Waldlust: Eine Tatort Sinfonie

Martina Eisenreich

" I have heard a great deal of scores that use the glockenspiel so wonderfully, but the interplay with other instruments in the second movement is nothing short of magic. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

Popular crime series such as Tatort continue to draw large audiences in front of their television. One would expect that the makers of a long running successfully shows such as Tatort would not dare to undertake experimental routes into making an episode, perhaps out of fear of losing its audience. So, it comes as a huge surprise that for the Waldlust episode the producer and director Alex Ritisch took an ingenious gamble. The’ not fully fleshed out dialog’ script was made available to a strictly low number of people, even the actors weren't allowed to read it. Amongst the happy few was composer Martina Eisenreich. She was instructed to write a symphony based on the script, conversations with the director and also drew inspiration from the surroundings in which the episode would take place. She was given total creative freedom to compose what she wanted, for as long as she stuck with the structure of a symphony. We all know numerous examples of composers writing the music prior to the shooting of a film, but not quite like this and most certainly not on a television series. Regardless of the quality of the music, I think this is quite a unique thing and I suppose Eisenreich gladly took on the challenge. The music was recorded with the Deutsche Staatsharmoniehienland-Pfalz orchestra and used on set to get the actors a source of inspiration and guidance, as they had to do a lot of improvisation during principal photography.

The symphony as a whole evokes a sense of what you exactly expect from a murder mystery and does not dive into new territory. The first movement quickly introduces you to a wonderful theme performed by the singing saw, orchestral swells from the string and woodwind section, various types of percussion (and more.) that together enable you to be immediately sucked into a dark, mysterious, and yet enchanting mood. But what really makes the symphony stand out is how overwhelmingly powerful and rich the score is; there is much to take note of and the general feeling of playfulness, as the composer morphs from moments of mysterious awe, to extravagantly lush and intimate sounds, is admirable. Even if at times it feels a bit cliché, I generally get the feeling the composer so evidently uses all of its facets to her own advantage, becoming a surprisingly solid and memorable listening. If you were to cut the whole work in little bits and pieces, I’m sure it would take more time to appreciate what Eisenreich does so well. I actually tried just that by randomly picking a minute here and there, which does not immediately evoke any other sense than déjà vu.

It’s difficult to point towards general highlights because it’s such a vivid musical work. I easily enjoyed a playful harpsichord moment as much as the variation on several themes. Regarding the themes, they are primarily performed by a singing saw and the other by the glockenspiel, are both the most appealing and highlighted on numerous occasions. The singing saw theme is best of use in a variation with bass strings and a woodwind in the opening fo the Finale movement, while the glockenspiel theme really comes to live in the second movement (Adagio misterioso). I have heard a great deal of scores that use the glockenspiel so wonderfully, but the interplay with other instruments in the second movement is nothing short of magic. It starts with a solo from the instrument and is onwards joined by the cello and the entire orchestra, crafting an instantly moving and enchanting mood that develops into a sweeping closure. In the logical perception of a composer the true ending of the Finale features a variation with both the glockenspiel, singing saw and bass strings, followed by sweeping orchestral gesture leading onto the fitting closure of the increasingly slower performance of the glockenspiel.

Martina Eisenreich is a gifted composer, who has written a grand score for Waldlust: Eine Tatort Sinfonie. It is only available as a download and was released by Royal Flame Music GmbH/22D Music. If this is music that appeals to you, the Komponiert in Deutschland compilation of Eisenreich is the most logical next step, giving a good, but fragmented impression of her work as a film composer.

1. Waldlust: I. Szenario – 11:01
2. Waldlust: II. Adagio misterioso – 8:23
3. Waldlust: III. Choral – 10:48
4. Waldlust: IV. Finale – 15:31

(written 13-05-2018)

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Released by

Royal Flame Music GmbH/22D Music (download only release 2018)