The Gettysburg Address Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the documentary score The Gettysburg Address by Luke Richards.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 96.6
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 38.8
Album Excellence: 95%
The Gettysburg is a 2015 American documentary directed by Sean Conant and starring Dermot Mulroney, Michael C. Hall and Sam Elliot. In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln went to Gettysburg, the place of America’s greatest suffering, to offer his “few appropriate remarks” at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. In 272 words he redefined the meaning of the war, explained to a wounded nation why the bloodletting must continue–what was worth fighting and dying for. “The Gettysburg Address” investigates the five extant copies of Lincoln’s famous speech, separating fact from fiction along the way. Lincoln’s greater journey to Gettysburg is chronicled, from his early anti-slavery sentiments as a poor farmer’s son to his rousing orations as one of America’s greatest leaders. In a spirit not dissimilar to Lincoln’s transcending proposition of rebirth at Gettysburg, the film investigates for the first time the speech’s many cultural and historical significances, both then and now. The score is composed by Luke Richards.
The album runs for about 63 minutes. The score opens with ‘The Gettysburg Address (Main Title)’ which is a calm and heroic theme, lots of strings and woodwinds. It sounds like it is played by a big orchestra. It has a great sound to it, sounding lush and sweeping. The cue is fit for a president. The second cue ’Conceived In Liberty which is following up where the main title ended. It’s in the same vein as the opening cue. Calm and slightly heroic. What’s new here is the piano which plays a nice theme. Is it me or does it have a bit of sadness to it? I love how it sounds though. Time for a march. ‘The Union March’ is exactly that, a march. It sounds like it was conceived in the 1860s. The big sounding orchestra is gone and instead we have a classic march with thin sounding horns. I can’t argue with it’s authenticity, but I’m already missing the big orchestra. ‘Civil War / Emancipation’ gives me goose bumps when the piano comes in and plays that lovely theme. I’ve been close to getting goosebumps before, but this time it’s clear. This is the best one so far and that goes for the theme as well. ‘Humble Origins’ is a lovely piano-only theme, but it doesn’t change much. It’s more of the same lovely music that I’ve heard so far. ‘The Carnage Of War’ however definitely changes the mood, style and temp. It’s a dark and exciting cue, very tense and has a lot of excellent stick percussion which I love. This is very different from what I’ve heard so far, but in this case, different is excellent.
Maybe ‘The Carnage Of War’ was a one-off because we are back in lush orchestral land with ‘Writing The Address’ which contains another beautiful piano theme. Getting close the end now with the stunning ‘Unfinished Work’ which features a subtle but memorable choir. It ends with ‘The Long Road To Freedom (End Credits)’ which features a soft female voice, but the main thing is it’s building up and the powerful ending with a big string finale. Don’t miss it! This has been a superb surprise, one of the biggest for me in 2015. I haven’t heard of Luke Richards before, and I didn’t even know about this documentary, but this score absolutely delighted me.
1. The Gettysburg Address (Main Title)
3. Conceived In Liberty
6. Civil War / Emancipation *
8. Humble Origins
10. The Carnage Of War
12. Writing The Address *
14. These Honored Dead
17. Assassination / The Legend Grows
19. Words For The Ages
20. Unfinished Work *
21. The Long Road To Freedom (End Credits) *