Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Vikings soundtrack features 37 score cues composed by Morris, recorded at Trevor Morris Studios in 2013.
The theme song "If I Had a Heart," written and performed by the Swedish female vocalist Fever Ray, is a perfect complement to the score thanks to its insistent, echoing rhythm and an opening of dark, whispered tones that lead to a high lament at the conclusion. The song was first released in 2008 as the lead single from her debut solo album Fever Ray. In combination with the compositions by Morris, it makes for a varied and imaginative soundtrack, which will be of interest to a wide (broad) audience.
Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel, The Beast, Baytown Outlaws),
a curious, compelling man who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer. Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment, Usual Suspects, Millers Crossing), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves.
Joining Fimmel and Byrne are Katheryn Winnick (Bones, Love and Other Drugs, The Black Marks) as Lagertha, a fierce shield maiden and Ragnar's wife; Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee, Heroes, Nip/Tuck, Friday Night Lights) as Siggy, Earl Haraldson's beautiful wife; George Blagden (Les Miserables, Wrath of the Titans) as Athelstan, a young, innocent Christian monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England, Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood) as Rollo, Ragnar's impulsive, wild, care-free brother and Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back) a ship builder who designs the new generation of Vikings ships.
The action, suspense and emotional range of the series give Morris a wealth of material to work with. Morris is a Canadian orchestral composer and creator of electronic music who has the finest credentials for writing TV soundtracks, above all historical dramas such as Vikings. He is best known for the soundtracks for the television shows The Borgias, The Tudors, and The Pillars of the Earth. His work on these projects earned him multiple Emmy and Gemini Nominations and Awards, including two Emmy Award wins for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for The Tudors and The Borgias. He was also nominated for 2 more Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for The Borgias, and one for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special for The Pillars of the Earth. His recent feature film projects include the score for Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and Immortals (2011).
A vital element of the series is atmosphere, to which Morris's score makes a decisive contribution. Brooding and sombre themes evoke the darkness and mystery of the Viking world, pounding percussion and blaring brass its violence. However, the composition conveys much more than blood and thunder. Yearning passages for the string section underline romantic episodes and the mourning of victims of the plague. Shimmering, unearthly orchestral sounds accompany pagan rites and the drama of human sacrifice, while folk pipes are in evidence for the domestic and light-hearted scenes. Read less
Works on This Recording
If I Had a Heart by Fever Ray
Fever Ray (Voice)
Vikings: Season 1 by Trevor Morris
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