his score for SPARTACUS, with Alexandre Desplat, Mark Isham, David Newman, Lalo Schifrin, Robert Townson, Brian Tyler, John Williams and Christopher Young. Also included are two bonus features with Mark Isham and Diego Navarro recording their own Spartacus Love Theme variations. BOOK - A 168-page, hardcover book by Robert Townson featuring detailed analysis of the SPARTACUS score, background on the film, an Alex North biography, over 100 photos and much more!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly inspirational and moving. March 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Very rarely in life does a work of art effect you profoundly for ever. So has this soundtrack effected me from the first time I heard it in 1960 when I was just 13. To truly appreciate it and be moved by it, you need to see the movie because Alex North's inspiring score was trying to enhance the themes of love and commradery and loyalty and other noble qualities of life. The music stands well on it's own but if one wishes to elevate his emotional responses to the above mentioned concepts, I suggest he see the movie along with listening to the soundtrack. Mr North has truly given us a gift for now and all ages to come. If you have a similar appreciation for this music, I would enjoy hearing from you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Alex North's score for this epic film is one of the most beloved of all time, and that's more than obvious with the release of this 2010 box set to commemorate the composer's birth centennial, and coincidentally, the 50th anniversary of the film. The contents include over an hour of stereophonic music from the soundtrack, plus a monophonic record of all the music from the film in sequence (along with alternate takes and outtakes).
There's a very-interesting, double-CD containing various musicians' takes on the film's love theme, which, after you listen to the score, is really it's hook. It's surprisingly effective; listening to the various interpretations, one after the other, doesn't get uninvolving or overbearing, which is saying a lot for North's deceptively simple melody line. It's hard to pick a favorite: I liked Lalo Schifrin's best, because of it's rich arrangement and stirring strings; Nathan Barr and Lisbeth Scott made the least impression, making it sound like the wailing dirges and pastiche scoring methods used for GLADIATOR, TROY or 300. A couple of the contemporary composers put an electronic spin on things and they only made the jazz artists like Bill Evans, Ramsey Lewis and Carlos Santana sound fresher than ever. A couple of the purposeful piano versions were tinny. It's an intriguing extra that proved enjoyable and appreciated, and everyone involved should be congratulated.
There's a dvd with conversational comments by various musicians on North's work, and it makes for a wonderful appreciation piece. It's inclusion is also a great extra.
When all is heard and said, it's hard to imagine a more pleasing gift for fans of this music score (and the film).
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest? May 1, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
A previous reviewer states that the absence of the complete score on cd is the 'biggest whole in the catalog'. It's worse than that - it's a travesty. We have Cleopatra on two discs, Ben Hur on 2, King of Kings on 2 - the list goes on. Where's Spartacus? The bootlegs have the unpublished cues - in STEREO - so they're out there - waiting. We're waiting . . . . to BUY it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music of Freedom January 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
It hardly seems forty years since I saw Spartacus. One of the most "intelligent" historical spectacles ever made, it is a fitting tribute to the late Stanley Kubrick, the film's lengendary director and Alex North, the film's music composer, that this soundtrack still thrives. Alex North uses harsh themes and music for the Romans and uplifting themes that point to hope and freedom for the army of slaves. There is a primitive quality North wanted in this music and when I listen to the CD I feel that he is not only writing about the story but transporting me back in time, back to Rome, and the harsh times for citizens and slaves alike. Anyone interested in owning a good collection of sountracks for spectacles would do well to have Spartacus in their collection. There is a lot of music in the movie that is left out of this CD and hopefully, in the future, North's brilliant score for the entire movie will be released, as seems to be the trend in the CD market. It is so much more powerful to hear all the musical tracks than just selections. Even so, this CD is masterful, moving, and gets the blood moving and I can hear myself saying like the slaves in the army of Spartacus, "I am Spartacus!" Alex North, with his evocation in music of the ancient period must have had a personal connection to the story. Alex North is Spartacus!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Score, Terrible Mastering August 1, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Too bad there's no score isolation on the Spartacus DVD because the mastering of the CD sountrack is absolutely terrible. Hiss abounds everywhere, instruments are blurred together--there's absolutely no separation. In a nutshell, this CD hardly sounds better than the LP, which is a shame, since it's one of the greatest scores ever. Fans of the score should know that the Criterion laserdisc of Spartacus featured various tracks which did not make it to the film. They were all absolutely beautiful. So just know that not only does Spartacus receive a painfully bad mastering, but also that there are quite a few unheard tracks rotting away in some studio vault, heard only by a few who bought the brilliant Criterion Collection LD set.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC SCORE! August 28, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Like at least one other reviewer here I first saw the film and heard the soundtrack when I was in my early teens, and it had a profound effect on me. Though Rozsa is undisputed king of the historical epic, North here created something utterly unique, a virtual time machine back into an age of cruelty and decadence, which I feel I understand so much better for North's music (and indeed, Kubrick's film). Those who know the score won't need to be sold on it; for the rest, don't call yourself a soundtrack collector until you have this album in your collection, and don't agitate for the release or re-recording of any score until the whole of Spartacus is available in good sound. This is now the biggest, most shameful hole in the catalogue, that only 40 mins of Spartacus has ever been commercially available. Having heard the whole score through bootlegs, in mostly poor sound, I can't imagine why no company has yet jumped on this particular bandwagon. In an age when one can now buy the music from the most obscure films, even the Carry On films(!), the absence of a complete Spartacus is nothing less than an artistic tragedy. My 4 rather than 5 star rating is for this CD. The complete score should be rated a 10!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Movie, Mediocre Score
As an album of music, divorced from the strengths of the film, it's listenable, but not compelling or memorable. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Holly Ingraham
3.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus cd
The cd is perfect... which is a miracle since the spindle the cd attaches to had enough broken teeth that the cd slid around in the jewel case during transit. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jms
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Set
I have been listening to all types of music since I was young. My interest in film was at an early age and I have an extensive library of film books I have collected over the... Read more
Published on January 20, 2012 by filmfan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest musical works in film
is precisely what Alex North's mammoth score for SPARTACUS truly is. my review is based on the limited collector's edition by Varese Sarabande and not the badly abbreviated 1960... Read more
Published on June 3, 2011 by Lou B.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing 7-Disc-Box-Set
this box is limited, contains a very informative booklets about the Spartacus Score, composed by the great Alex North. Read more
Published on May 3, 2011 by Swissangel
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive (The Seven-Disc Box)
Oh, Varese Sarabande, you never fail to amaze me! Ditto you, Robert Townson, arguably the best friend of every film music lover in America! Read more
Published on April 21, 2011 by XNS
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Short Hand Version
With all due respect to the previous reviewer (Rix) who "threw Miklos Rozsa under the chariot" (and please note the proper spelling of Rozsa's last name), Alex North was more of a... Read more
Published on December 25, 2010 by LMG
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but incomplete
Having listened to this wonderful music by Mr. North, I must concur with some of the previous reviewers - this is great CD that could have been much better with the inclusion of... Read more
Published on March 23, 2009 by Jim Ziegler "Zig"
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Alex North.
This is a powerful score by Alex North and I think he should have won the Oscar in 1960 for Best Original Score. Read more
Published on July 22, 2004 by Film Score fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion piece to the composer's own "Cleopatra"
They don't make 'em like this any more: triumphant, passionate, soaring, reverential, militaristic, and inspirational. Read more
Published on November 19, 2002 by Reginald D. Garrard
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