Blaine L. Reininger

Elektra/Radio Moscow [Soundtracks]

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Combining two separated-by-a-decade compositions on one disc, Elektra/Radio Moscow showcases examples of Blaine L. Reininger's soundtrack work in different spheres, for both live theater and film. The theater music, for a 2006 Greek production of Sophocles' classic tragedy Elektra, unsurprisingly dwells on haunting, often devastatingly dramatic themes throughout; the play itself hardly being a laugh riot, it's little surprise that Reininger's work here is among his most melancholic. The combination of his majestic, sorrowful violin work and the kind of moody electronics that almost suggest Vangelis' astonishing work for Blade Runner results in overall impact. "House of Atreaus" sets this tone beautifully, capturing the air of a doomed, annihilated setting and the people caught within it, and from there the ten pieces that make up the soundtrack. "Miroloyia" adds some Morricone-style electric guitar to striking effect; elsewhere snippets of vocals and sound effects, like the approach of horses, suggest the dramatic setting of the work. Radio Moscow's nine selections are relatively much more conventional, consisting of string and piano-based orchestrations for the most part that suggest a suitably moody Eastern European atmosphere without specifically invoking a particular composer. Many pieces have a similar feeling to In the Nursery's various compositions, though it's more a case of parallel intent; the gently pulsing sweep of "Night Ride," which features an excellent main melody on violin and "Moscow Calling"'s lovely piano-led formalism are both fine examples of mood music for the screen.

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