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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The Visitor
Music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Varese Sarabande VSD 6890 (EU)
18 Tracks 54:01 mins

This acclaimed Sundance Film Festival entry follows a widowed professor, whose life is given new purpose when a vibrant young couple enters his life.
The music is by Polish composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek and is a suitably low-key accompaniment, largely for piano and string quartet. The score is beautiful, yet melancholy for the most part though, as the opening "Overture" would suggest, there are more hopeful things to come, as the story proceeds. Much of the early part of the score however finds piano and strings either drifting or flowing along, as we follow the professor's aimless progress.
Things take a more dramatic turn, with the strings coming to the fore in "Trip to the Detention Center," whilst the composer strays from his small ensemble to enhance the feeling of despair in "Tarek Arrested" with electronic shadings, with more gloom provided by "Waiting For Tarek," and the melancholy "The Loneliness;" and there's a cold opressiveness to "The System Says NO."
"Evening With Mouna" brings a little lightness and elegance to proceedings, with "Looking At The Liberty Statue" providing further lightness and a little hope, and there's the first hint of tenderness in Walter and Mouna Together," with something of a waltz developing for "Walter Feels Alive Again." This leads to "Back To the Detention Center," which is altogether more hopeful, with guitars making a rare appearance to propel it along.
Kaczmarek seems to have composed a couple of piano "Etudes" for the film, which the professor obviously performs on screen (I haven't seen the film). The first, incomplete one, features almost half way through the album, with the much more hopeful second obviously providing the emotional climax to the film, and Bernard Bayer deserves a special mention as the soloist.
The disc concludes with more source music, this time composed and performed by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the rhythmic, upbeat strains of "Je'Nwi Teni."

Subject: New Georges Delerue CD from DCM Classique!

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