ONE LAST DEAL (Tuntematon Mestari) by Matti Bye – Soundtrack Review

299BB9E1-D0E0-432A-81DE-731C3D67AC93

Elderly art dealer Olavi is about to retire. This is a man who has always put business and art before everything. At an auction, an old painting catches his attention. Olavi suspects it is worth much more than its starting price, which is low because its authenticity hasn’t been confirmed. He decides to make one last deal in order to earn some pension money. At the same time, Olavi’s estranged daughter Lea, whom he hasn’t seen for years, asks him to help her with his teenage grandson Otto (15). Together with Otto, Olavi starts to investigate the history of the painting.  Olavi buys the painting, but when the auction house realises that there has been a mistake with the original pricing, they turn on him.

The film is directed by Finnish director Klaus Haro who is one of his country’s most prolific contemporary filmmakers. The score is by Swedish composer Matti Bye who has scored for both tv and film.

It opens with a soft piano led cue full of wistfulness which gently rolls along into the second cue but at a faster pace, it’s an easy listen even with some scratchy strings underneath. A New Day has a lovely drum brush keeping tempo, something you don’t often hear. Olavi’s Tango continues the relaxed flow with piano and accordion plus double base leading the tango rhythm. It’s a short but pleasing cue.

This is a plaintive score telling of a gentle life suddenly thrust into chaos and emotional disruption at a time in the life of Olavi when he wants to retire. Father and Daughter has a different feel, the same small set of instruments are used but with a slight edge to it’s tone representing the distant relationship with his daughter. The slow tango reappears in The Empty Room in a more developed style. The closing track The Letter is neither sad nor jubilant, just very much in the same vein as the Opener. 

This is a gentle and subtle score with a small selection of instruments, which will most probably have few listens especially as there currently is no UK release date hence why I am highlighting it. It’s a lesson in restraint showing that complex emotional stories don’t have to be fully orchestrated. By using a small group of musicians Bye has created a sweet and expressive score.

PLAYLIST
1. One Last Deal
2. The Art Dealer
3. A New Day
4. The Library
5. Olavi’s Tango
6. The Museum
7. Father and Daughter
8. The Empty Room
9. The Letter
Total Album Time: 20:41

Available on Amazon.com
Streaming on Spotify

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL Vinyl Release REVIEW – Jerry Goldsmith

LAConfidentialVinyl_7888eebf-af22-4de7-b43c-b00041e002e8_grande

In January of this year Varese Sarabande released Jerry Goldsmith’s score to L.A.Confidential on vinyl. This detective film noir set in 1950’s Loss Angeles was released in 1997 and firmly etched itself onto all the relevant Top 10 ‘must see’ lists.
Director Curtis Hanson used music from the period so it was left to Goldsmith to fill in the drama which he most certainly did! Not perhaps a soundtrack you would play that often but this should be in your collection if you call yourself a movie-music fan.

I read that it’s a soundtrack which suites vinyl which at first I couldn’t really grasp but after listening several times I get it. Short at just over 30 minutes, it allows you to take your time and really listen. It opens with Bloody Christmas, a fast, punching beat with brass that pierces the senses and puts your brain on alert it then dissolves into the mellow use of trumpet which Goldsmith used to perfection in his score for Chinatown.

The deepest of piano keys introduce The Photo’s, a cue which builds into a superb Goldsmith percussive cacophony which strikes right through the ever building tension. This score is taught and unforgiving in its high strung violins, tremulous piano notes and piercing use of trumpet. It never lets up especially in Shoot Out, the longest track at 04:09 which pulls all the previous track elements in and pushes itself to the extreme. This score never settles and to get such intensity into quite a short score is genius.

