Composed By: Dario Marianelli

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In Everest, the survival drama starring an all-star ensemble cast, two different expeditions set out to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain.  Though the group has prepared well for all the challenges of Everest, they must now contend with one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind in one of the harshest environments in the world.  How will they survive?

                The musical score of Everest was created by Italian composer Dario Marianelli.  Studying piano and composition in Florence and London, Marianelli attended the National Film and Television School in England and began his career in film composing in 1994 with the film Ailsa.  Since then, he has created musical scores for such notable films as The Brothers Grimm, Pride & Prejudice, V for Vendetta, Atonement, Eat Pray Love, Jayne Eyre, Anna Karenina, The Boxtrolls and more.

                The music of Everest features exotic in addition to regular orchestral instruments to define the locale of the film.  Marianelli's use of percussion not only defined the location of the film, but also the determination of the climbers.  According to the composer, "The opposite point of the musical compass is the ‘conquering’ attitude of the mountaineers, a kind of macho, go-getting approach to nature, which is reflected in a much more propulsive, percussive and energetic musical idiom.”  Ethereal vocals evoke a feeling of awe, but according to Marianelli, the vocals performed by Melanie Pappenheim meant so much more: "My initial instinctive approach to the score, which our director, Baltasar Kormákur, liked and encouraged me to follow, was to have a calling voice, a distant siren call.  It is at the same time a voice that represents the ancient goddess-like mountain, but also a luring and irresistible calling to one’s own destiny."

                While I have no doubt that the score represents the emotion and drama of the film and enhances the visual experience, I was not exactly wowed by the Everest Soundtrack.  There are moments when this score shines, evoking dramatic pictures in the imaginative mind, but, without seeing the film, the score alone just isn't enough to tell the story.  There is something missing here that doesn't really inspire me wanting to know more about the film.  This is one soundtrack that doesn't really work well as a stand alone album.


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