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Soundtrack review: Vaterfreuden (Martin Todsharow – 2015)

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Felix enjoys his single life to the fullest, but a ferret bites him, sterilizing him in the process. He tries everything in his power to find the soon-to-be mother of his only child, the result of his first and last sperm donation. I am not kidding, this is the plot of the movie “Vaterfreuden”. Why is this movie interesting? Because my friend Jorn Tillness from Soundtrack Geek told me that the score written by Martin Todsharow is amazing.

This should teach me to disregard the plot of the movies when I choose which of the hundred scores released in a year to review. Any other criteria is fine but not this one. If I had stumbled upon the synopsis of a German movie involving a guy being sterilized by a ferret I wouldn’t have even thought about reviewing the score. That would have been very superficial of me because even a plot like this can hide a man’s drama and tribulations. This is what the composer chose to focus on; not the fun part, not the searching part, but the soul of a guy who knows he won’t be able to have another child and goes looking for his only one.

“Imperfect” is the main theme and the way the piano is played just makes my heart beat differently. It reminds me of the intensity and emotion in Max Richter’s music. I love the piano. I always go back and forth between it and the violin as my favorite instrument and a score like this could tip the scale. The piano can be sad and poignant. The piano can be optimistic and rewarding. The piano can be the sun and the rain and a different stroke of one of its keys could change the emotional scenery in a second. The piano is honest. I think it’s more honest than the violin, because the letter as intense as it gets might have the tendency to exaggerate things. But not the piano. This instrument is honest, intimate and a mirror to the soul.

It’s not just the piano in Martin Todsharow’s composition. He uses the guitar just as well and his minimalistic musings are my favorite kind. “Vaterfreuden” is on that thin line that separates optimism from sadness. It’s the kind of score that doesn’t let you get sucked in by darkness because the light of hope is still visible no matter where you are. I am happy I got to hear this score. I will listen to it again. It’s simple, warm and honest and you couldn’t ask for more.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 16 / 16

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Imperfect (Martin Todsharow)

Lights (Martin Todsharow)

A Bunch (Martin Todsharow)

Clouds (Martin Todsharow)

The Inner Voice (Martin Todsharow)

Imperfect at All (Martin Todsharow)

About the author

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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