Weekly Recommendations – w/e 10th December 2021

Slightly late, but here’s another round-up of recommended scores that have caught my attention over the previous week (w/e 10th December 2021).

日本沈没-希望のひと(Japan Sinks: People of Hope) (2021) – Yugo Kanno (Anchor Records)

Composer Yugo Kanno’s score for this 10-part Japanese TV show about environmental catastrophe, governmental corruption and countrywide panic is another strong score from this talented composer. The orchestral music shifts deftly from emotional, patriotic, light-hearted, through to action-oriented tracks over the 75 minutes running time. This score is another example of how good music written for Japanese drama TV series can be.

Amalgama (2021) – Felipe Pérez Santiago (Besos Cósmicos)

Felipe Pérez Santiago’s score for this Mexican-Dominican Republic comedy-drama is distinctive because of the composer’s interesting decision to compose for an a cappella score of five vocalists. Beautifully expressive, the short score (18 minutes and interspersed amongst a number of songs) mixes melody with more abstract-styled tracks and is a great experience when listened to loud and on headphones. A review is available elsewhere on this blog: Amalgama review.

Les Enfants Terribles (2021) – John Gürtler & Jan Miserre (Paradox Paradise Berlin)

Filmed for a French documentary series, L’Heure D, Les Enfants Terribles is a rural Turkey-set documentary that focuses on the clashes between the generations, past and present. The composing duo’s music is sparse and reflects strongly the dialogue-oriented content of the film. A solo cello echoes musically that there’s no sugar-coating in this documentary. Rather than latching on to any memorable melodic content, the score is all about atmosphere. The album is only 12 minutes in length but, because of the score’s power throughout, the short running time may be a welcome respite for many. I love the sound of the cello so I have immersed myself in the score several times since its release.

The Claus Family 2 (2021) – Anne-Kathrin Dern (MovieScore Media)

The composer balances a Christmas/holiday feel with a powerfully emotional quality for this fantasy feature film, which is a sequel to original The Claus Family film (with a score also composed by Dern). MovieScore Media’s album highlights Dern’s challenge to the various sections of the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra. A lovely melodic and dramatic score, The Claus Family 2 is a strong addition to the Christmas movie music genre. The recorder is a particular star and the use of the wordless choir that closes the album provides a powerful finale. Dern’s music should feature in many Christmas score lists in the coming years.

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