March 4, 2010

Digital Download in U.S.

After hearing the new Milan digital release to North Face, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christian Kolonovits is yet another composer who I’m not familiar with and likely should have explored a long time ago. Nordwand (North Face in US) is set in 1936 as the Nazis want to show off the fact that they are the superior race and assign two climbers to ascend the Eiger mountain to prove it. Previously released in 2008 in Germany by Milan as a CD it is now available in the US as a download as the film has finally found its way across the big pond to the US. Written and directed by Philipp Stolzl the film stars Benno Furmann, Florian Lukas, and Johanna Wokalek and was filmed on location in Austria.

Kolonovits is probably best known for his VSOP series, pop numbers with the Vienna Symphony, which have sold millions of copies over the years. He has done some film and television work but his only CD release in the soundtrack area has been this one, at least the only one I’m aware of.

Conducting the Budapest Film Orchestra Kolonovits has written the score with little in the way of modern film techniques. He has chosen the more traditional sound of a German sounding symphonic score that takes full advantage of the entire orchestra. Mainly written in an Adagio or Funeral March tempo, the classical listener will be reminded of Bruckner and Franck in the slow plodding development that the cues offers. This is a traditional offering except for the hammering sound effect of the spikes being pounded into Nordwand on certain cues, a nice touch. The “Prologue” introduces the main theme from first the horns followed by the woodwinds before being turned over to the strings. This theme is the one used in several of the tracks and memorable enough to find yourself unconsciously humming it if you listen to the soundtrack several times. “Luise and Toni-Love Theme” is a tragic love theme one of those heart yearning tunes where you feel the unhappy ending. “Eiger Sanction” is an example of a tension track without the need for a lot of loud dissonant brass to make the point. “Immer ran” is a throwback 30’s style song sung in German complete with all the noise you hear from a 78.

If you classical music you’ll find this 19th century soundtrack to your liking. I enjoy the way he approaches his harmony, his well thought out orchestrating, and the strong melody that is used throughout the entire score. If you’re ear is tuned toward the 21st century style this is definitely not the score for you. If you can curl up on your sofa and enjoy Franck’s “Symphony in D Minor” don’t hesitate to download and enjoy the subtleties that this soundtrack has to offer. Recommended.

1. Prologue (02:28)

2. Luise and Toni – Love Theme (03:19)

3. Hinterstoisser Traverse (03:28)

4. Eiger Theme (04:21)

5. Mühlsturhorn Trilogy (04:48)

6. Icefield (01:55)

7. Mehringer Discovery (01:55)

8. Turning Back (02:00)

9. Rappel (01:34)

10. Return to the Traverse (02:11)

11. The Eiger in the Storm (02:24)

12. Andi’s Death (02:15)

13. Toni Gives Up (06:38)

14. Epilogue (06:54)

15. Immer ran (2:15)

Total Time is 48:23


One Response to “Nordwand/Kolonovits”

  1. radixal Says:

    thanks for sharing, great article

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