Composed by
Pierre Langer and Tilman Sillescu

 

Published by
Koch Media GmbH (2006)

 

Tracklistings
1) A New World
2) Beautiful Day
3) Apples in the Trees
4) Enter the City
5) Rich Merchants
6) Catch the Rabbit
7) Fight for Freedom
8) Cataclysm
9) Melee
10) Aztecs
11) Pirates
12) To the Shores
13) Rivers and Meadows
14) Sing and Rejoice
15) Lake Freedom
16) A New Day
17) Glory to Our Kin
18) Fields of Peace
19) Beggars and Kings
20) Cold Steel
21) Onwards Annonians
22) Kill and Bite
23) Battleground
24) Black Death
25) Stay negative
26) Irokese
27) Asia
28) Indians
29) Move Forward
30) Land of Happiness
31) Cheerful Clouds
32) Windmills in Green Fields

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website
- Interview

 

Availability
German Limited Edition features soundtrack album DVD

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Anno 1701

The strategy title Anno 1701 was the biggest production in the history of German game development. Building upon the trademarks of the Anno series, the latest instalment featured the same addictive city building gameplay concepts but improved on its interface and overall playability. The graphics were state-of-the-art and the presentation left little to be desired. The game has gotten rave reviews in German gaming magazines and is now making its way over the big ocean to impress American gamers as well.

Like in every big German production, the job to score the game fell to composers Pierre Langer and Tilman Sillescu. The budgeting even allowed for a performance of their score with the orchestra of Frankfurt. Knowing their way around scoring strategy games, the challenge for this particular project was to create a soothing and classical sounding soundtrack that was supposed to stay in the background, but expand and enrich the on-screen imagery.

Basically, that’s what Langer and Sillescu did and very successfully so. The score is beautifully written and performed, and the sound is distinctively European with hints at Baroque orchestrations: solo violins and cellos, harps and cembalos, horns and warm strings. “Beautiful Day” opens up with a horn solo before giving the melody over to strings and flutes and later to a solo violin. “Apples in the Trees” combines harp, flute and strings to a lovely, light-hearted piece of music. What makes these cues even more enjoyable is that each of them starts off with a little motif that is developed over the course of its running time.

The score has two primary themes. One is the heroic and seafaring main theme performed majestically in “A New World”. It’s not confined to the main menu of the game, though, and makes its statement in some of the other cues as well: most notably in “Catch the Rabbit” and “Battleground”. The second theme is full of excitement and adventurous spirit. It’s first introduced in “To the Shores” and later reprised in some of the background pieces.

The game not only lets you build your own city but also engage in trading activities with other peoples. This offered Langer and Sillescu a chance to add more musical colours to their classical palette. “Aztecs” combines tribal percussion and an ethnic flute while “Asia” features more Far-Eastern instrumentation.

The world of Anno is not devoid of battle and neither is the score. Whenever you attack or are being attack, the rough action music bursts out of the lush ambient pieces. The battle cues feature soaring brass statements, running strings and pounding percussion; and the main theme is never far away…

All in all, Anno 1701 is a very pleasant and enjoyable effort. The writing is sophisticated and varied throughout; the performance of the orchestra very well done. It’s especially the more European sound and the thematic nature of the score that make it sound distinctively Anno 1701 and not as anonymous as many other strategy game soundtracks tend to be. It’s worth mentioning that the recording of the score was done in Dolby Surround 5.1 and if you have the proper hardware the sound is simply stunning. Consequently, the score album is not a CD but a DVD and lets you enjoy the score in 5.1 at home too. Sadly, the score album has only been released with the limited edition of the game which costs quite a lot more. Should you find one of those, do not hesitate to pick it up. The soundtrack alone is well worth the additional cost for the set.