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Soundtrack review: Trois couleurs – Bleu (Zbigniew Preisner – 1993)

Composer of the month Polish composer month

Soundtrack review: Trois couleurs – Bleu (Zbigniew Preisner – 1993)


“The three colors” trilogy is  Krzysztof Kieślowski’s most famous body of work in the West. The three movies, one anti-tragedy, one anti-comedy and one anti-romance made quite the waves at music festivals. Zbigniew Preisner wrote all three scores, and I am starting with “Blue”.

The score opens with the anthem choral piece “Song for the unification of Europe”. It is the only long cue of the score: the other 23 tracks amount to 34 minutes. Three of those are variations of the funeral theme composed by the fictitious “Van den Budenmeyer”, Preisner’s alter ego created for his works with Kieslowski. The full orchestra version of it is my favorite.

The dramatic parts of the score sound exaggerated on purpose. The themes for Julie’s character are easily identifiable because of this, so there might be something special about her. The two “Ellipsis” cues also draw the listener’s attention when they begin.

I found the score to be a little uneven. I loved the solo flute themes, the full orchestral motifs were interesting, but “Blue” doesn’t make for a very rewarding standalone listen. I didn’t like the track where there’s also dialogue from the movie, probably because I haven’t seen the movie and I have no emotional connection with it. I am sure someone who liked the movie will enjoy this score a lot more than I did. To me, the music was all over the place and I couldn’t catch it.

Cue rating: 65 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 40

Album excellence: 29%



Song for the unification

Ellipsis 2

Van der Budenmayer funeral 2

Reprise flute

Closing credits

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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