An interesting and also entertaining score from 1994, from the German movie Das Versprechen (aka-THE PROMISE). The movie deals with events that take place just after the erection of the Berlin wall in 1961. Five friends plan to escape to West Germany the bid for freedom goes well apart for Konrad one of the five who does not make it over the border and is left behind. Another of the friends Sophie is heartbroken that Konrad was unsuccessful and has been left in East Germany. The story focuses upon the two friends who over a period of the next 28 years try to meet up in spite of the wall. The musical score is by composer Jurgen Kneiper who wrote a varied and also a powerful soundtrack for the movie. Kneiper is probably better known for his acclaimed score for the movie WINGS OF DESIRE, but his music for THE PROMISE is equally innovative and is a superb romantically laced soundtrack which I feel is probably overlooked and grossly underatted. It has to it a sound and style that is filled with poignancy and emotive musical nuances and has too a quality that seems to be lacking in some of the contemporary film scores. The work is totally symphonic the composer utilising musicians from the German Opera Orchestra Berlin, the violin solos are stunningly beautiful and gorgeously romantic and melancholy, woodwind solos too are outstanding and purvey a delicate and fragile air. But there is also a side to the score which oozes a more threatening and darker persona, with percussion and brass being utilised to create a tense and nervous aura.
This can be heard more prominently within the cue (track 2) YEARS OF THE WALL, which is apprehensive and cautious. It builds slowly and projects a mood that is filled with tension, but approx. mid-way through we are treated to a stunning trumpet solo, that is underlined and driven by forthright sounding strings. I can only say that every track on the soundtrack has something that everyone will be drawn to, it is a wonderfully thematic work and literally is overflowing with a rich and lush sounding style and a luxurious sound that would not be out of place in a Hollywood movie from the 1940.s. Plus we also get a great laid back sounding track in the form of FASHION SHOW which could easily be the work of Michel Legrand or even Sid Ramin in those quieter moments from his score for Stiletto. An excellent work and one that is enriching and rewarding to listen to.