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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Zbigniew Preisner
Performed by: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
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Release Date: 26 September 2020

Caldera Records present Zbigniew Preisner’s score for the motion picture Angelica from 2015, The movie is based on Arthur Phillips’s book of the same name, published in 2007. Set in Victorian England, the film follows Constance, a young woman who falls in love with a successful scientist. Their romance blossoms and leads to marriage. Eventually, a child is born, a girl they name Angelica. The birth is grueling, and Constance nearly loses her life. For her, everything changes in an instant: her doctor tells her to refrain from engaging in sex (and therefore become a “hortus conclusus”) – otherwise she will risk her health and quite possibly leave her daughter motherless. From this moment Constance goes into a downward-spiral...

Yet again Caldera Records brings to light a beautiful score that would probably have otherwise been overlooked by the majority of soundtrack collectors. Zbigniew Preisner (The History of Eternity; Lost and Love; Valley of Shadows) delivers a soft, melancholic collection of intricate themes for Angelica.

At times this straddles the fine line between movie score and classical music. The 33 tracks (47 min, 19 sec) ebb and flow beautifully to give a dreamlike surreal backdrop to the film. And, when listened to in isolation, Preisner's ability to craft vivid imagery in the listener's mind is quite magnificent. This showcases an artist working at the height of his creativity.

The music is richly rewarding as well as being fresh and original. It doesn't tread where others have been, and the only instance when I was reminded (momentarily) of another composer's work was in the track 'Time Transitions' which brought to mind Jason Graves's sweet score for the VR game Moss.

I know, as with previous releases by Preisner's, that I am going to be revisiting this for a long time to come. Another wonderful release from Caldera.


Darren Rea

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