December 26, 2008


Opening on Xmas Day in the US Valkyrie, code name for the emergency plan is a World War II epic starring Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy, which deals with the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. The 95 million dollar United Artist release is directed by Bryan Singer and brings together the Singer/Ottman team yet again. John also has been Bryan’s editor as well as composer for all but one film in their 15-year partnership.


The opening cue, “They’ll Remember You,” the end title theme sung by Rundfunkchor with soprano solo by Sylke Schwab, were from a Goethe poem “Wanderers Nachtiled II” adapted by Ottman and Rosner and is truly a thing of beauty, the highlight of the CD. A somber religious piece, it is one that could be added to any compilation CD and in this reviewer’s opinion a contender for best track of 2008! If you do nothing else download this one track. The final cue “Long Live Sacred Germany” is a nicely written string adagio depicting a somber mood of the tragedy. The “Midnight Waltz” is an all to brief delicate high society type piano solo with a string lead in and harmony. Co-written and orchestrated by Lior Rosner it’s an excellent waltz/source music piece for the film. “The Officers Club” is a sweet band source song calypso like sung in German, typical of the 40’s era.
The rest of the cues are various styles of underscore, ranging from drums of all types and styles, low string chords (good minor key motifs), tension building material, from the heart emotional motifs that are brief and without any memorable tune that this reviewer will likely ever remember again once I complete this review. “I’m Sorry” and “Operation Terminated” fall into this category of heartfelt emotional cues. “Operation Valkyrie is a good example of the sobering German influenced music with plenty of synthetic drum and jittery material included. This is ‘landscape’ material that could fit into any number of films and a fan of Valkyrie will enjoy as he relives those special moments. Without seeing the film, most of us will have difficulty. The constant drum material merely exercised my woofer and not my gray matter.

As I stated earlier the opening cue ranks at the top of the list for best cue of 2008. I truly believe that the poem inspired Ottman to new heights. There were also three other cues “Midnight Waltz,” “The Officer’s Club,” and “Long Live Sacred Germany” that merit further listens. That said, with a liking for one or more of the underscore cues you’ve a winner. Overall, a good effort from John Ottman.
Produced by John Ottman
Varese Sarabande CD# is3020669372
Conducted by Pablo Heisenberg
Mastered by Dave Collins
Main Titles Rating is ***1/2

Track listing

1. They’ll Remember You (04:20)

2. Operation Valkyrie (05:11)

3. What’s This Really All About? (03:44)

4. Bunker Bust (03:45)

5. March 13 Attempt (03:38)

6. Midnight Waltz (02:11)

7. A Place To Change (04:09)

8. Seconds Lost (03:34)

9. Getting the Signature (04:04)

10. The Officer’s Club (02:37)

11. The Way It Should Go (03:24)

12. If I Were That Man / To The Berghof (02:21)

13. I’m Sorry (03:04)

14. Important Call (04:07)

15. No More Indecision (02:31)

16. Olbricht Gives the Order (03:18)

17. Operation Terminated (01:16)

18. Long Live Sacred Germany (06:13)

Total Duration: 01:03:27


One Response to “Valkyrie/Ottman”

  1. turbotad Says:

    Just saw this tonight. Thought it was excellent, personally. A story that needs to be told, to dispel the stigma that germans have had to live with, that WWII was all about the world vs. “Germany” — when it was in fact the world against a select few crazy ones.

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