Statement of Intent Preisner's Music

"I don't like going back and doing what I've already done, but I had to know whether my music 'sounded' as good without a film accompanying it. Did it stand up on its own two feet when removed from its cinematic context? To check this, I chose Wieliczka salt mine; a secret, mysterious, magical place 130 metres below ground. A unique atmosphere with exceptional acoustics.

The risk was great though: a subterranean symphony orchestra connected by 400 metres of cables to technical equipment on the ground above. Anything could have happened. Yet it all went incredibly well. I lived this concert like a veritable rite, 'mysterium'. The concert is broken down into five parts, which I chose in line with my tastes and instincts and which I combined into a single 'suite'. I wanted to produce more than just a concert. I wanted to put on a musical show.

My audience and I felt that my music lived its own life, albeit entirely at my command. Far from the studios and the mixing rooms, I rediscovered the soul of the orchestra and, for the first time ever, I heard my music exactly as I imagined it. I will always remember the Wieliczka concert as a unique step forward in the pursuit of my artistic freedom."


Preisner's music is the best sort of film music / concert disc one can purchase. While Preisner is widely known for his short but powerful cues, this retrospective gives us the best from his scores with Kieslowski and his earlier works. Some of the cues are Zbigniew's darkest around, yet they carry such grandiose string sounds, that one is instantly hypnotized to the Preisner sound.

The highlight to this compilation is that Preisner has arranged the concert so that the cues blend into one another much so that it is hard, at times, to pick up the transitions from one cue to the next. The cue from At Play in the Fields of the Lord (perhaps his darkest piece to date) is especially powerful as presented by a live orchestra and without the task of timing against visuals. Most compilations present different versions of cues if they are re-conducted without the film and here Preisner has the freedom to use these multidemonsional motifs without constraints. If only the cues were a bit longer...

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