Notes and Editorial Reviews
KARAINDROU The Weeping Meadow (music for the film) „P Maria Bildea (hp); Konstantinos Raptis (bayan); Socratis Sinopoulos (Constantinople lyra); Vangelis Skouras (hn); Sergiu Nastasis (vn); Renato Ripo (vc); Angelos Repapis (db); Eleni Karaindrou (pn); La Camerata, Athens; Hellenic Vocal Ens (Antonis Kontogeorgiou, dir) „P ECM 1885 B0002715-02 (44:05)
Hitchcock had his Herrmann, Fellini had his Rota, and now filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has his composer Eleni Karaindrou. This is their seventh cinematic collaboration, and her seventh album for ECM. When one hasn¡¦t seen the film, one is forced to hear the film score in a vacuum. The question becomes not, ¡§How well does the score work in the context of
the film?¡¨ but ¡§How well does it work in the context of my living room?¡¨ The two answers are not necessarily the same. As of mid-June, Angelopoulos¡¦s film had no US distribution, so one will have to wait for an answer to the first question anyway. According to the booklet notes, the film is partly a historical epic, partly ¡§a meditation on the meaning of ¡¥free will¡¦ amid social upheaval and political intrigue,¡¨ and partly an echo of the legends of Oedipus and Antigone. If this sounds like a film by Atom Egoyan instead (I was thinking of Ararat), then perhaps it will be no surprise to read that Karaindrou¡¦s moody and deeply lyrical score sometimes reminds me of Mychael Danna¡¦s music for the same Egoyan film. Danna¡¦s score was heavily influenced by Armenian music, of course, while Karaindrou¡¦s was inspired by territory in the northern portion of Greece.
There are 16 tracks here, scored for various combinations of instruments. The varied timbres add interest, which is fortunate, because the music¡¦s tempos range from slow to slower, and its moods from gloomy and gloomier. As is the case with many film scores, Karaindrou brings her themes back many times, and the score to The Weeping Meadow becomes a riddle (ably solved by the composer) about how to do more with less. The use of the word ¡§hypnotic¡¨ in music reviews has been called a euphemism for ¡§soporific.¡¨ Karaindrou¡¦s score did not put me to sleep, however, but it did put me in a quiet, beautiful, but not necessarily comforting place¡Xthe atmosphere of regretful nostalgia and loss was too intense for comfort.
The musicians are a multinational group incorporating Romanians, an Albanian, a Welshman, and several Greeks, and one assumes that Karaindrou¡¦s vision was carried out to the letter, as she was part of the ensemble. The engineering puts the instruments in your face, but with a gauzy halo of reverberation to soften their outlines. Fans of contemporary music in an elegiac vein will enjoy the score to The Weeping Meadow.
--Raymond Tuttle, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
The Weeping Meadow by Eleni Karaindrou
Eleni Karaindrou (Piano)
La Camerata Athens
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