This release contains soundtrack music composed by Willem Breuker for a play by Bertold Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and a Dutch television program, The Samuel Falkland Show, which, despite its title, concerned itself with the life and times of novelist and playwright Herman Heijermans. The music for the Brecht play is performed by a small chamber ensemble that includes several members of Breuker's Kollektief. The pieces tend to be quite short but are generally very tuneful and played with precision with much of the material, appropriate to the theme of the play, being drawn from worker's songs and popular music from the early 20th century. The television show's soundtrack is bouncier and even quite splashy sounding at times. Played by the Metropole Orchestra (apparently with the inclusion of Kollektief pianist Henk de Jonge), much of the writing and melodic material is as ravishing as it is overtly sentimental. Breuker's ability to compose in a romantic style that manages to retain earthiness and conviction and which owes some indebtedness to composers such as Eisler, Grofe, and Copland is very much in evidence. The pieces do not come off as mere pastiche, but rather as a sincere appreciation of a certain time and, more importantly, a particular zeitgeist of Europe in the '20s and '30s. One of Breuker's finest soundtrack collections, this is highly recommended to fans of his work with the Kollektief, especially for those who may not be aware of this aspect of his persona.
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AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick