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Label:
Name: INTRADA
Number: INT7178

THE PIPER (CD)
Composed by: Christopher Young

Intrada announces the premiere release of Christopher Young's stunning score for The Piper. Writer/Director Erlingur Thoroddsen sought out the veteran composer not only for the task of scoring The Piper, but to compose the three-movement Concerto for Children, which is rehearsed and performed in several pivotal scenes in the movie and whose motifs haunt the soundtrack of the movie and its characters. The filmmaker tasked Young with creating a work that was sophisticated enough to convince as a concert hall composition, maddening enough to compel characters to stab their ears as it unfolds, dynamic and dramatic enough to work as underscore during some of the film’s most frightening and powerful moments, and so compelling in its unearthly beauty that it seems capable of holding characters—from unscrupulous conductors to innocent children—in its spectral grip.

“It turned out to be a 30-minute, three movement concerto that I had to write in advance,” Young says. “Erlingur basically told me that he needed one movement that was going to be crazy, because it was going to be played toward the end of the movie when the whole theater is going to pot. But beyond that, it was pretty open ended." The concerto employs standard flutes with the performer providing more exotic timbres through his playing. “I used piccolos through the lower C flute, alto flute, into the bass flute range, for these lower chords. For the Piper himself, when we see him play, it’s a normal flute that has been completely altered through electronic modification.” As Young notes, all these factors add up to one problem: “My flute concerto can never be performed as written. I’d have to make changes because the performer is required to move from the alto flute to the C flute to piccolo all within a handful of bars. It was easy to punch in and record them, but I’m going to have to make some revisions if I ever want to have this performed live.”

The result is a powerful and sophisticated work that would stand up well in the concert hall ... if only it could be performed as written!

Thoroddsen’s supernatural horror film follows Melanie Walker (Charlotte Hope), an ambitious young flautist, composer and single mom working under the auspices of imperious conductor Gustafson (Julian Sands), who leads the orchestra at the fabled but financially troubled Virgil Hall. Struggling to maintain her first-chair position in the orchestra, Melanie hopes to impress Gustafson with a flute concerto she’s composed, but she’s being undercut by the equally ambitious flautist and composer Franklin (Philipp Christopher), who has his own concerto in front of the demanding conductor. Gustafson also has a connection to another troubled composer—the late Katherine Fleischer, whose Concerto for Children No. 1 was given but a single, disastrous performance in 1975. That uncompleted rendition resulted in the Virgil Hall Tragedy, a fire that killed over 100 children. Katherine had been Melanie’s mentor before the elder composer took her own life by burning herself to death—after Gustafson tried to browbeat her into another performance of the concerto. Struggling to maintain her position with the conductor, Melanie Walker insists that she can find Katherine Fleischer’s written music so that Gustafson can conduct it at a crucial upcoming fundraiser for the hall and orchestra. -INTRADA

FLUTE CONCERTO
01. Movement 1 (11:12)
02. Movement 2 (07:33)
03. Movement 3 (11:24)
Concerto Time : 30:11

THE SCORE
04. Suite (21:11)

CD Total Time: 51:13

  
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