Turkish nationalism gets a powerhouse score from English composer Benjamin Wallfisch with CONQUEST 1453, who turns sultan Mehmet II’s invasion of Constantinople during that titular year into a first-rate, rah-rah epic that’s made his country cheer like never before at their cinemas.
It’s a considerable step up in musical scale for Wallfisch from the idiosyncratic music he provided for the exceptional prison break movie THE ESCAPIST. With CONQUEST 1453, it’s all about bringing out the symphonic artillery, conjuring a siege of heroically mighty themes, raging brass, beating drums, a biblical chorus, and proud ethnic identity – music mighty enough to reduce any infidel city wall to smithereens.
But it’s one thing to be loud and proud, and a whole other to be intelligent about knowing how to space the boisterous peaks and more restrained emotions. Thankfully, Wallfisch is definitely in the latter camp with his strong melodic command. He gives further vibrancy to an event hundreds of years past by judiciously employing modern-day sample rhythms and shredding guitars, bringing the CONQUEST 1453 rippingly up to date for the western language of action scoring, while always having a firm foot in the rousing Hollywood historical epics of yore.
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