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Soundtrack review: Bliss (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – 1997)

Composer of the month Polish composer month

Soundtrack review: Bliss (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – 1997)

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“Bliss” is another movie I haven’t seen from the list of scores for the Polish composer month. By the sound of the score, maybe I should…
Polish composer month starts very strong, with one of the scores which will probably make the top 10 at the end.

The title is appropriate for this score. Wow… what a beautiful composition this is! What a beautiful, sweeping and enjoyable listen. The music just flows like a dream, on wings made of strings and it is pure symphonic… bliss. The tempo doesn’t change much, but when it does, it’s with the help of a solo soprano that lights up the usual darker atmosphere of the score. And when she’s taking a break, we get a couple of waltzes that are just marvelous.

Each cue is carefully constructed and tells its own story. “Ouverture”, ”Wedding”, “Joseph and Maria” are all orchestral gems, beautiful and tender. The titles of some cues suggest intense erotism, but the music never becomes luscious or exaggerated. Even a track named “Bondage” sounds tender, with a soprano voice and plucked strings. The cue is beautiful.

But no cue is as beautiful as “Love making”. It builds up wonderfully, as if the motion of the two characters were mirrored in the notes used by Kaczmarek until the blissful climax. This cue is an instant classic for me. I am still recovering from it when the soprano voice returns, divine, in “It was my father” for a one-two that takes my breath away. “Reunion” is another cue that you must listen to, it will touch your heart…

“Separation with hope” is what I feel once this score is over. Hope that this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey through Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek’s compositions… “Bliss” has already set a very high standard. It never becomes too much, it’s soft but strong in the same time, and it leaves a deep echo inside me.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 44/53

Album excellence: 83%

Highlights:

Wedding

Blue Bedroom

Joseph & Maria

Love Making

It Was My Father

First Touch

Maria’s Confession

Reunion

Finale

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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