It is not often that a new so called serious or classical music work comes along that stops one in your tracks and just completely mesmerises and wow’s you. But the latest offering from composer Michael Frankenberger did just that, the work which is entitled IN SILENTIO will be officially released on April 6th, but the composer was kind enough to allow me to hear his wonderfully emotive and inspiring work before it went on release. Frankenberger who in the main focuses upon music for film, has penned a gloriously melodic and rich work that was recorded at FILMSTUDIOS BABELSBERG located just outside of Berlin. The composer also orchestrated and conducted the entire work and the album was mixed by Rich Aitken. What struck me about this excellent recording is that it was like listening to film music of the highest quality, but there was not a movie. The opening piece, ON THE FIRST DAY is filled with a gracious and delicate atmosphere, which the composer creates via solo piano that itself acts as an introduction to strings which are gently added and immediately begin to weave into the piano performance underlining it and almost caressing it, resulting in a beautifully written and orchestrated piece that is lilting and subtle. The piano continues to work its magic whilst the strings further develop to support and enhance its performance with their light but meaningful touches, the track is short lived, but sets the scene perfectly for what is to follow and prepares the listener for what will be a highly emotional and enriching musical journey.
METAMORPHOSE is the title of the next piece, again strings create the core of the composition, they gently build, rise and then fall back into a more subdued sound, the poignancy and emotive content of this track in-particular is stunning. The composer fashioning a work that is alluring and beguiling but at the same time it has to it a slight urgency, that is purveyed by more up-tempo string performances that are introduced mid-way through the proceedings. If I were to attempt a comparison, I would say that at times the track did evoke memories of the style of the Christopher Young score for HAUNTED SUMMER, there is a deep and highly emotional sound to this composition and although again it is not overlong it is affecting. Track number three is the title track for the work, IN SILENTIO, unrushed and relaxed strings open the cue with the composer continuing this approach throughout, with only the volume rising slightly as it progress’s, but remaining at an easy pace, the effect being for the music to wash over the listener purveying a mood of calm and contentment. For track number four, we return to the piano theme, ATONEMENT is captivatingly gracious and wonderfully subtle with its simple but melodious theme being attractive and pleasing. The entire album is a comforting and gentle work, which I know will be appreciated by many.
There is a wealth of restful and reassuring passages within the work, it is filled with soft and emotional sounding tone poems, that will be returned to many times. The rich themeatic content of the work too is welcomed and although there are no grandiose musical gestures as in booming percussion or brass flourishes, it makes up for this in its attention to simplistic, passive and moving attention-grabbing musical styles, themes and sounds that invade the listeners sub-conscious and remain there long after the music has ceased playing. IN SILENTIO is made up of various movements, of which there are ten in total. ON THE FIRST DAY, METAMORPHOSE, IN SILENTIO, ATONEMENT, POUR L’ESPOIR, SOLO IN MUNDO, SCHATTENSPIEL, SILEO, UNKNOWN DESTINATION and RESSURECTION. Highly recommended.