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Soundtrack Review

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Music for Film


Composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Performed by: The Brussels Philharmonic
Conductor: Dirk Brosse
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
SILCD1524 (CD), SILED1524 (download)
Release Date: 18 November 2016

Supported by the Film Fest Gent’s World Soundtrack Awards, Ryuichi Sakamoto: Music For Film is the third release from the series and second on Silva Screen Records. Each year an eminent film music composer is invited to present their work during the annual World Soundtrack Awards Ceremony & Concert closing event. As part of the celebrations, Film Fest Gent and partner Brussels Philharmonic record a CD of their music in advance of the concert...

As composer, performer, producer, and environmentalist, few artists have as diverse a résumé and fan base as that of Ryuichi Sakamoto. Sakamoto's work has spanned vast musical territories, from pioneering electronic music as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra to crafting globally inspired rock albums, classical compositions, a stretch of minimal/ambient music collaborations, and over thirty film scores.

Throughout his artistic career, Sakamoto has collaborated with David Bowie, David Sylvian, dramatist Robert Wilson, author William S Burroughs, His Holiness The Dalai Lama and more recently with electronic artists Alva Noto, Christian Fennesz, Christopher Willits, and Taylor Deupree. Sakamoto also wrote music for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and the 400th anniversary of the city of Mannheim, Germany and his stirring film opus includes Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, Little Buddha and The Sheltering Sky, Almodóvar’s High Heels, Brian De Palma’s Snake Eyes and Femme fatale, Iñárritu’s Babel and The Revenant.

Those that love to collect soundtracks are bound to have at least a handful of Ryuichi Sakamoto's scores in their music libraries. His work is subtle and beautiful, melancholic and incredibly soothing. So, for those who don't own any of his work, this album acts as the perfect introduction to the legendary composer. If you don't buy at least a couple of albums on the back of these highlights then you're missing out on some incredible music.

From the subtle 'Acceptance' from Little Buddha, to the heart wrenchingly beautiful 'Main Theme' from The Sheltering Sky, not only is this a wonderfully diverse look into the world of Sakamoto, but it also an impressively performed and conducted collection of stunning music.

The 'Main Theme' from The Sheltering Sky is so obviously a homage to the great Bernard Herrmann's work, while the music for Little Buddha is very similar to John Williams's score for Schindler's List. Both films were released in 1993.

The album contains 13 stunning tracks (1 hr, 08 min, 23 sec) and should be on every soundtrack collector's wish list (even if you already own every single album on this collection).

Track listing:

01 - Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence Main Theme (From Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence)
02 - Endroll (From The Last Emperor)
03 - Rain (From The Last Emperor)
04 - The Sheltering Sky Main Theme (From The Sheltering Sky)
05 - High Heels Main Theme (From High Heels)
06 - Wild Palms Main Theme (From Wild Palms)
07 - Acceptance (From Little Buddha)
08 - Snake Eyes Main Theme (long version) (From Snake Eyes)
09 - Bolerisch (From Femme Fatale)
10 - Bibo No Aozora (From Babel)
11 - Small Hope (From Hara-Kiri (Ichimei))
12 - Yae No Sakura Opening Theme (From Yae No Sakura)
13 - The Revenant Main Theme (From The Revenant)


Darren Rea

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