PRESS RELEASE
“Goldsmith’s score is now considered a masterpiece nearly on the level of his landmark ‘Chinatown’. Jerry Goldsmith would have turned 90 in 2019. His music continues to be revered, celebrated and performed all over the world. I am thrilled to see this score, which was absolutely ideal for vinyl from the very beginning, finally, debut on the classic LP format. A priceless slice of vintage Los Angeles!”
Robert Townson, Vice President of A & R

Label: Varese Sarabande

Side A
1. Bloody Christmas (02:50)
2. The Cafe (02:20)
3. Questions (02:20)
4. Susan Lefferts (02:54)
5. Out of the Rain (02:47)
6. Rollo Tomasi (03:08)

Side B
1. The Photos (02:28)
2. The Keys (01:52)
3. Shootout (04:09)
4. Good Lad (02:19)
5. The Victor (02:32)

 

CLAIRE DARLING – by Olivier Daviaud Soundtrack Review

81tRIGUrzyL._SS500_

Claire Darling, also listed as La Derniere Folie De Claire Darling, or Claire Darling’s Last Madness, is the latest film of acclaimed French actress and icon Catherine Deneuve. Aged 76 she also shares the screen with daughter Chiara Mastroianni [her father being the late Marcello Mastroianni]. Deneuve plays Claire living in a small village who wakes on the first day of summer convinced this is her last day. With this in mind she decides to empty her house and give away all her belongings. In doing this Claire finds freedom from the weight of the past which she is letting go of. However in doing this Marie, her daughter whom she has not seen for 20 years returns.

The elegant score is by Olivier Daviaud has composed for film and tv mainly in France. I have not heard of him before but am very taken with this score considering the flamboyant subject matter. The soundtrack’s cover is also superb showing Claire enjoying life riding a bumber car!
The opening title track grabbed me by it’s oddness, there’s is a childishness to it played on either on bells or even a child’s toy xylophone. The leitmotif in itself kind of  ‘skips’ and in the background is a percussive thunder. There is a lot going on and you receive mixed messages at the same time as being completely sucked in. Les Automates is almost classic in its structure and is simple but effective with plucked strings and exquisite piano.

The leitmotif returns in  La Fugue doing it’s part musically by intertwining and repeating, and cleverly representing a physical fugue representing Claire’s step away from her usual environment. The musical terms continue with the jaunty Farandole [meaning medley]. Le Deuil [Mourning] is piano and violin slowly paced and quite heartbreaking in it’s simplicity.
More musical word play with a cue called La Derniere Valse [The Last Waltz] followed by   the more robust end piece  – Claire Darling, this time with brass and accordion. 

And there it was gone, so lovely but not enough – quite short cues but so tightly cohesive never straying far from it’s simple form. A delight and I look forward to more by Monsieur Daviaud. 

***1/2/*****
Label: Le Films du Poisson
1. Générique Début Claire Darling 2:20
2. Le Premier Vide Grenier 1:43
3. Les Cartables 0:45
4. Les Automates 1:23
5. La Fugue 1:56
6. Les Visions De Marie 0:54
7. Les Vélos 1:28
8. Farandole 1:35
9. Le Curé 1:30
10. La Danse De Claire 1:19
11. Le Scarabee Bousier 1:19
12. Le Deuil 3:32
13. Marie Retrouve La Bague 0:56
14. Les Mariées 1:28
15. La Dernière Valse 4:04
16. Explosion 1:54
17. Générique Fin Claire Darling 3:14

SERENITY Benjamin Wallfisch Capsule Review

SerenityEthereal, haunting, dreamlike – these are the strands which flow in the opening title track. It is also quite beautiful. Similar strands run through the whole soundtrack therefore negating any discernable themes other than The Beast, a cue which highlights one of the main characters [fishing boat captain Baker Dill played by Matthew McConaughey] obsession with catching a king-sized tuna and how, like the cues ending, there is a tentative heartbeat and climatic ending – as the fish once again slips away from him.

It’s difficult to give any definition to the cues as it all melds together within the same structure, this is not a negative as the structure, which is relatively slow paced, is easy to lose yourself in. You drift and yet stay immersed. Girl At The Bridge is perhaps the stand out cue using a background voice to enhance a dream-like quality that turns eerie with deep notes and tremulous violins. At over just 6 minutes long it’s the scores most powerful piece.

