The Trial/Jean Ledrut
January 9, 2012
If Jean Ledrut, composer of The Trial, is remembered at all it will be for his lawsuit against rock and roll British star Joe Meek (1929-1967) for plagiarism and his use of a 4 note motif allegedly taken from La March d’Austerlitz (1960) in his 5 million copy hit Telstar. While the court ruled in favor of Meek he died before he could reap the royalties of a 5 million copy seller. The soundtrack from The Trial falls into three categories: original, material from d’Albinoni rearranged by Remo Giazotto in the 20th century, and the Martial Solal Trio. The Orson Welles directed film was based on the novel of Franz Kafka and starred Anthony Perkins, Akim Tamiroff, Elsa Martinelli, Jeanne Moreau, and Romy Schneider. Unlike CD producer Bruce Kimmel, who considers it a big favorite, I don’t even remember it coming to the theaters in Minneapolis. I’ve read the novel and only recently have seen the film.
1… Adagio d’Albinoni (7:42) is the opening track and is taken from the Italian composer Tomaso d’Albinoni (1671-1751). The Adagio in G Minor was found in Dresden by Italian musicologist Remo Giazotto who re-orchestrated the piece in 1949. This is a cue you can definitely put in the sad classical music category. While the melodies are completely different if you have Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” which was featured in Elephant Man, you’ll have something similar. This is something that has been used 20 times in film and television. It was used in such films as Flashdance, Rollerball, and Gallipoli as well as being performed by Sarah Brightman and The Doors. It begins with bars of an organ taken from the last track and then changes into an orchestral version featuring yearning strings carrying the melody and harmony from the cellos plucking quietly in the background.
2… Air Sentimental (3:14) is an original composition of Jean Ledrut and is a very easy listening piece. The harp is featured in a harmony role. One could easily call this track elevator music.
3… Ouverture d’Operette (1:44) definitely falls into the category of a staged dance number. It features the brass and overall has a very upbeat lively feeling to it. It is the only other original composition of Ledrut on this release.
4… Adagio Slow (3:00) a variation of the adagio is offered in this jazz version for piano, bass, and drums. It begins with the solo bass and then offers a somewhat complicated melodic piano line, typical Blue Note sound of the 50’s and 60’s
5… Sentimental Slow (2:46) with the Martial Solal Trio is a jazz trio arrangement of the Sentimental theme. It begins with solo bass followed by cymbals and then some cool jazz style ivory work.
6… Ambiance Kafka (2:29) starts with distorted dissonant strings in this twelve tone composition that sounds like it could be science fiction music. During the track there are a couple of references made to the adagio theme from the flute.
7… Jazz Sur L’Adagio D’Albinoni (1:52) is a big band jazz instrumental version of the sentimental theme. All the instruments in the orchestra have short crisp solos.
8… Jazz Hallucination (2:23) another variation of the sentimental theme with quicker bass and drums and then some really frantic piano work.
9… Diabolic K (4:49) with the Martial Solal Trio is a variation of the adagio theme in a frantic jazz interpretation with the trio. The piano is in the style of jazz great Thelonious Monk.
10… Concerto a Cinque opus 5, no. 12 is a new melody played by the strings. It is a very solemn melody that is very tranquil.
11… Adagio d’Albinoni (8:15) the final track is arranged baroque style for organ of the adagio melody. It has a very religious sound.
Total Time is 40:15
The first release of 2012 for Kritzerland offers variety with jazz trio, strings, solo organ, and big band. The recording is mono but clear and crisp. It is limited to 1000 copies so it would be better to act sooner rather than later on this quite unusual release.