19 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The young composer Nico Muhly is known for his many musical activities: writing pieces for classical groups, collaborating with innovative pop artists such as Björk and Antony, and crafting tracks that can be thought of as indie rock or electronica or New Music. Scoring films is yet another one of the busy composer’s endeavors. The Reader tells the tale of a young man’s passionate affair with an older woman and his encounter with her years later, after World War II, when she is on trial for a war crime. Muhly’s subtle music doesn’t resemble the work on his ambitious 2008 release, Mothertongue, or the grandiose orchestral sounds another composer might have written to accompany The Reader’s intense tale. That’s not to say that the score is always low-key; on “Tram At Dawn,” winds, strings, and harp swirl to create a sense of mysterious excitation, while “Reading” fuses romanticism and minimalism to rousing effect. Pensive piano, yearning oboe, a somber trombone statement, and dramatic bass accents mark the melancholy closer, “Who Was She?”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The young composer Nico Muhly is known for his many musical activities: writing pieces for classical groups, collaborating with innovative pop artists such as Björk and Antony, and crafting tracks that can be thought of as indie rock or electronica or New Music. Scoring films is yet another one of the busy composer’s endeavors. The Reader tells the tale of a young man’s passionate affair with an older woman and his encounter with her years later, after World War II, when she is on trial for a war crime. Muhly’s subtle music doesn’t resemble the work on his ambitious 2008 release, Mothertongue, or the grandiose orchestral sounds another composer might have written to accompany The Reader’s intense tale. That’s not to say that the score is always low-key; on “Tram At Dawn,” winds, strings, and harp swirl to create a sense of mysterious excitation, while “Reading” fuses romanticism and minimalism to rousing effect. Pensive piano, yearning oboe, a somber trombone statement, and dramatic bass accents mark the melancholy closer, “Who Was She?”

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