The Sonata is a film that was released in 2020, it was one of the last movies that starred the wonderful, Rutger Hauer and has an incredible soundtrack which is composed by French Maestro, Alexis Maingaud.

There is a maturity and an eloquent melodic quality to the score, it is filled with a tense and nervous atmosphere, but also conveys an atmosphere that is alluring and appealing via its luxurious thematic material. For me it evoked the work of Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith, because it is not only a brooding and dark affair but has a foundation of semi melodious themes that ooze sophistication but saying that it also has to it an originality with the composer displaying his obvious gift for creativity throughout.  

This is real film music, there are no drone like soundscapes here that fill time or underline the action on screen, intelligently written, overflowing with innovative musical passages and containing inventive orchestrations. The music seems to invade the listeners sub conscious and purveys moods and atmospheres that are thick with mystery and have to them a apprehensive air. The Four Faces of Evil, is a chilling and unnerving piece, low and somber strings are the main stay of the cue, with the composer adding more layers via a more pronounced string presence, with fleeting use of woodwind, and a faraway sounding horn solo momentarily rising out of the shadowy and somewhat macabre sounding composition giving a brief respite.

Many of the cues are quite short in their duration, but this does not mean that the music does not have any less of an affect upon the listener. There is an other-worldly or ethereal sound to much of the score, the composer creating a daunting and uneasy atmosphere. The cue The Crypt too conjures up a darkness and a menacing mood, strings again that form a foundation and are then surrounded by more strings that are like a swirling whirlpool of sound.

The Children is also a cue that must be listened too, short but effective, searing strings making their presence felt and creating a tense musical persona. Running in the Woods too is an intense composition, which begins low key, but has this ominous and harrowing underlying sound, which soon builds into a full on dramatic and driving force courtesy of a combination of percussive elements, brass, and strings.

This for me certainly evokes the style of Goldsmith and although short is exhilarating. The Sonata is a superbly crafted film score, with its driving brass and strings, its low key and richly dark piano, it’s fleeting thematic properties that haunt the listener and its inventive and booming percussion, it is a must have item. It punctuates, enhances, laces, and supports the picture but it also contains qualities that make it just as appealing away from the movie it was intended to enhance.

The Sonata is a powerful and nerve-jangling work, that will be amongst many film music collector’s favorites once heard Track number, 32, Violin Sonata op 54 “Rose”, is a triumph, and conveys so many mixed emotions, it is melodic, but at the same time highly expressive and dramatic. Even the End Credits, do not let up in the powerhouse department, so commanding and yet so sweet.   Released soon on the French Independent music label AOC. On May 5th.