Cliff Eidelman

Triumph of the Spirit

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Cliff Eidelman's score to the Auschwitz drama Triumph of the Spirit rings with uncommon authenticity -- the composer immersed himself in Greek-Jewish art and culture prior to putting pen to paper, and both the Ladino language of the choral passages and the Eastern European string instruments that accent the melodies lend the music a historical gravitas most period scores lack. Eidelman also eschews the kind of tritely optimistic approach common to so many Holocaust-themed dramas. Triumph of the Spirit pulls few punches in its depiction of the horrors wrought by the Nazis, with several harrowingly dissonant sequences making for disquieting listening. As a whole, however, it remains Eidelman's richest and most rewarding work to date, not to mention a far more profound experience than John Williams' manipulative Oscar winner Schindler's List.

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