King of Kings

 Prelude by Miklos Rozsa on Grooveshark

Composer Miklos Rozsa was no stranger to scoring biblical epics. He had composed the score for both Quo Vadis (Review coming soon) and Ben Hur. It was no surprise that Miklos Rozsa was chosen to score the 1961 biblical epic, King of Kings.
King of Kings was produced by Charles Bronston and boasted of taking A different perspective on Jesus' life. The film follows the Romans closely but ultimately focuses on the world as seen through the criminal, Barabbas' eyes.
When it comes to composing choral majesty, Miklos Rozsa is your guy. And choral majesty has been used to represent countless biblical epics.  (Refer to the following formula: Choral Majesty + Miklos Rosza = Biblical Epic)
This one is no exception.
Jesus' theme is demonstrated in a similar fashion to that of Ben Hur. The intoning of a soft choir is joined with a tender string theme but slowly progresses to a bigger sound thematically throughout the score.
Track 06 by <Unknown> on Grooveshark
One of the most memorable themes in the score starts in the cue The Lord's Prayer. It is a majestic, gorgeous theme with choral grandeur at it's best. The City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Festival Chorus, in the album Cinema Choral Classics, performed one of the best versions of it including the lyrics of the Lord's Prayer in the compilation. I have included it above for your listening pleasure.
The score is a massive Rozsa masterpiece in summary, a classic biblical epic, and huge magnum opus. I consider the score somewhat of a prequel to Rozsa's earlier classic, Ben Hur as he recycles and matures several themes from it
This film was Rozsa's last step into the amazing genre and he doesn't disappoint!
Rating: ****

3 Comments:

  1. Alicia Willis said...
    Very nice. I need to look into the movie as well. The prelude does remind me of the Ben-Hur nativity scenes scores.
    Joshua Hoppman said...
    I have looked into the movie, and honestly, The Greatest Story Ever Told (Centurion John Wayne and all), seem like a more realistic and better story. I think King of Kings is pretty inaccurate and they focus on Salome and her dance in rather secular ways....I haven't seen the film, but just giving my two cents as usual. ;)
    Alicia Willis said...
    I just this minute looked into it. Cheesy, Jesus is portrayed like a wimp (HATE that!), and I think you are 100% right. :) Ah, well. The music is good.

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