Home > Reviews > DIE NORDSEE: UNSER MEER – Oliver Heuss


dienordseeunsermeerOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Die Nordsee: Unser Meer is a feature-length nature documentary directed by Klaus Müller, which looks as the fauna and flora that resides in the water and along the coastlines of the North Sea in northern Europe; from gray seals swimming in the waters off Heligoland in Germany or basking on the chalk cliffs of Dover in England, to large squid in the Dutch Oosterschelde, the film uses helicopters and underwater cameras to observe these lovely creatures from all possible perspectives. Nature documentaries have often elicited some excellent music, ranging from George Fenton’s scores for the BBC over the course of the last 20 years, to Finnish composer Panu Aaltio’s exquisite score for the documentary Metsän Tarina last year, and Die Nordsee: Unser Meer continues the trend.

There’s some fabulous music here, courtesy of composer Oliver Heuss, a former member of the 1980s Europop band Trio Rio, who has been writing music for German film and TV since the late 1990s. The score is a combination of a large modern orchestra occasionally augmented some upbeat contemporary synth percussion, and judicious use of voices. The opening title, “Nordsee Titelthema”, is a beauty, a thrusting string piece overlaid with a wordless vocal that is very evocative; this idea continues on through various aerial flying sequences, such as “Flug Über die Nordsee”, “Flug Über Dänemark”, “Flug Über Schottland”, and so on. As the score develops several lovely set pieces emerge: “Die Flut Kommt” is a balletic, elegant piece for woodwinds; “Friesland” has a pretty, sentimental piano melody that has a sense of romantic intimacy; “Das Grüne Leuchten” re-visits the vocal element with a sense of beauty and mystery, and “Taucher und Kegelrobbe” presents a lovely, cello-led waltz theme for a pod of grey seals.

Some of the geographic-specific pieces have a little regional flavor (the Scotland pieces feature fiddles, guitars and of course bagpipes; the England piece evokes a little of Vaughan Williams in the woodwind writing), which is exceptionally pleasing. In fact, there’s barely a wrong decision on the entire album, which is a rare thing indeed. Heuss – who was completely unknown to me prior to this score – is clearly a composer with a significant amount of classically rich compositional talent, a way with melodies and orchestration, and a keen dramatic sense that is very pleasing indeed.

Buy the Die Nordsee: Unser Meer soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Nordsee Titelthema (1:25)
  • Die Flut Kommt (1:28)
  • Friesland (3:01)
  • Helgoland (5:46)
  • Das Grüne Leuchten (0:51)
  • Robbenmädchen (1:52)
  • Taucher und Kegelrobbe (1:00)
  • Flug Über die Nordsee (1:40)
  • Nordeeinseln (5:22)
  • Flug Nach Dänemark (1:16)
  • Flug Über Dänemark (1:18)
  • Kampfläuferbalz (0:45)
  • Dänische Dünen (0:39)
  • Flug Nach Norwegen (2:38)
  • Fjordtaucher (1:53)
  • Kreaturen der Tiefe (2:15)
  • Norwegen (1:55)
  • Kampf der Moschusochsen (3:38)
  • Orkas, Chimären und Eishai (4:50)
  • Schottland (5:36)
  • Flug Über Schottland (2:05)
  • Englische Küsten (3:47)
  • Holland (3:03)
  • Ostfriesland (2:55)
  • Robbenwinterspiel (1:16)
  • Kampf der Kegelrobben (1:05)
  • Sturmfinale (1:55)
  • Nordsee Abspann (1:53)

Running Time: 43 minutes 11 seconds

Amnoss Recordings

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