SuperTex

Zbigniew Preisner

 
" SuperTex is a particularly fine score "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the music as heard in the movie

Zbigniew Preisner is one of the most profound composers writing music for cinema. While a lot of prolific works have seen the day of light in a form of a cd release, many excellent works remain unreleased until this very day. The most interesting we have seen in ´recent´ days are re-releases of some of his best works (La Double Vie de Veronique, Dekalog…) and his score to Thomas Vinterberg’s play version of Festen (Dans Macabre) in 2010. In 2013, no less than three of his scores (Un Secret, Menachem & Fred and Anglaja) and a work called Diaries of Hope were added to his wonderful discography. SuperTex is a particularly fine score begging to be released.


Preisner explained his love for the The Netherlands many times before, hence his use of the fictitious composer Van den Budenmayer. This 18th century composer was created by him and director Krystof Kieslowski, and his compositions were displayed in Dekalog, La Double Vie de Veronique and Trois Couleurs: Rouge. In 1996 he wrote the music to the Dutch short Bruggen, in 2003 for the German/Dutch co-production Supertex and in 2006 for Sportman van de Eeuw. Preisner approach both feature length films from the strong determination of the lead character, which gave him a powerful element to write around.


SuperTex is a score that does not float very far from the ideas that the composers commonly displays. The nature of his music is to expose one to a very intimate and distinctive ensemble sound, which can be considered completely unique. There are three constant factors surrounding this accomplishment; the use of a regular collective of musicians, a specific recording method in his studio in Warsaw and a variety of musical techniques like vibrations and re-echoing sounds.

The film focuses on the character of Max. This is a person who struggles with his Jewish identity and the question if he (or his brother) to take control of his the family business, given the fact that his father has turned very ill. Based on this premise, Preisner’s Un Secret bares resembles, both in terms of music and story wise. Throughout the score solo instruments play in countermelody, while taking the time to create a sense of timeless space and discomfort. The music is very slow in pace and does not eschew an appropriate amount of pauses. I think this distinctive musical unity often strikes you on a very deep level as very few other composers can.

The music box progression of the notes by pianist Leszek Możdżer‎, performing the piano and Hammond, are largely enjoyable and often create a very moving atmosphere. In one particular scene in the film Możdżer‎ begins playing his piano, which is moved onto the next scene in which Max meets his father´s girlfriend in a bar. You could say the function of the cue changes from being a normal cue into something of elevator (or bar) music. I found that to be a rather nice transition, even though it didn´t feel like the rather fast tempo of the piano was very fitting as background music in a bar.

While the music generally does not become overly dramatic, the saxophone, flute and cello playing sometimes display very disconcerting and mourning feelings in some of the key scenes. They seem to serves as theme or motif for Max. SuperTex features just one clearly defined theme for harp and piano, which I suspect served as the main theme. Preisner does use an awful lot of melody, while creating a lot of fragmentary phrases and techniques for a variety of instruments. Both punctuate the mood and the characters just splendidly. I think the music helps you connect to the dramatic core of the film, but cannot conceal the flaws of the making of the film itself.
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(total of 4 votes - average 3.88/5)

Released by

- (music as heard in the movie 2003)

Piano & Hammond

Leszek Mozdzer

Violin

Michal Póltorak

Harp

Anna Sikorzak-Olek

Saxophone

Jerzy Glówczewski

Flute

Jacek Ostaszewski

Samplers

Stefan Sendecki

Electric bass

Mariusz Bogdanowicz

Performed by

Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Narodowej

Orchestra conducted by

conducted byt Tomasz Tokarczyk

Recording and mixed

at composer’s studio

Orchestra recorded

at studio 54 warsaw, Poland