Whilst the film has received none too positive reviews it has been tagged as having a noir setting and same could be said of the score which could also be indexed under sound palette and quickly forgotten but in its sameness it does have texture, it’s a whole rather than a score of parts. It’s Wallfisch in Blade Runner mode and it’s worth a listen.

Rating **1/2/*****
Label: Milan Music

1. Serenity                                          04:45
2. The Beast                                        04:03
3. Suit                                                  02:34
4. Karen                                              01:58
5. Baker Dill                                       02:31
6. Patrick                                            02:56
7. Memory                                         02:18
8. Deliver Me From Temptation   02:32
9. He Wants Justice                         02:27
10. Girl At The Bridge                     06:48
11. I Am The Rules                          04:03
12. Plymouth Island                       01:53
13. I Remember You                       03:46
14. Catch That Fish                         01:57
15. How We See It                           03:16
16. Creator                                        04:43
17. Justice                                          03:12
18. Alternate Reality                       03:03
19. It’s Dad                                        03:45

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING Soundtrack Review

71c0WXs6ohL._SS500_Take a classic fable, shake it up so that an ordinary young boy who thinks he’s just a nobody, stumbles across a mythical sword.  Turn it into a modern day tale of wizards and an a cunning enchantress where the boy becomes a great leader and you have  The Kid Who Would be King, a different take on the Arthurian legend.

The score would perhaps call for the treatment of say John Powell or Alan Silvestri but here we  are in the hands of the Electric Wave Bureau, a London based collaborative artist collective who compose and source music for film, tv and radio. Previous scores include Paddington & Paddington 2.  Whilst there is heavy use of electronic’music in the score it is a real scene setter and fun!
Opening with a vibrant Arthur’s Theme we move to the short but stunning Prologue signposting the coming quest complete with heraldic choir. Said choir reach  full height and herald a pivotal moment in It Has Been Drawn. A simple four note rift introduces a key character in Enter Merlin which is so so catchy it’s a shame it’s so short as a are quite a few of the tracks. The main action, show-down cue Mortes Milles Attack is full steam ahead with a driving bass line and I’m glad to say the catchy rift returns in the triumphant Arthur’s Theme.

As many of the cues are short the whole is not as cohesive as it could be but electronics do not dilute this atmospheric score, it enhances the childlike wonder of the story but you can’t help wondering how magnificent it could have been with a full orchestra. 

***1/2/*****

Label: Milan Music
1. Arthur’s Theme (Album Mix) (3:12)
2. Prologue (2:14)
3. Failure (2:01)
4. It’s a Tough World (1:57)
5. Morgana (1:55)
6. Building Site (1:36)
7. It Has Been Drawn (1:08)
8. Bedders Is Knighted (0:54)
9. Enter Merlin (0:52)
10. Take Me East at Once (0:56)
11. Merlin Appears (0:55)
12. Cease Your Slumber (2:33)
13. Your Quest Is Decided (1:12)
14. The Inscription (2:11)
15. This Is Destiny (1:29)
16. Morgana Observes (1:28)
17. The Quest Begins (0:28)
18. Transport Hub (0:57)
19. 20 Mile Walk (0:52)
20. I’m the King Around Here (1:36)
21. The Sword (2:03)
22. You Knew All Along (1:42)
23. Mere Rumours (1:51)
24. Arcadia (1:48)
25. Journey to the Underworld (2:03)
26. Goodnight Your Highness (1:01)
27. I’m so Sorry (2:03)
28. Who Will Join Us (3:21)
29. It Won’t Be Easy (1:43)
30. Mortes Milles Attack (2:51)
31. Heroes All! (1:07)
32. Arthur’s Theme (3:32)
33. Epilogue (3:25)

ALL IS TRUE – Soundtrack Review

ALL IS TRUE
Composer Patrick Doyle

71508

Doyle is a talented and solid composer who’s scores I very rarely dislike. He reaches the emotional level of each film he works on and whilst this movie’s subject may give expectation of period music [Elizabethan]Doyle goes deeper. 

All is True is directed and starring Kenneth Branagh, whom Doyle has worked with many times. It deals with the Bards latter years where The Globe Theatre, which burnt down in 1613, bought forth his early retirement. The writer returns to his family in Stratford-Upon Avon [whilst writing he more or less lived in London].

