The Great Miracle

Mark McKenzie

" Yes, Mark McKenzie is finally back! "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the download only release

For Mark Mckenzie fans and soundtrack enthusiasts, it has been a long wait for another Mark McKenzie score. 4 years has it been since we tasted the wonderful goods of The Last Sin Eater and Saving Sarah Cain, but now the wait is over. The Great Miracle or El Gran Milagro is a 3D animated film directed by Bruce Morris of Disney fame, and tells the story of 3 characters who are facing differing life struggles, and end up in a Cathedral to attend daily Catholic Mass. All kinds of amazing and miraculous things happen in the Cathedral, resulting in a tremendous outpouring of love, hope, and ultimately redemption. Needless to say, only this will make any fan of Mark Mckenzie drool.

The film will be released October 2011, but already today the music's available on itunes, amazon, and at most other digital outlets. Sadly it will remain with this digital release, considering there is no word of an official CD release of The Great Miracle.

The score opens with "Entering the Cathedral" and immediately you're invited inside the church alongside one of the many warm themes of Mark McKenzie's repertoire. After that, hopeful music reaches heaven in "Call of the Spirit", stirring up the love theme of this film. It returns softly on piano in "You'll See" and in "A Clean Soul" amongst other moments.

"Angels, Demons & Prayer" is perhaps the most interesting track of the entire score in terms of duality. Here the light is battling with the darkness, resulting in a rather threatening opening, which grows ominously to the inevitable eruption. And that's brought by a powerful fanfare of the main theme. In short, this is one of the spectacular moments of the score.

The London's Libera Boys choir plays a large role in heightening the already liturgical quality of the story. And Mckenzie uses it so magical that you'll receive goosebumps during them. The choral song (and orchestral back up) in "Benedictus Deus" is simply magical, whilst forming a magical unison with the strings in "Offering", another McKenzie career highlight. Here the choir is actually singing in the magical presentation many Ennio Morricone scores delivered us during the years (including Marco Polo and The Mission).

The emotionally charged music is actually the music of the track "Offering" without the choir behind it, and shows immediately another meaning when the love theme on piano and a lovely main theme make it transform from a pompous opening to an emotional sign of love. That testament arrives when love conquers all in "Ultimate Love", showing off with the love theme in full romantic color.

And then we have reached the end of The Great Miracle, and be ready that McKenzie will end it all with the highest possible intentions of redemption. In "Go In Peace" he finally delivers that redemption theme, making it grow through the orchestra's performance to a magical send off that will open the doors of heaven itself. But luckily that's not all, because the score needs to end the story with another conclusion, and this is kept for "Ascension / Gloria Patri". Be ready for what Mark McKenzie calls his single favorite piece of out of everything he ever composed. In that 1 and a half minute piece numerous themes from the score come together for the first and only time, resulting in another parade of Morricone's dancing choir and blasting trumpet calls.

And truthfully, once you've experienced that final curtain call, you've come once again to the realization that there are few that can match the thematic lyricism of Mark McKenzie's writing. When I heard his work for the first time I was immediately correct in calling him the closest composer aside from John Barry that could come up with warm, melodic and beautiful music. And over the years he has proven this in numerous magical examples. Luckily I have another one to add to that impressive list, and needless to say that it is another Great Miracle indeed.


1. Entering the Cathedral (2.21)
2. Call of the Spirit (2.37)
3. Angels, Demons & Prayer (5.34) Excellent track
4. Reclaiming Faith (3.13)
5. Benedictus Deus (1.38) Excellent track
6. You'll See (1.16)
7. Offering (2.28) Excellent track
8. Ask for What you Want (1.43)
9. I Miss You (3.35)
10. Ultimate Love (4.46)
11. A Clean Soul (3.04)
12. Go In Peace (4.04) Excellent track
13. That Beautiful Smile (2.37)
14. Ascension / Gloria Patri (1.47) Excellent track

Total Length: 40.42
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 53 votes - average 4.89/5)

Released by

Mark McKenzie (download only release 2011)

Conducted by

Gordon Johnson

Orchestrations by

Mark McKenzie

Performed by

the London's Libera Boys Choir