A Dangerous Method: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)
November 22, 2011 by Dennis Amith
“A Dangerous Method: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” features beautiful, emotional music composed by Howard Shore (composer of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and the performance by Lang Lang for Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll” is just the icing on the cake for this delightful soundtrack. Recommended!
TITLE: A Dangerous Method: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
LABEL: Sony Classical/Howe Records
RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2011
- Miss Spielrein
- He’s Very Persuasive
- Otto Gross
- A Boat with Red Sails
- End of the Affair
- Risk My Authority
- Only One god
- Something Unforgiveable
- Siegfried Idyll
From filmmaker David Cronenberg (“The Fly”, “Eastern Promises”, “A History of Violence”) comes his latest film “A Dangerous Method” based on the 1993 non-fiction book by John Kerr and a screenplay by Christopher Hampton, who wrote the original 2002 play “The Talking Cure” which was based on the book.
The film stars Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Vincent Cassel.
“A Dangerous Method” takes place during World War I and features the turbulent relationship between psychiatrist Carl Jung (played by Michael Fassbender) and his mentor Sigmund Freud (played by Viggo Mortensen), as the two professionals had a theoretical divergence. The film would also feature Sabina Spielrein (played by Keira Knightley), one of the first female psychoanalysts and a woman that was admitted to the Burgholzli mental hospital where Carl Gustav Jung worked and he was also her medical dissertation advisor. The two had sexual relationship which was a breach of professional ethics.
So to create music based on these relationships, composing the music for the film is award-winning Howard Shore (best known for composing all three “Lord of the Rings” films, the upcoming “The Hobbit” films and “The Aviator”).
While Shore is known for creating music for epic films, the music for “A Dangerous Method” continues to show that Shore still has the magic touch when it comes to creating music even when the film focuses on three individuals.
The track “Miss Spielrein” has a slow building ferocity to showcase the introduction of Sabina. Forceful as the string orchestra compliments this score to full effect. And there are other beautiful tracks such as “Galvanometer”, “Sabina”, “Freedom” which the soundtrack tends to either focus more strings or more piano.
For the first 15 tracks, most of the songs are only 2 minutes long (or less). It’s not until you reach track 16, where you get music that lasts longer than two minutes. So, listening to the soundtrack, for Howard Shore’s music, I found myself not listening to one song but listening to his compositions as a whole.
Shore’s final three tracks are his longest on the soundtrack. “Only One God” has the sense of a composition that wants to be powerful but its power slowly descends, “Something Unforgivable” is a beautiful song which begins with piano and then is joined by the strings and becomes whimsical and sad which leads to another track that is just as sad, “Reflection” which is more of an emotional track that is reinforced by its low and high chord progressions.
And while Howard Shore’s music is a big part of the film, for this soundtrack, his songs are quite short. The longest track on this album is Richard Wagner’s “Sigfried Idyll” performed by Lang Lang and arranged by Howard Shore.
As Howard Shore is well-known for his compositions for “Lord of the Rings”, Lang Lang, a Chinese concert pianist is amazingly popular for his music, performing with nearly ever major orchestra in the world and selling out venues, I would not be surprised if most people were attracted to this soundtrack because of Lang Lang’s performance of “Sigfried Idyll”.
“Sigfried Idyll” is a symphonic poem for chamber orchestra which was made public in 1876 which lasts about 20 minutes but for Lang Lang’s performance it is about 32 minutes long. It’s a track that showcases Lang Lang’s technical marvel as a musician. I found his version to be delightful. Outstanding!
As for the CD insert, we get a few stills from the film and production credits.
Overall, the music of Howard Shore fits the film’s structure very well. But as mentioned, these compositions are 1-2 minutes long and rather than listening to one song, to experience the album, you listen to it straight-through. The addition of the 32-minute performance by Lang Lang is like icing on the cake.
“A Dangerous Method: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”…A wonderful soundtrack featuring two talented men. Recommended!
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