Composed By: Patrick Cassidy

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the dark comedic thriller, Calvary, Brendon Gleeson is Father James, a good natured man who joined the priesthood after his wife died.  Father James has only a week to get his affairs in order, or so a parishioner tells him during confession.  According to this homicidal parishioner, Father James' death will be a righteous act against the Catholic Church.  The parishioner believes that killing an innocent priest will do greater damage to the church, more effective even than killing the priest who raped him years ago.  Despite the knowledge that his life may be coming to an abrupt end, Father James still tries to continue on with his calling, helping as many people as he can in the short time he may have left.

                The musical score of Calvary was created by Irish composer Patrick Cassidy.  Attaining a Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics aided him in supporting himself, working as a statistician during his early forays into musical composition.  He first gained recognition for his score of  The Children of Lir in 1993.  Film scoring credits since then include Hannibal, Layer Cake, King Arthur, Kingdom of Heaven, The Front Line and more.

                Though Ireland is the background of this film, the score of Calvary contains little in the Celtic sound category, though the soundtrack does begin and end with the song Ben Bulben, a mountain often depicted in the background of the film which is famous in Irish mythology.  The orchestral music themes found in the soundtrack feature strings, horns and piano with female vocal accompaniment on some tracks.  There is a sad beauty depicted by the strings and piano pieces.  Horns and percussion express feelings of anger, danger, anguish and/or strife.

                On a whole, the Calvary Soundtrack is a very engaging listen.  The music is soothing and quite beautiful, bringing to light the sense of spirituality that Patrick Cassidy was striving for: "The third theme Veronica is meant to represent faith and spirituality."  According to Cassidy, "John [Michael - director] did not want the score to sound ethnic because, although the film is set in Ireland, the story is universal. I did however use quite a lot of voices which I felt would convey tenderness and a sense of spiritual goodness."  Patrick Cassidy definitely achieved what he set out to do.  The Calvary Soundtrack is a must listen for any music aficionado.


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