As his name suggests, Zbigniew Preisner is polish. He is also the composer of many of the late Krzysztof Kieslowski’s (who is also polish) movies’ soundtracks. Kieslowski being one of Europe’s most influential directors from the end of the twentieth century. Preisner’s latest album is entitled “Silence, Night & Dreams” and in it, he works with Teresa Salgueiro (former vocalist of Madredeus, one of Portugal’s best-known bands).
I fondly remember listening to the soundtrack of ‘Dekalog’ or of ‘Trois Couleurs: Bleu', where Preisner's music was an intrinsic part of Kieslowski's cinema, swaing the viewer in its timeless beauty, intertwined with the movie's storyline and its character's intense feelings, without ever falling into bad taste or vulgarity.
However, Preisner has always been about more than just his soundtracks. One of my favourite of his albums is entitled 'Ten Easy Pieces for Piano' and, as the name suggests, it's full of apparently simple melodies and music that sway our thought with pleasure.
'Silence, Night & Dreams' is a project of a grander scale, based on texts authored by Preisner himself as well as from the New and Old Testament, the Book of Job and the Gospel of Saint Matthew, accompanied by a choir and orchestra. Aside from Teresa Salgueiro's unmistakable and ethereal voice, the child-like voice of Tom Cully, reciting in latin seems to make the music overcome an eventual 'new age' over-simplicity, to find its way as this winter's essential listening.
Silence, Nights & Dreams
Trois Couleurs: Bleu