Cliff Eidelman

" Magdalene unravels Cliff Eidelman's talent "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Cliff Eidelman, name rings a bell? Well it should, because we sorely miss him today. Back then, there was an era where big composers suddenly turned up all at once, shouting at the film heavens to give them a shot at filmmusic composition. Cliff Eidelman was one of them who suddenly delivered some of the best scores of the year, even for big movies that were perhaps out of his league. But back then directors still wanted to take risks, back then it was considered only logical that orchestral scores were written for a motion picture. And that's how Cliff suddenly made his mark. It didn't last long, but at least we still remember him for it today. The score that started it all is Magdalene, a movie starring Nastassja Kinski that sadly people never saw. At least they heard it, or should hear it eventually.

Because this is a young composer's dream project. Getting the chance to write old romantic fashionable music and get it performed through a 120 person orchestra, ready to guide his ideas to the end and beyond. And it opens that way as well, beyond I mean. The powerful choral religious opener "The Revolution" perhaps couldn't describe it any better than what Eidelman himself had envisioned for it. What it's lacking in clarity and depth of the recording, it conquers with gusto and passion. This returns in the second part of "The Death of Hans", making perhaps even a bigger impact than before. A more militaristic feeling emerges in the second part of "The Aftermath of War" and continues to appear occasionally throughout the score.

The film eventually tells the story of a priest who falls for a young prostitute and this is felt deeply in Eidelman's score. The war that is raging on the outside, is nothing compared to the delicate romance that is lingering inside their hearts. The lovely intimate woodwinds in "Magdalene in Love" guides it, the orchestra swells along with it when we receive Eidelman's engaging love theme in "Father Mohr", "Freedom in Salzburg" and during the first minutes of "Mohr's Farewell".

And for the die hard classical fans amongst us, they should find it pleasing (or displeasing) to discover Mozart's Requiem Mass popping up in the score of Eidelman, the same for Silent Night which happens to appear from time to time. And occasionally you have to accept the classical sounding feeling of it all, like the harpsichord in "The Archbishop's Entertainment" or the singing based on the revolution theme in "Kyrie Eleison".

Magdalene was a dream come true for Cliff Eidelman, and like a great one, he took the opportunity with his both hands and delivered something worth remembering. The recording sadly lacks the necessary edge to fully reveal the strength of this score, but as long as this score doesn't get the deserved treatment of a re mastering (or better yet re recording), better take Magdalene for the time being, as it is a true piece of art, especially considered this was Eidelman's debut score at the remarkable young age of 25. Magdalene might not present it the best possible way, the ideas and emotion surely do.

Favorite Moment - The Death of Hans (2.53 - 3.50)
I love how the choir suddenly shifts towards the revolution music

Track Listing

1. The Revolution (2.23) Excellent track
2. The Death of Hans (4.08) Excellent track
3. Magdalene in Love (1.05)
4. Father Mohr (3.46) Excellent track
5. Going to Heaven (2.33)
6. The Archbishop's Entertainment (1.52)
7. The Aftermath of War (4.45)
8. Christmas Time (1.58)
9. Absolve Me of My Sins (4.01)
10. Temptation (2.42)
11. Silent Night (0.48)
12. Freedom in Salzburg (1.56) Excellent track
13. Magdalene's Prayer (5.11)
14. Kyrie Eleison (1.30)
15. Will You Forget Me (1.10)
16. Mohr's Farewell (4.32) Excellent track

Total Length: 44.48
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(total of 1 votes - average 4/5)

Released by

Intrada MAF 7029D (regular release 1992)

Conducted by

Cliff Eidelman

Orchestrations by

Mark Watters

Performed by

The Muncih Symphony Orchestra