Television series created by Joss Whedon,
with input from Christophe Beck in the first season only.
Score CD released 2005.02
Virgin Records (EMI) VTCD 697
"We help the hopeless."
Music clip one, 0'32" (252Kb) [ep 1.01 "I'm game",
BD20 of the CD]
Music clip two, 0'18" (149Kb) [ep 1.01. Angel follows vampires]
Apologies: the clips have had to be withdrawn. This page will have to undergo a re-write as a consequence in the near future.
(See the Buffyverse page for any future episode features)
Angel was the spin-off series that proved that the Buffy formula brainchild of Joss Whedon had enough scope for a darker more masculine cousin. Because of almost constant cancellation pressures, this series was in an almost constant state of flux, with each season a mutation of the previous one. However, within this turmoil lurked a calm centre of talent, not least that of the composers who kept it sounding exciting, gloomy and expensive beyond its means. Christophe Beck had been brought into the project whilst still scoring season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As a tactic for the first season it proved wise, enabling the two shows to interact in more than just storyline crossovers, but at the same time Beck appeared to be encouraged to bring a still more muscular presence to his scoring. The sister show featured some quite extravagant action music, particularly in its fourth season, but for Angel a slightly more square-jawed edge was added, exhibited immediately by the cool beat near the beginning of the first episode (music clip 2).
The first episode is the only one which is credited to Beck
alone. From the second episode, Robert J Kral was given equal billing, an apprenticeship
which, by his account led to his scoring all music by roughly the midpoint of
the season, although both are credited for every episode. According to Beck,
Kral's involvement was still greater: "after the 5th episode or so Rob
handled most of the cues, with me
contributing a few minutes of score here and there, until the midway point". From the second season onwards Beck's influence was withdrawn entirely from the show, as it was (for the most part) from Buffy, as he severed connections with television scoring to focus his efforts on building a film career. And while Kral continued to amplify the grit of Angel, the contrast with Buffy was accentuated more noticeably in the more sedate (feminine?) style offered by Thomas Wanker.
Kral stayed with the show until its demise at the end of a fifth season, and only now has a CD of music from the show been released. It showcases Kral's more synth-heavy, atmospheric music, naturally, together with standout songs from the show, but also sneaks in a cue by Beck, written for the end of that very first episode. Here we catch a glimpse of the 'heroic' Angel in a brass theme of unashamedly cinematic proportions (clip1).
The score CD features quite extensive notes, both as a whole and track-by-track. Below are some relevant details from this text, including the track listing with episode numbers.
From 'Introductory note by Joss'
"Music is more important to a show than most people know... a good, emotional, textural score can not only heighten every moment of a story, it can (and this is really important in our case) make it feel much more expensive. Rob's work always gave Angel such epic sweep, without ever sacrificing intimacy."
From 'Refelections from Robert Kral'
"For a composer, Angel the series was a wonderful gift of opportunities full of drama, romance, suspense, horror and epic battles that were literally apocalyptic. It was also wonderful to learn that fans were really listening and offered many requests over the years hoping to one day hear an album. Over 2,200 minutes of music were written for the show. ... Many of the tracks included were edited into suites comprising several cues and sometimes several episodes."
01. Angel main theme (The Sanctuary Extended Rmix) (Perf. Darling Violetta)
02. Star the apocalypse (4.07)
03. The end of the world (4.07)
04. Massive assault (2.14)
05. Home (4.22)
06. Hero (1.09
07. Judgement & jousting (2.01)
08. Birth of Angelus (1.15)
09. Rebellion (2.07)
10. The trials for Darla (2.09)
11. Dreaming of Darla (2.03)
12. Untouched / Darla's fire (2.04)
13. Darla's sacrifice (3.09)
14. Welcome to Pylea (2.20-22)
15. Through the looking glass (2.21-22)
16. Castle attack (2.22)
17. Cordy meets Fred (2.20)
18. Princess Cordelia (2.22)
19. Farewell Cordelia (5.12)
20. I'm game (1.01) by Christophe Beck (Pub. Fox Tunes Inc. SESAC. P1999 Twentieth Century Fox Corporation). "A Christophe Beck cue from the first episode. The gentle piano version of the theme becomes a bolder, challenging statement in brass. Angel answers Doyle that he's game enough to help all those in need. This theme would be used for several heroic moments in the series." [RK] "The scoring of Angel began with the Emmy Award winning composer Christophe Beck (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) at the helm who, by season 3 of Buffy, had brought TV music to the next level of theatrical scoring. His sense of theme and story carried over to Angel and captured the dark heroism that was the Angel character with the signature theme 'I'm game'. Midway through the first season, Beck had turned the position over to the very capable and talented Australian composer, Robert Kral, who took the vamp by the fangs and ran with it." [John C. King]
21. Touch (1.02) (performed by Vast, written by Jon Crosby and Josh Deutsch)
22. LA song (2.18) (performed by Christian Kane, written by David Greenwalt)
23. Lady Marmalade (4/03) (performed by Andy Hallett, written by Bob Crewe amd Kenny Nolan, arr. Bruce Atkinson)
24. It's not easy being green (4'03) (performed by Andy Hallett, written by Joseph G Raposo, arr. Bruce Atkinson)
25. A place called home (5.16) (performed by Kim Richey, written by Kim Richey and Mike Henderson)
Original series score published by Fox Tunes, Inc. (SESAC)
Score tracks produced, performed and recorded by Robert J Kral
Musicians: Chris Bleth (flute, oboe, clarinet), Evan Wilson (viola), Elin Carlson (vocals), Robert J Kral (samplers / synths)
Show music credits