- Composed by Patrick Kirst
- Alhambra / 2013 / 67m
A Chilean film set in the titular vineyard (and to be known as The Vineyard internationally), not all is as it first seems to the French couple cultivating the vines, with rumours abounding of a blood-thirsty monster… The score comes courtesy of the German composer Patrick Kirst and is a decent one. The film’s various threads must all be tied together musically and so there are various facets here. The disc opens with a brief burst of action in the prologue, but that’s slightly misleading, as things settle down into far calmer territory for a while, swirling string phrases offering hints of a darkness lurking but there’s also a hint of romance (with some gorgeous guitar solos), and a classic Elfmanesque fantasy theme in “A Fairy Tale”, which is quite delightful. The love theme, too, is gorgeous, heard at its finest in the spellbinding “Louis Proposes”. Later, the chills become more overt, the horror more blatant – I love the gloriously unsubtle organ in “Demon’s Lair”, the all-out action of “The Rescue”. There’s a rich, classical sound to the orchestra, an impressively menacing undercurrent to the drama – yet somehow there just feels to be something missing.
I think a few things contribute to that – for one, the album’s too long. There is a core of material here which is outstanding, but just as it seems to be turning into one of the best score albums of the year, a passage tends to come along of a few cues in which nothing much happens – I’m sure it’s fine in the film, but it makes the album lose some focus. This isn’t helped by the number of very short cues. This is such a shame because I think a better presentation could have led to this being an extremely strong album – of course, all the material that would have made that is present here, so there’s a lot of quality to enjoy – and Patrick Kirst is clearly a very talented composer. Despite the drawbacks I mentioned, this does have a lot of positives going for it, so it’s worth taking a chance on.