Tuomas Holopainen – Music Inspired by the Life and Time of Scrooge

Tuomas Holopainen – Music Inspired by the Life and Time of Scrooge

Released: April 11, 2014, Nuclear Blast/Roadrunner Records
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Hellias Papadopoulos

Tuomas Holopainen -  Music Inspired by the Life and Time of Scrooge
Tuomas Holopainen –
Music Inspired by the Life and Time of Scrooge

Nightwish’s mastermind, Tuomas Holopainen is a big fan of Disney. When he met with a famous comic book by Don Rosa, “The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck”, a childhood dream came true after 15 years in the making. Finally, he published the kind of soundtrack to the famous comic under the blessings of Don Rosa who is very proud of Holopainen’s effort. In addition, despite his eye problem, Rosa illustrated the great cover artwork for the first solo album of Tuomas Holopainen.

Personally speaking, I was very lucky because my parents gave me  Don Rosa’s “The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck” as a Christmas gift and this is kinda nostalgia to me. What I do know is that emotions stemming from something that I call as nostalgic are riveting. Euphoria and great memories overwhelm and ply me, creating a feeling of intimacy and safety that only a few things can be compared. To read the “Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck” by Don Rosa is one of the most favorite and most vivid memories of my childhood and this album was one nostalgic punch in the stomach. Reading once again and now listening the soundtrack of “The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck” is one of the most favorite and fascinating things I can do in my entire life.

MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE LIFE AND TIME OF SCROOGE album could be the soundtrack of a possible film version of “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck” in a more gothic and epic version of events captured by Don Rosa. I have say to all of you (especially the Nightwish fans) that this record is completely different and unlike any Nightwish albums/songs and should be treated as such.

His compositions are just in the pace of the comic book, the series follows the most basic chapters of the book and manage to transform the image into sound very easily and successfully. The album starts with “Glasgow 1877”, where Scrooge introduces us to the story, putting it in Glasgow in 1877 when he was already at the age of ten, on the eve of his birthday. That was when his father took him to see for the first time the primitive and ancient territories of their family and where their castle was; the castle now is destroyed and abandoned. The cinematic journey into the adventures of Scrooge begins here, with Holopainen’s the orchestral melodies being the center of melodies and reminiscing the majestic and epic stories of Don Rosa.

“Into The West” refers to the first adventures of our star in the U.S. in 1883, includes a sick and burning banjo’n’harmonica catchy melody. “Dreamtime” launches with a dynamic intro with didgeridoo-a traditional Australian wind instrument- which predisposes to the great adventures of Scrooge into the wild. The first three tracks, “Glasgow 1877” (it doesn’t count as a full song) cover only some of trips of Scrooge, whilst the rest of the songs focus on two main themes. The first revolves around Scrooge’s first steps as a young gold digger in Yukon, in a quest to become ” the richest duck in the world”. This ‘chapter’ focuses on his adventures as a prospector searching for gold in the torrent of the Agony and the treasure he found there, whether he refers to the legendary gold nugget as big as a goose egg or the icy heart of Golden Goldie, the Golden Compass. The second theme that this album undertakes, relates to more abstract concepts such as feats, the importance and meaning of memories, the meaning of heritage. These tracks are structured with more vocals and choirs than the other ones. In particular, there is a more symphonic musical facet here.

Don Rosa’s comic masterpiece has found the perfect soundtrack for Scrooge McDuck’s adventure. Don Rosa is one of the best story tellers of our days, Tuomas Holopainen is one of the most prominent composers of our days… MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE LIFE AND TIME OF SCROOGE is a brilliant old-fashioned storytelling fun transformed into cinematic music making Scrooge McDuck dynasty famous than ever.

Track listing

1. Glasgow 1877

2. Into the West

3. Duel & Cloudscapes

4. Dreamtime

5. Cold Heart of the Klondike

6. The Last Sled

7. Goodbye, Papa

8. To Be Rich

9. A Lifetime of Adventure

10. Go Slowly Now, Sands of Time
Tuomas Holopainen – Keyboards, piano

Guest instrumentalists

• Troy Donockley – Uilleann pipes, low whistles, bodhran

• Mikko Iivanainen – Guitars, banjo

• Dermot Crehan – Violin

• Teho Majamäki – Didgeridoo

• Jon Burr – Harmonica


Guest vocalists

• Johanna Kurkela as “Glittering” Goldie o’Gilt (on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10)

• Johanna Iivanainen as The Narrator and Downy O’Drake (on tracks 1, 6, 8, 9)

• Alan Reid as Scrooge McDuck (on tracks 1, 6, 10)

• Tony Kakko as Storyteller (on track 5)


Orchestra and choir

The orchestra and choir was arranged, orchestrated and directed by Pip Williams.

• London Philharmonic Orchestra

• Metro Voices