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Soundtrack review: Max Topas – Das Buch der Kristallkinder (Michael Klubertanz – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Max Topas – Das Buch der Kristallkinder (Michael Klubertanz – 2017)



9-year-old Max Topas wakes up one morning too late and realizes that his parents and sister have disappeared without a trace. A strange man, Monsieur Quidam, appears in the same moment and claims, that he put a spell on Max’s family, so that they will board an airplane and then they will remember neither her son nor their life to date and that Max will never see them again. And the man says, that it’s entirely up to Max to lift the spell. He just had to bring the Book of the Crystal Children to Monsieur Quidam in two hours. The only clue by the mysterious figure: the business card of “Madame Edda”, who will help Max to understand the matter, and also could point the way to find the book. And so Max has to go on an incredible quest that will lead him into a very special world and turn his life completely upside down. Michael Klubertanz wrote the score.

Fantasy movies are among the genre that produces the most exciting types of scores, since it’s all about imagination and exploring the unreal. Michael Klubertanz is a new name for me. The score opens with “Isla Indigo”, the type of cue that for me works best as a fantasy opening: vast and melodic as if ushering me into another world, the fairly tale world of this story. With a very nice string motif and an optimistic orchestral stride bordering on epic this cue helps me connect with the score right from the start. I like my scores to sound like musical stories, to have an thread that links the cues together, and I am discovering such a composition here. After the opening I meet a melodic cue with a renaissance like sound of harp and soft choir; “Inquisition” sounds nothing like its title as it’s tender and melodic.

With every cue I am more into this score and the smile on my face gets wider; “Ein seltsamer Morgen” is a playful melody that makes me think of a Sunday in the park. The theme for the strange man “Monsieur Quidam” is quirky and mysterious and echoes back to so many fantasy adventure scores I’ve heard; I like this because the music takes me to a comfort zone for this genre and I am able to enjoy the music out of context. It’s always fun to get an orchestral fantasy score where each instrument plays its part and gets me even more invested in the story. I love the trembling strings in this cue and the soft percussion.

“Max Topas – Das Buch der Kristallkinder” is a delightful and infectious fantasy adventure score. With whimsical dreamy pieces, spectacular action moments and playful motifs that keep me guessing and involved in the story, Michael Klubertanz’s composition is a revelation for 2017. The composer wrote a charming orchestral score that brightens the day, complete with an almost 11 minutes long dreamy suite towards the end. There are not enough scores like these, fun and captivating fantasy scores and I am glad to see that alongside the likes of Andrew Lockington there are other composers keeping this genre and this dream alive. If this score slipped through the cracks this year, I suggest you look for it and give it a listen. I’m definitely keeping my ears opened for more Michael Klubertanz scores.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 47

Album excellence: 57%

MT 1 Isla_Indigo
MT 2 Inquisition
MT 4 Monsieur_Quidam
MT 7 Bei_Vincy
MT 10 Sny_Rangitata_Orangensaft
MT 13 Weihnachtsmarkt
MT 14 Nachlese_und_Nachspann

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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