The amount of soundtracks that are being released recently is quite staggering, in most cases these scores are by new and up and coming composers many of whom we as collectors have never heard of before, it amazes me that these lesser known composers who are mostly young Maestro’s are producing so much quality music and it is thanks to labels such as Movie Score Media and Kronos that we are getting to hear many of their works for the cinema. A few years ago we looked to Spain for a breath of fresh film music air, but more recently composers from Eastern Europe seem to be making their mark upon cinema audiences with their haunting and emotive sounding film scores. Bartek Gliniak is a composer who I have heard of before and I must say I liked what I heard, one of the latest releases from the ever industrious Movie score media/Kronos stable is the composers delightful and pleasant score for MY NIKIFOR (2004) which is a biopic of the Polish outsider artist Nikifor Krynicki, who painted over 40,000 pictures – on sheets of paper, pages of notebooks, cigarette cartons, and even on scraps of paper glued together. Underrated for most of his life and achieving recognition as a primitivist painter in his late years. The score is a slightly offbeat but at the same time entertaining and romantic work, the composer creating a haunting and infectious central theme on which he builds the remainder of his score.
I love the way in which the cimbalom is utilized throughout the work and punctuated and accompanied by slightly roguish sounding pizzicato strings that add a certain devilish appeal to the proceedings, the composer also makes effective use of solo piano and certain points within the score and employs a heart melting violin solo and underlines this with subdued and fragile sounding woodwind that is further supported by a heartfelt and melancholy sounding cello. But, it is the cimbalom alongside pizzicato strings that are the main feature of the score in my opinion, they act as a glue that holds the remainder of the soundtrack together or at least act as a bridge between the various instrumentation within the score. The reoccurring 4 note motif and variations of it is one that you will never tire of simply because it is infectious and also because the composer arranges and orchestrates it in so many fresh and different guises, at first being performed by cimbalom then it is handed to the plucked strings and taken on by piano and then violin, it is also given a more romantic working midway through the compact disc by piano. There is a sound and style to this work that for me evoked many of the composing styles of Bruno Nicolai, with oboe being enhanced by warm sounding strings and plaintive piano with the odd scattering of harpsichord and the ever present cimbalom these elements stirring up memories of Nicolai’s COUNT DRACULA at times but Gliniak,s actual themes being less harsh than Nicolai’s. The composer also employs recorder and delicate harp strokes and bassoon to create a wonderfully lyrical work. This is a polished and enjoyable score and one I would recommend in a heartbeat. Please check it out, you will not be sorry.