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Soundtrack Review

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Le Dernier Piano
(Broken Keys)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Gabriel Yared
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 01 April 2022

Plaza Mayor Company Ltd release Gabriel Yared's score for Le Dernier Piano (Broken Keys). Karim, a pianist dreaming of a career in Europe, lives in a war-torn Middle-Eastern town where modern ways of living have been banned by an extremist group. He is forced to sell his piano to gather money and leave. But things entangle when his piano is shot. Karim then embarks on a dangerous quest to repair his broken keys…

Gabriel Yared delivers yet another deep, rich, multi layered score. The soundtrack opens with 'Desert' which has a flavour of John Barry about it. In fact as the 14 tracks (34 min, 40 sec) amble beautifully along I caught the odd nod and wink to the work of Barry, John Williams and James Horner.

'Piano Discovery' reminded me, very briefly of Holst's 'The Planets, Op. 32'. 'Piano Tuning' has a upbeat reworking - making it sound like the sort of theme you'd get in a feel good family Christmas movie - of 'Ode to Joy' from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

Discussing the project, Yared says: "Broken Keys is a film about a pianist dreaming of a career in times of war. It is a film equally about the protagonist’s external and internal pursuit of freedom and peace. The cast and crew took a great risk when filming on the border between Syria and Iraq, as these areas are heavily affected by the ongoing war.

"I had a great and fruitful collaboration with the director, Jimmy Keyrouz. Firstly, Jimmy sent me his short film to watch, which was based on the same story as Broken Keys. I loved it, and decided to go ahead with the project. Jimmy came to meet me in Paris and we had a long conversation regarding all the classical piano music that was to be used in the film. I then began working on my main themes while he was shooting. He would send me a few scenes for me to watch, and so it went back and forth. We met again in Paris and spent a few days going through the music I composed, reflecting and figuring things out together. Jimmy is very musical and understands the abilities and qualities of music that lift the images and engage the audiences. To me, this is the ideal collaboration between a director and a composer. Broken Keys is a remarkable film that speaks to my heart, as it is all about the power of music while a nation is at war."

It's a beautifully touching score that is packed full of reflective and melancholic themes. Another standout score from one of cinema's greatest artists.


Darren Rea

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