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.