The body of old Theodor Reifenrath is found in Mammolshain in the Taunus. The question is was this an accident or something more sinister? Murder is suspected because the safe where the body is found is open and empty, inspectors Pia Sander and Oliver von Bodenstein start investigations. In the dog kennel in front of the house, they make a horrifying discovery. Alongside to a nearly starved dog, they find human bones in the ground.

Three bodies all of which are female are recovered by forensic experts. But who are these women and how did they get there?  The dead man and his deceased wife Rita had used the large house by the lake as a kind of children’s home and had raised many foster children there over a period of many years. However, the two were not loving foster parents. Rita has been missing for many years. With many thinking that she could have taken her own life, but no body has ever been discovered. The investigators begin to focus their attention upon the foster children, who are now all grown up and in the middle of life. The pattern of killings is striking: Apparently the perpetrator always kills on Mother’s Day. And that day is once again coming round. That’s the basic synopsis for Muttertag-Ein Taunuskrimi which is a German TV show.

The atmospheric at times experimental sounding score is the work of Christine Aufderhaar . Who graduated from the ‘Conservatory Lugano’ in classical piano performance (piano class of Nora Doallo, composition class of Paul Glass). She also attended the Berklee College of Music and graduated in film scoring and classical composition within two years instead of the usual five years, receiving several scholarships and the Richard Levy Award. In 2002 she was a SCL intern and in 2006 a participant of the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, which inspired her to leave her position as Associate Professor at the Film University in Babelsberg and to start working exclusively as a freelance composer. Christine wrote the score to many award-winning films and her choir music is being performed regularly. She was honoured with several Culture Awards and was named by the ‘Federation of Film & Audio-visual Composers of Europe’ as ‘European Composer 2008 for Switzerland’. She also received a nomination for the ‘Gema Music Author’s Award’ and was numerous times a jury member of Film Music Awards in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Nordic Countries. Christine was a board member of the ‘German Film Academy’ and is a current board member of the ‘German Film Composers Union’. She is based in Berlin, Germany, and Los Angeles.

The music for the show is more than just atmospheric, it also has to it a rich and affecting thematic quality, which the composer purveys via piano and lush sounding strings, which from time to time convey a mood that is apprehensive and threatening.

She also employs pulsating and brooding electronic elements that are successful in relaying a persona that oozes drama and contains a dark and foreboding sound. It is a score that has many surprises because the music never conforms to a particular style, the composer creating fresh, effective, and innovative pieces that suit and enhance each scenario and scene as it unfolds.

The two-disc set is available on digital platforms and is well worth investigating. As is another of her scores Auroras Sunrise, listen to the two works and how different they are and soon you will realise just how versatile this composer is, highly recommended.

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