With a bare half hour of music, Gabriel Yared and Stéphane Moucha's score for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Academy Award-winning movie The Lives of Others had better be worth the price of admission. And it is: achingly lovely, Yared and Moucha's score is incredibly effective. Like Yared's scores for The English Patient and Cold Mountain, this score for The Lives of Others is extremely evocative of its time, place, and milieu: East Germany's intellectual elite during the height of Communism. And like them, it heightens and intensifies the characters and actions of the film whenever it appears. In the ardor of "Faces of Love," the dread of "The Invisible Front," and the tragedy of "HGW XX/7," Yared and Moucha's music concentrates these emotions to their essence. Most impressive in its economy, its passion, and its impact on the drama of the film is "Sonata for a Good Man"; less than two minutes long, it expresses the mysterious quintessence of heroic humanity that makes von Donnersmarck's movie so moving. Well-played by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Adam Klemens, the score for The Lives of Others may not last that long, but, like all great film scores, it last as long as it needs to mean all that it can. Varese Sarabande's sound is rich, deep, and colorful.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|The Lives of Others, film score|