Album Review

Penderecki, Krzysztof – “Manuscript Found At Saragoss, The ” – [Obuh Records]

Thurston Hunger   7/2/2006   12-inch, Soundtrack

When I first listened to this, it struck me as disjointed and
odd, especially the passages of stately classical music,
invoking Mozart and Vivaldi amidst a spider-climbing acoustic
guitar, electroautomatic plunks and skitters, sinister female
laughter, high soaring organ, dirty broken piano. Then I
watched the film (which fwiw was alternatively named “The
Saragossa Mannuscript”). Stories within stories, stark black
and white images, as sheer and haunting as the numerous skulls
that show up and are drunk from. A madman “Pasheko” having his
bipolar switch thrown by his innkeeper/master, in order to
tell a story of forbidden love. Succubi sisters, dead gypsy
brothers and don’t forget the Spanish Inquisition. An amazing
film, these dreams of music upon replay ignite the cinememories.
The soundtrack is the sensible thread to keep your way through
the truly disjointed and odd and tremendous film. In a way this
reminds me of Teiji Ito’s score to “Meshes of the Afternoon”
in more avant films, the soundtrack is so crucial, and really
inseparable from the film…even without a screen! For me this
film surpasses Jodorwksy’s “Holy Mountain,” and Penderecki’s
enchanted and enigmatic score is the key to the cabbalah.
Stellar Polish composer, film and label! Quite a “polished”
recording/transfer, sounds remarkably clean.
-Thurston Hunger

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