Sarah’s Key (2010)/Richter

July 30, 2011

Milan Records, a label a bit on the quiet side lately, has announced a new release for the US on August 2nd. Sarah’s Key, starring Kristen Scott Thomas as a modern day Paris journalist uncovers a haunting story beginning in France in 1942 during the Vel’ dHiv Roundup. Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner who also wrote the screenplay effectively uses the past and present to offer a good film.

This is my first encounter with Max Richter and his soundtrack fits the film very well. Doing a little research I found that the temporary track that was used also came from Max that being “Nature of Daylight” from his album Blue Notebooks. After having a nice listen I can understand his style and composition. He uses simple but very effective chamber style strings very somber with long extended notes from the piano to enhance the track he is working on. In a single word one could describe bittersweet for his “Nature of Daylight” track.

“The Vel D’ Hiv” underscore is a good example of what many of the tracks are like. The piano chord notes open the cue offering an ever ending clock slowly moving. A cello offers a very somber dark funeral like melody a dirge which is some of the sadder material I’ve heard. The strings harmonize with the melody as the everlasting piano continues. “The Buses” is one of a dozen or so tracks that are in the one minute range. It offers urgency from the strings with well placed brass chords to enhance the track. “Secrets” and “Clouds 1” easily combine into one track with a divine inspirational feeling. A simple but very effective cue. “When She Came Back” begins with long chords from the piano which introduce a very slow adagio similar to what Barber did in his Adagio for Strings.” It ends as it began with the piano chords. “Clouds 2” and “Clouds 3” are both under a minute and offer that divine feeling that was heard in “Clouds 1.” A complete 180 degree turnabout is a big band composition “Easy Swing” which is very predictable if you’re into big band style material. A little bop with short solos from piano, muted trumpet, sax, and carried along nicely with the brass section. “A Different Kind of Love” from Dick Walter, a bonus track is pure easy lounge jazz music. The vocal which is pleasant, (no information is provided on the soloist) leads into a Miles Davis style muted trumpet solo with the guitar always playing simple chords backed by bass. If I didn’t know my big band material I would have said “Moonlight Magic” from Alain Moorhouse, another bonus track, was right out of the Glenn Miller songbook. This style is what is referred to as sweet band and a perfect dance cue for people with limited skills on the floor.

Limited liner notes are provided offering little or no information other than a brief paragraph from the director. It was recorded in Berlin by an unknown ensemble conducted by the composer Richter. The sound is crisp with excellent definition especially from the piano, solos being performed by Saori Tomodokoro. Being as somber as it is this is not one to listen to for background music. Somber and serious it is very well done.

Track Listing:

1…. La Java Bleue – Frehel (source music) (2:46)

2…. The Round Up (1:10)

3…. The Buses (1:18)

4…. The Vel D’Hiv (3:41)

5…. Julia’s Visit (0:42)

6…. The Camps (1:51)

7…. Time Piece (1:03)

8…. Secrets (1:00)

9…. Clouds 1 (0:59)

10… The Escape (2:32)

11… When She Came Back (3:34)

12… Clouds 2 (0:50)

13… The Tree, The Beach, The Sea (2:47)

14… Julia’s Discovery (1:14)

15… I Am Writing This Letter (0:35)

16… Clouds 3 (0:50)

17… Julie’s Journey (2:25)

18… When She Went Away (2:43)

19… The Journal (0:46)

20… Julia Walking (2:24)

21… All The Years Come Back (1:01)

22… Sarah’s Notebook (3:34)

23… Easy Swing – Loren Wilfong (2:23)

24… A Different Kind Of Love – Dick Walter (source music and bonus track) (5:18)

25… Moonlight Magic – Alan Moorhouse (source music and bonus track) (3:26)

26… Oif’n Veg Shtait Ah Boim (2:06)

Total Time is 53:54

Milan CD# 365492

One Response to “Sarah’s Key (2010)/Richter”

  1. Alan Rogers Says:

    Good to see this score getting a bit of coverage. Richter’s music for this film has some very worthwhile themes and is typical for his work I have come across before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: