Soundtrack Information

Into The Arms of Strangers

Into The Arms of Strangers

Chapter III Records (CHA 1006-2)

Release Date: 2000

Conducted by Lee Holdridge

Format: CD

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Track Listing

1. Main Theme 2:32
2. "Ja do lesa nepojedu" / "Nevideli jste tu me panenky" / "Jede, jede postovsky panacek" / "Jede Kudrna okolo Brna" - Bambini Di Praga 2:54
3. "Alle Vogel sind schon da" - Kinderchor des NDR 1:41
4. "Hanschen klein ging allein" - Kinderchor des NDR 1:37
5. "Wenn ich ein Voglein war" - Kinderchor des NDR 1:48
6. Gathering Darkness 4:38
7. Last Goodbyes 3:50
8. "Woll'n heimgehn" - Kinderchor des NDR 1:01
9. "Als unser Mops ein Mopschen war" - Vienna Boys Choir with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra 1:40
10. Celebration 1:46
11. Somewhere to Belong 4:07
12. Living With The Past 5:28
13. End Title 5:41
14. "Kycera, Kycera" - Bambini Di Praga 1:00
15. "Und in dem Schneegebirge" - Kinderchor des NDR 2:25
  Total Album Time: 42:08

Review

by Dan Goldwasser
on September 6th, 2000
[3.5 / 5]

There doesn't seem to be anything that Lee Holdridge can't score. His latest project was the moving documentary focusing on the Kindertransport, where hundreds of children were relocated from Germany to England just at the start of World War II. Many of those children never saw their parents again, and as such the film has a huge emotional canvas that Holdridge was allowed to work on.

Beginning with a somber piano playing the "Main Theme", Holdridge slowly builds the music until an orchestra has taken over the haunting tune. "Gathering Darkness" is a moody piece that underscores some tension with expert use of the orchestra, and creepy orchestration. "Last Goodbyes" is another sad piece that begins by highlighting the piano and woodwinds, and slowly builds with the rest of the strings into an emotional climax.

"Celebration" is Holdridge's arrangement of the classic Jewish melody, "Simon Tov" - the use of a clarinet is quite appropriate, considering that it is the staple Klezmer instrument. There is a solo trumpet in that cue that happens to be the only time a brass instrument is used in the score. This is also the only truly "happy" piece of music in the score. Holdridge wanted the score to play with a subliminal and spare quality, "almost as if the music cues were bits and pieces of 'memory' playing back across the years". That works rather well, as there is a somewhat nostalgic quality to the score. The emotions that he put into his score come through effectively and clearly, and the rousing "End Title" cue reminds us that with all of the pain and suffering of war, there is always hope.

Also included on the album are multiple children's songs from the period. All of them are songs that underscore the innocence of the children that were relocated, and many of the songs (when translated) actually have appropriate meaning when applied to the context of the film. There are songs that explore the separation between child and parent, the pain of traveling far, and so on.

I think the presentation of the album might have been a bit more effective had the score portion not been interspersed with the children's songs. The inclusion of a rather informative set of liner notes is useful, as well as the translations of the songs - which make a lot more sense in English (to me) than in German! Running 42 minutes long, this album has a lot of emotion packed into it, and Holdride's score is definitely worth getting this one for.


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