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The Reader (Original Motion Picture Score)

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 24, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

The Reader (Original Motion Picture Score)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: September 5, 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lakeshore Records
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B001O04WOA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm trying to remember the last time a composer in his 20s scored a film with as much importance, class and critical acclaim as Nico Muhly has with The Reader. Certainly none of the biggies - John Williams was 34 when he scored his first "serious" movie, The Rare Breed in 1966. Jerry Goldsmith was 33 when he scored Lonely Are the Brave in 1962. Elmer Bernstein was 33 when he scored The Man with the Golden Arm in 1955. The only one who springs to mind is James Horner, who was 29 in 1982 when he scored Star Trek II, but since then film composing has become, if not an old man's game, then certainly a game for men older than Nico Muhly, who is but a comparative child at just 27. However, listening to his score for The Reader, one would be forgiven for thinking that it was the work of an older, seasoned, and more experienced composer, such is its confidence and technical strength.

The Reader is an adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's devastating, best selling German-language novel Der Vorleser, and is directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in Germany in 1958, 1966 and 1995, it tells the story of lawyer Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes), and his reminiscences about his life. As an adolescent, young Michael (David Kross) embarks on a liberated relationship with a free-spirited woman named Hanna (Kate Winslet), despite the fact that she was much older than him; their liaisons at her apartment were characterized by him reading out loud the literary works he was studying in school. However, a decade later, when Michael is in law school, he is horrified to learn that during World War II, Hanna was a guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and may have been personally responsible for the deaths of more than 300 Jewish women.
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Format: Audio CD
For all of his tender years, the under-30 Mulhy is truly representative of the next generation of musicians: high technique (Columbia & Julliard grad) and multi-cultural-era-genre knowledge (worked/studied with Bjork, Glass, and John Corigliano). "The Reader" is a traditional orchestral and piano score which, if you see the film, absolutely enriches the image and story without ordering the audience to smile and cry on command. The gentle, elegaic, slightly melancholic nature of the music holds up on its own as a "life soundtrack" as well. With Mulhy's tasteful command of cinematic music so early in his career, I can only hope he is a bastion of future film composers that will steer us away from the heart-string puppeteering of a John Williams and his followers.
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Muhly really understood the subject matter of the film and conveyed it clearly in each cue he wrote. Some vague quality of Glass rises from time to time, but Muhly suspends it as he penetrates the main character's journey of self-questioning. The eerie undertow unfolds beneath the lovely melody lines as the reality of the actions taken are realized. Muhly is a master of shaping complex emotional landscapes like this, clearly a reflection of his grasp of human consciousness.
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Format: Audio CD
"The Reader" is a wonderful film, but at times I got distracted because the music in the film was so good, I started to focus on just the music instead of the film as a whole.

the score is in perfect synch with the film- outstanding!
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