"Burghölzli," the first cue on this album of Howard Shore's score for director David Cronenberg's film A Dangerous Method, begins with a slow, calm piano theme before moving into stirring, adventurous orchestral music. That turns out to be a good representation of the music in miniature. Set in pre-World War I Zurich and Vienna, A Dangerous Method concerns the relationship between psychoanalytic pioneers Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), and of a woman who is a patient of both, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). Shore supports the setting and plot line with restrained, contemplative music in a classical mode suggestive of the late Romantic Era. His brief tracks suggest the troubled moods of sophisticated people in a period on the edge of extinction. And they are meant to fit in with the soundtrack's major section, a 32-minute version of Richard Wagner's 1870 work Siegfried's Idyll, arranged for piano by Shore and played by Lang Lang. The piece is a more delicate and personal effort than one associates with Wagner, written as a birthday present for his wife after the birth of their son. Again, it underlies a film concerned with complex emotions and psychological discoveries.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|A Dangerous Method|