Released in 2007, SAY IT IN RUSSIAN is I suppose a romance with dark undertones, Jacqueline, (Faye Dunaway) is a Paris society hostess who introduces a fellow American, businessman Andrew Lamont played by Steven Brand, to a young Russian girl, Daria Larina (Agata Gotova) while he is on holiday in Europe. Andrew is fascinated by Daria just as the canny Jacqueline knew he would be. He sends Daria flowers and takes her to dinner and generally makes it quite clear that he likes her a lot. Eventually she gives into his attentions and together they go to Moscow, where Andrew meets Daria’s father Raf who was at one time involved in the Mafia, but has now become a respectable minister of internal affairs in the Russian capital. Things do not go quite as Steven and Daria have planned but I will not spoil the intriguing storyline for you. The fully symphonic score by Turkish born composer Pinar Toprak is in a word stunning. Toprak has created a beautiful and wonderfully emotive soundtrack which has delicate and gentle nuances within its running time but also contains is fair share of sinister and dissonant sounding musical passages and influences, the score has a haunting and appealing charm to it and posses a quality that is very difficult to discover these days in the world of film music. The composer utilises predominantly solo violin with a sprinkling of piano to enhance and support, then at points within the work brings the piano more to the forefront of the proceedings, strings acting as support with a tantalizing touch of woodwind adding poignancy and melancholy. Strings play a major role but are never overpowering of the solo instruments and in no way take away the solo performances light or dampen the emotion and feeling that is created by the solo violin performances in particular within certain cues. The more dramatic cues or slightly atonal pieces are certainly ominous in their overall sound and establish a feeling of uneasiness and at times infuse a mood that is filled with foreboding and tension. Toprak I think is one of the very few composers that is working in film today who is able to write such expressive and emotive music, in fact her music graces the projects she scores rather than just supporting the images and scenarios on screen and fills each and everyone of these projects with beautifully constructed themes and meticulously inspired motifs. SAY IT IN RUSSIAN is a heart warming score for the majority of its duration, fragile and subdued full of sentiment and melody and dripping in poignant and delicious musicality. The opening cue of the compact disc A GRAND AFFAIR is a perfect scene setter for the remainder of the score, as it not only contains the more plaintive and melodious aspects of the score with its lilting and haunting seven note motif but also has some the soundtracks tense and nervous sounding dramatic style within it.
These darker influences and more atonal style of scoring continues in track number two, INTRUDER IN THE HOUSE/RUNNING HOME, edgy strings and percussive elements combine to create a nervy and apprehensive sounding piece, with woodwind used sparingly as punctuation of sorts to augment the strings . With track number three HAVE DINNER WITH ME we return to the more poignant scoring with strings and woodwind again combining to purvey a more relaxed and contented atmosphere. Track number four FIRST KISS is as one can imagine romantic and full of emotion, piano acting as the central instrument performing a eloquently beautiful theme that is given more intense depth, greater elevation and substance by a heartbreaking violin solo that is discreetly supported by soft woods. Toprak also employs female solo voice which is affecting and charming. SAY IT IN RUSSIA is a score that I employ you to buy, a score that is filled to the brim with gloriously fragile and delicately melodious themes and motifs and a score that will entertain and delight each and every one of you.
Available on keep moving records.