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Soundtrack review: The last september (Zbigniew Preisner – 2000)

Composer of the month Polish composer month

Soundtrack review: The last september (Zbigniew Preisner – 2000)



“The last september” is Zbigniew Preisner’s score for a movie adaptation of a famous book about the Anglo-Irish history. The guitar and violin undertones define the taste of this score. I was very surprised not to find a single Celtic influence in this score; the Irish taste is missing completely.

“The telescope” is the most interesting cue of this score. It plays with you, it communicates, it changes mood, tone, and it makes a point. It is a very unusual and interesting track, a story in itself. It really made me pay attention to it, to the plucking strings, the violin, to everything it brought. “The ambushed soldier”, the cue that follows it, is another very interesting composition and I can’t put the finger on why I like them so much. This is another cue where I hear a dialogue between the instruments; each of them is a character in this little play, holding his ground, stating his opinion completely different from the others.  I love the surprise in this two tracks, I love how multi layered they are.

This puzzle sound becomes the trademark of “The last September”. I could call the mood ambient jazz, but there are no jazz instruments here…it’s just a feeling I get. Most of the cues have an instrument that keeps the rhythm, something that beats almost clockwork. The tracks sound like dotted lines. This makes for an interesting and satisfactory one time listen, but I doubt the replay value of this score, because many tracks feel unfinished. It is one of the more unusual Preisner compositions.

Of course, with end titles like this score has (part I), I can forget all its short comings. I love a rolling piano motif…And I know some people will love the jazzy sound of the second part of the end credits…

Cue rating: 70 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 13/35

Album excellence: 36%


The last september end titles 1
The last september end titles 2

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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