The Most Beautiful Unknown Music

Listening again tonight to The Most Beautiful Music in the World, by Zbigniew Preisner, as I blogged about three years ago.

Yes yes, there are passages by Mahler and Debussy and Tchaikovsky that are as beautiful as any music ever written. But I think this music by Preisner is just as beautiful, and I blog about it since it’s relatively unknown. In fact, after a productive decade of beautiful film scores in the ’90s, Preisner seems to have gone quiet, with nothing new from him in recent years.

Update 23Oct14: I did a post about a similarly relatively unknown film score last night on Facebook; here is that post:

And here is one of my favorite film scores — by Wojciech Kilar, for the 1996 film The Portrait of a Lady. As always with film scores, for me it’s not about the film or the novel by Henry James or the film’s star Nicole Kidman; it’s about the music unto itself. In this case, a fascinating blend of the romantic and the minimalist, with some interludes by Schubert.

The reason I’ve been listening to this in the past couple days is that I have this strong affinity for music and the places I’ve been when listening to certain pieces of music. There is an REM album [the one with “Walk Unafraid”…] that I will forever associate with driving along a stretch of route 101 along the coast north (actually west, before it turns north) of Santa Barbara, on one of my trips to the Bay Area. A Richard Einhorn album I associate with a road trip across the Mojave desert.

And this soundtrack album by Kilar, which I listened to as I left Charles Brown’s house, now the Locus house, some years ago, probably in the late 1990s, on a lovely sunny morning. As you drive down Colton Blvd from his house down to Montclair Village and the 13 freeway, there are one or two spots on the road where you glimpse a fantastic view of the San Francisco Bay with the Bay Bridge and the city of San Francisco in the distance…. So as I left the Locus House this past Monday morning, I listened to this again.


www.imdb.com/title/tt0117364/

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