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CD: Copernicus' Star (2009)
Review Rating:   Very Good  
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March 1, 2011

Tracks / Album Length:

20 tracks / (47:51)


Composer: Abel Korzeniowski

Special Notes:

4-page colour booklet with liner notes by the composer / Limited to 1000 copies

Comments :    

Best known for his score for The Single Man (also composed in 2009), Abel Korzeniowski’s music for the animated film Copernicus’ Star is a sprawling, gregarious work with banks of mixed chorus and huge orchestral gestures, but there’s a peculiar lightness to the writing, even when the full might of musicians is thrust into action.

Korzeniowski’s score is based around a simple, child-like melody that perfectly suits the character of a kid dreamer who would one day grow up and become a legendary astronomer (Nicolau Copernicus). His chorals are overtly evocative of Danny Elfman’s undulating tones and fast rhythmic patterns, and the effect works when the main theme is in its ‘dreamer’ mode, or when there’s a propulsive sequence, such as “The Hunting Dogs.”

Much of the score goes through many different moods, such as “Ghosts,” a jaunty cue performed primarily by woodwinds and cymbals. There’s also the tense “Snakes,” with fluttering flutes, glockenspiel, and brass that converge in a crashing wave before a lovely wandering section comprised of moody little groups of triplets.

Overall, the cues average around 2 minutes, but they’ve been nicely sequenced to create a strong dramatic flow akin to a childhood misadventure, taking our hero through fun but sometimes dangerous little escapades. Korzeniowski’s writing is first-rate, and he has a great knack for effortlessly flowing from large scale sonics to quiet, witty little pieces, capturing the essence of a child’s curiosity, and the gilded world of 15th century Poland.

The score was performed by the Polish Radio Symphony orchestra and Cappella Corale Varsavania Choir, and beautifully engineered. The Elfman touches are quite up front, but a second and third listening of the score brings out Korzeniowski’s fine skills writing and sharp orchestrating.

A great little album.


© 2011 Mark R. Hasan

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