Soundtrack Reviews

Other Composers

Alberto Iglesias - a voice for Spain

Alberto Iglesias - Bad Education soundtrack CD cover Alberto Iglesias may not be a household name for Hollywood productions (yet), but he has won a string of awards in Europe for his film music. After studying music in his home city of San Sebastian, plus Barcelona and Paris, he has gone on to compose music for the ballet and the concert hall as well as a strong association with music for the cinema. The film music of Iglesias is firmly rooted in classical sounds but displays influences from many different styles. Many of Iglesias' films have been directed by the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar who is renowned for a direct approach to film-making and his occasional courting of controversy with some of his subject matter.

Alberto Iglesias - The Constant Gardener soundtrack CD cover The music for "Talk to Her" won critical acclaim for its breadth from Spanish flamenco to Latin and classical numbers, and for its appropriateness to the film. The director's most recent film "Bad Education" was chosen to open the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. In the soundtrack to "Bad Education" we also hear a range of styles, both orchestral and choral, relating to haunting memories of a religious upbringing. A number of the instrumental tracks suggest film noir styles and the suspenseful movies of Hitchcock. Recent scores nominated for awards include "The Constant Gardener" and The Kite Runner, and both of these scores give the composer interesting opportunities to suggest, blend with, and sometimes incorporate ethnic music and instruments into his scores.

Alberto Iglesias - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy soundtrack CD cover Among recent films scored by Iglesias are "The Skin I Live In" (another collaboration with writer/director Pedro Almodóvar) about a new fictional type of plastic surgery, the film version of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" starring Gary Oldman as George Smiley. Like "The Constant Gardiner", "Tinker Tailor" is a film adaptation of a book by John le Carré, a spy drama set in the UK at the time of the cold war with Russia. Iglesias has composed excellent spy music for the film, musically transparent yet dramatically opaque, seemingly of the period with touches of jazz, yet classical and timeless. The composer's official website is at in Spanish or English, with details of his film scores and other compositions.

There is a boxset available (now revamped with a total of 12 CDs) with all the updated and remastered scores from Iglesias' frequent collaborations with Almodóvar. And there is also a 5-CD boxset called "Archipiélago: A Film Music Retrospective" with 100 different tracks from the composer's wide range of film music.

Films by Alberto Iglesias:

    Alberto Iglesias - Talk to Her soundtrack CD cover
  • Live Flesh
  • Talk to Her (Hable con Ella) - much of the music is for strings, both solo and section, notable tracks including "Alicia Vive" and "El Amante Menguante" for string quartet
  • Take my Eyes (Te doy mis ojos)
  • Bad Education (La Mala Educación) - also features a Spanish version of Henry Mancini's "Moon River" for Boy Soprano
  • The Constant Gardener - oscar nominated score
  • Volver (To Return) - featuring some flamenco style music
  • The Kite Runner - receiving a second oscar nomination for the composer
  • Alberto Iglesias - The Kite Runner soundtrack CD cover
  • Che: Part Two & Che: Part One - often quite minimalist, darkly atmospheric and atonal, though with some tracks featuring acoustic guitar
  • Broken Embraces (Las Embrazos Rotos) - for Pedro Almodóvar and also starring Penelope Cruz
  • Even the Rain (Tambien La Lluvia)
  • The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito)- latest score for Pedro Almodóvar
  • The Monk (Le Moine)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) - film adaptation with Gary Oldman in the central role as George Smiley, the film boasts some excellent spy music and the soundtrack is highly recommended
  • I'm So Excited!
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • Ma Ma
  • Julieta - again for Pedro Almodóvar
  • The Summit
  • Yuli - Biopic of the Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta
  • Dolor y Gloria (Pain & Glory) - another score for Almodóvar
  • Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers) - another collaboration with Almodóvar
  • Strange Way of Life - Pedro Almodóvar once more

Alberto Iglesias - Recommendations:

The following soundtracks are readily available and recommended listening: