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Soundtrack Review

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Just Buried
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Zbigniew Preisner
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 August 2021

Caldera Records present Zbigniew Preisner’s score for the motion picture Man of God. Director Yelena Popovic’s biopic chronicles the most turbulent years in the life of Saint Nektarios, a man who had made it his mission to serve others and improve the conditions of those in need. Popovic’s film shows how Nektarios helps the poor and destitute, provoking three objectors within the church turn to the bishop’s patriarch Sophronios. No longer wiling to hide their anger at Nektario’s servitude towards sinners and harlots, his enemies claim he will bankrupt the church and usurp the patriarchy. Without trial, Nektarios is convicted and exiled from Egypt in 1891...

Zbigniew Preisner's score for Man of God takes a little time to digest. On the first play through I enjoyed it, but didn't pick up on much that was particularly noteworthy. It was only on replaying over a period of weeks that the depth and beauty of the many layers of Preisner's compositions started to shine through.

It's a simple, sweet score that subtly acts as a backdrop to the onscreen narrative. It also works well as a standalone collection of themes to enjoy outside of the movie.

From the outset, Preisner was eager to employ the use of a Byzantine choir. After some searching, he collaborated with the Choir of Chanters, “The Maestros of the Psaltic Art” (Οι Μαΐστορες της Ψαλτικής Τέχνης), one of the most famous Byzantine Choirs.

Preisner also teamed up with Lisa Gerrard, whom he'd previously collaborated with on Valley of Shadows. Gerrard wrote her own vocal parts. Preisner also felt it important to use Greek instruments - considering this was a film about a Greek saint. For this reason a qanun, a string instrument not dissimilar to the zither and often associated with Greece and its culture, was chosen to provide "local colour". This can be heard on tracks like 'Beauty of Aegina'.

This score showcases a wonderful fusion of styles, both of different times and cultures. It's an album that you'll get many years of pleasure from.


Darren Rea

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