Home > Reviews > COLETTE – Atli Örvarsson

COLETTE – Atli Örvarsson

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

coletteOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Colette is a Czech film, directed by Milan Cieslar and based on the celebrated, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Girl from Antwerp” by Arnost Lustig. The film reveals the author’s personal experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, his own recollections of several escape attempts from the hell that was Auschwitz, but most unexpectedly the romantic attraction and love he developed for a female fellow inmate. The film stars Jirí Mádl and Clémence Thioly, and opened in theaters in Europe in September 2013 to general acclaim.

It’s always interesting to me how different certain composers sound when they write music independently, away from the oversight of the Remote Control organization. Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson, who has worked with Hans Zimmer for years, wrote the score for Colette, and it’s a beauty. Basically, it’s his version of Schindler’s List, with all the importance, solemnity and seriousness that implies. Heavy on the strings and heavy on the melodrama, but with its own sort of intimate beauty, this is probably the best score of Örvarsson’s career to date. The main title, “Colette”, is a knockout, building from a repeated four-note theme into a dramatic but hugely attractive theme. The theme is prominent through much of the score – cues like “The Diamond”, the softly elegant “Merci Mon Amour”, and the piano-led pair “Praying for Willie” and “Triangle of Love and Hate” are among the best recapitulations.

There is some powerfully dramatic action music too, especially in “Workshop of Evil”, “Free as a Bird” and the exciting “The Escape”, which sees the percussion and brass sections getting a noticeably vigorous workout. As one would expect, the chilling horrors of life in a concentration camp are brought to bear in some desperately bleak passages, notably “Crematorium” and “Cossacks to the Rescue”, before the main theme returns in the moving end titles piece. Highly recommended, especially for those who want to hear what the Remote Control composers are actually capable of.

Buy the Colette soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Colette (3:35)
  • The Diamond (3:01)
  • Workshop of Evil (3:10)
  • Merci Mon Amour (2:18)
  • Crematorium (2:44)
  • Beautiful Brown Eyes (1:58)
  • Free As a Bird (1:53)
  • Praying for Willie (2:23)
  • Triangle of Love and Hate (2:47)
  • Planning the Escape (2:10)
  • Kanada (2:45)
  • Change of Heart (2:37)
  • Cossacks to the Rescue (2:52)
  • The Escape (2:41)
  • Outside the Church (2:35)
  • Colette: End Titles (2:44)

Running Time: 42 minutes 13 seconds

Moviescore Media MMS-13009 (2013)

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