Passage to Dawn – Diego Navarro

Diego Navarro - Passage to DawnDiego Navarro is a Spanish composer and conductor, who has been on my radar for quite a while now. Despite the fact that I know him personally, he caught my attention with his emotional conducting skills. I have also listened to the scores that he composed: Oscar: The Color of Destiny, Mimesis, and Capture the Flag. When the record label Varese Sarabande announced the score for the Spanish movie Passage to Dawn (Pasaje al amanecer) I was quite curious. The movie is a drama about a war photojournalist who wants to travel to Iraq, but before he can leave he needs to deal with the complications in his family. The music of the film is composed by Diego Navarro.

After the first couple of seconds of listening to the score I knew I was in for a treat. “Manufacturing Memories” starts off with a very serene version of the main theme done by piano that is absolutely stunning, which transitioned into some unsettling tones on a flute. “Dreamcatcher” has a very emotional and vibrating cello solo. “Candela” has another gorgeous piano solo in it with some support from synthesizer tones and strings. I have to admit: I have not seen the movie, but the Iraqi influences can be heard in “The Announcement” by a foreign string instrument, that is followed by in a female choir.

“Manuela” also has the main theme: This time it is performed on an emotional sounding cello with another cello playing some counter melodies against it until the piano takes over the theme. After “A Chance to Choose,” which has the same melodies as the choir part of “The Announcement,” a sequence of beautiful and emotional tracks:  “A Long Distance, “Revelation,” “The Star of David,” “Alone,” “Promise Me, You Will Be Back” and “The Mail” can be heard. They are all filled with wonderful melodies played on piano, violin or cello with support of other strings.

“Misha & Mira” contains an alternate version of the main theme on piano. It is a bit slower but just as gorgeous, especially when the cello joins in the middle part. “The Three Doors” breaks the pattern of melodies on piano and strings. Instead, we can hear some lovely Middle Eastern chants and percussion. The track’s end sounds very disturbing. The dissonance continues in “Overnight My Lap Belongs To You” using a song by a female singer that flows over in more women humming beautiful lines. “Life Gave Me Another Chance” is a piece that starts with a beautiful piano part before the main theme starts again. “Moonlight – Claire de Lune,” composed by Claude Debussy, is also on this album. It is followed by a beautiful “Lullaby” sung by a child accompanied by a gorgeous violin play and later the singer is joined by a youth choir.  “To The Core Of the Soul” does not need a lot explaining: Like all the other tracks, it just contains some wonderful melodies. The score ends with the final version of the main theme in “Passage To Dawn – Main Theme,” since it is the most thorough and longest version of the theme, it is in my opinion the best one the album.

This score is just stunningly good from beginning to end and it is a great example of the little gems that can be found outside of the big productions of Hollywood. I recommend just to listen to it in its entirety, and do not feel ashamed when there is a little tear appearing in the corner of your eye.

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Tracklist

The highlights are in bold.

  1. Manufacturing Memories
  2. Dreamcatcher
  3. Candela
  4. The Announcement
  5. Manuela
  6. A Chance To Choose
  7. A Long Distance
  8. Revelation
  9. The Star Of David
  10. Alone
  11. Promise Me, You Will Be Back
  12. The Mail
  13. Misha & Mira
  14. The Three Doors
  15. Overnight My Lap Belongs To You
  16. Life Gave Me Another Chance
  17. Moonlight – Clair de Lune (by Claude Debussy)
  18. Lullaby
  19. To The Core Of The Soul
  20. Passage To Dawn – Main Theme

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