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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


320 KBPS

The first release of a film score by John Zorn in nearly two years (2006's Film Works, Vol. 18: The Treatment being the most recent volume prior to this), "Filmworks XIX: The Rain Horse" was highly anticipated-- the beginnings of this decade had fans of Zorn's film soundtrack work spoiled with seemingly endless jewels and extraordinary prolificness (having released eight volumes of film scores between 2001 and 2006).
Assembling of trio of Erik Friedlander (cello), Rob Burger (performing on piano) and Greg Cohen (bass), the film in question was a Russian animation piece by Dmitri Geller. Zorn was originally approached for licensing of several Masada pieces but negotiated recording an original score instead. Intriguingly, given the original request and the proliferation of Masada or Masada-like pieces on Zorn's scores, Zorn's chosen a different direction. While it hints at the Masada sound, this one is more deeply imbedded in gypsy jazz and Russian folk sounds to my ear. The performers work with unnerving sensitivity to the feel of the music, invoking motion and power ("The Stallion"), foreboding and mystery ("Parable of Job", "Forests in the Mist" and it's solo cello reprise, "Bird in the Mist") and an unusually uplifting mournfulness ("Tree of Life"), this one makes a quiet and powerful statement.
One thing it does do unusually is blend in the background-- when this came in the mail I ripped it open and threw it on while I was cooking dinner. In this environment, I was not terribly impressed with it because it's strength is so quiet, but having listened to it several times since that first play, particularly with headphones on where its subtleties come through, I've been staggered at just the range of emotion the three musicians on this record convey. This is one that demands direct attention for full appreciation, and it offers a lot to appreciate.

1. Tears of Morning
2. Stallion
3. Tree of Life
4. Wedding of Wild Horses
5. Forests in the Mist
6. Dance Exotique
7. Bird in the Mist
8. Parable of Job
9. Encounter
10. Rain Horse
11. End Credits

1 comment:

Darkman said...

here i go again, lol :)

this one, even though sounds great of course.. - is not 320 kbps

It's VBR (or maybe HQ VBR) .. or something like that

Sounds good though... (i had it already though like that.. can't recall now.. maybe downloaded here.. or maybe elsewhere)