May 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Compilation: Wojciech KILAR (and Maciej MALECKI and Nicholas INGMAN)
Soundtracks Music for Films  
  CAMPION RRCD 1303   [59:39]


For all unashamed romantics this is album is a real find. Kilar's music for Shadow Line puts one in mind of those luscious film music piano concertos that graced so many British films of the 1940s the same extravagant heart-on-sleeve romanticism. The main theme reminds one of both the Dr Zhivago and Dangerous Moonlight (Warsaw Concerto) scores. Elegy is an enchanting variation on this theme climaxing in a passionate peroration. Equally impressive is Kilar's Catamount Concerto used in the West German film, Catamount Killing. This little work is cast in three short movements, opening heroically and defiantly, continuing plaintively with romantic violin and piano solos and ending explosively with percussive 'gunfire' over electric guitars alternating with the pathos of the second part.

The notes that accompany this admirable CD are sparse in the extreme with no indication of what any of the other films are all about and no mention of the other Kilar scores included. Of these Dawn to Destiny has the sort of mournful trumpet solo one would associate with Rota writing for a Fellini production, but an extraordinary glittering sound world follows, that perhaps might fit an other-worldly fantasy except for the sharp violent staccato chords that anchor it. The Seed is another score that often nods towards the Italian film music school in its lush harmonies and romantic melody. Master Plan has a brusque military atmosphere; lower strings strike a quick march with upper strings and piano solo surrounding its inexorable rhythms with sardonic comment. Dawn over Manderley is all diaphanous magic and sentimental romancing, while 'Palace Ball' is a rather dour grand waltz probably heard in Moscow rather than Vienna.

The opening movement of Maciej Malecki's Water Mountain music for a Polish TV serial 'The Madness of Majka Skowron' is reminiscent both of the Busby Berkeley musicals confections and the sweeping romanticism of Hollywood's Golden Age. The following three movements of this melodic little gem are romantic variations on another luscious theme, one pastoral in character, another ballet-music in character - all haunting.

The other Malecki composition is his lovely Warsaw Reverie. The outer soft, dreamlike movements enclose a proud 'Polonaise'.

Inexplicably, there is a composition by a British composer, Nicholas Ingram, included in the compilation: 'Rosebud' an Elegy for Citizen Kane inspired by the famous Orson Welles film. Scored for piano and orchestra, this is another sweeping romantic piece with yet another gorgeous melody. At its heart there is a hushed introspection for string quartet and there is an engaging busy scherzo. Another winner in an amazing album. Don't overlook this compilation.

Ian Lace


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