The score starts The Globe, a slow and poignant track depicting the sorrow of the ruination of the theatre represented in descending string and chords and piano. Hamnet’s Grave follows and is equally sad telling again of deep the sadness of loosing his 11 year son to the plague. It’s a track so still yet beautiful.

The descending chords and short 5 note piano refrain are the running support themes to each cue making it easy to follow the musical story of the film.  The slow pace of the score continues in Southampton where the piano is intertwined with harp. The tone is gently upbeat in Love, Not Ambition but we return to lower registers in Plague, a sparse and harrowing cue. 

It’s the stillness of this soundtrack which makes it so commanding. It is a one level, bitter sweet soundtrack which would perhaps not be played that often but it fits perfectly into Doyle’s catalogue.

Rating: ***/*****

Label: Sony Classical

  1.  The Globe                       2:12
  2.  Hamnet’s Grave            2:31
  3. Ten Thousand More      2:19
  4. The Trial                          1:10
  5. The Visitation                 2:26
  6. Southampton                  1:53
  7. Love, Not Ambition       1:4
  8. Clever Lad                       1:37
  9. It Grieves Me                   1:32
  10.  A Little Boy                     1:27
  11. Stay A Moment                2:45
  12. Plague                                2:25
  13. What You Deserved        1:11
  14. The Ovation                      3:07
  15. Fear No More                   3:09
  16. Know A Bank                   2:44
  17. Fear No More [Reprise   2:24

Running Time 36:40

ANON – Soundtrack Capsule Review

Anon

It is entirely conceivable that in the future there will be no privacy whatsoever. So it just might be conceivable that we could  be able to hack a human being. The Netflix movie Anon assumes it will.

When looking at the memories of a dead guy all that can be seen is the killers point of view and nothing else …. the corpse’s brain has been hacked! I love science fiction and with such a keen plot-line I was sold only to be massively disappointed when I found it’s on Netflix USA only. I guess the UK will get it at some point. But what I do have is the soundtrack which also sucked be in. The composer is Christopher Beck who has such a wide ranging list of soundtracks to his name.

 

 

Christophe-Beck
Christoph Beck  – christophebeck.com

 

There is a theme of sorts, more a developed mood which has a  kind of ennui oozing from it, an acceptance of the voyeuristic nature of the times, this is shown in a short 8 note piano refrain which follows through into the faster paced Mystery Woman.

Escalator Delusion is an electronic cue of back bass drums and flat noises designed for audial confusion. It then levels out into a pleasing, simple and meditative piece. The electronics continue in Subway Chase which has echoes of Blade Runner in the background (which is no bad thing).

The Plan slowly grows into an easy, smooth synth groove far removed from the deep, churning, fast paced Flame Brain ( one of the best cue names so far this year) which pulsates and then suddenly dies! Jealous Man very subtlety and cleverly hints at the 8 note motif once again but here it is dark and shivers in the background.

I arrive at Anon – End Titles from a neat circle of synth, well tempered cues. In fact the End Title could easily sit in a Cool Instrumentals playlist.

This score has a steadiness about it, no over the top action cues or distractions of any kind. It follows through, it has a harnessed mood which is wonderfully disconnecting but not to the degree that you can’t follow it. The synth work is superb creating a continued mood which I am sure must enhance the film greatly.

TRACKLIST

1. Theme from “Anon” (2:04)
2. Mystery Woman (1:37)
3. Escalator Delusion (1:41)
4. Reminiscence (2:09)
5. Subway Chase (1:38)
6. Altered Reality (1:19)
7. The Plan (3:45)
8. Permanently Retired (3:21)
9. Something Else To Erase (4:11)
10. A Father’s Lament (1:47)
11. Flame Brain (3:18)
12. Memory Destroyer (3:09)
13. Sal’s Elaborate Escape (3:51)
14. Jealous Man (3:39)
15. Restoration (1:20)
16. “Anon” End Titles (4:03)

Label: Filmtrax Ltd