Paul Schütze

Isabelle Eberhardt: The Oblivion Seeker

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Another Schutze soundtrack, this is for a relatively big-budget, commercial film, and is consequently one of his most conventional recordings. However, it does showcase his talents as a composer and a manipulator of synthesized sound. Acting as a studio "one man band," Schutze has created a score which is lush and fully orchestral, with extensive use of string, horn and woodwind voicings, and some fine contrapuntal writing. Several sections even seem to follow traditional classical forms such as fugue and cannon. The subject matter involves a European woman who develops a passion for the desert environment and culture of the Middle East (a female Lawrence of Arabia, in a sense), and so Schutze's music slips back and forth between European romanticism and a restrained ethnic exoticism which includes touches of synthesized Middle Eastern oud and modal scales. Several pieces combine the two elements in an ambivalent, unresolved fashion, suggesting the tension that exists in the life and mind of the film's principle character. Although not as groundbreaking or superficially arresting as many of Schutze's other recordings, this is nonetheless a rich and majestic piece of work.

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