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Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Mark Watters
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Intrada Records
(June, 1992)
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Regular U.S. release, but long out of print and difficult to find in stores.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if clashes of romantic melodrama and liturgical formality raise your spirits, or if you're curious about Cliff Eidelman's impressive debut effort.

Avoid it... if you demand crisp recording quality or superior performances, for Magdalene sounds a bit amateurish in parts.
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WRITTEN 6/20/01, REVISED 7/22/08
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Magdalene: (Cliff Eidelman) This independent West German film from 1989 was rescued by a video release many years later and is typically known by only the fans of actress Nastassja Kinski and composer Cliff Eidelman. The plotline of Magdalene is largely a critique by writer and director Monica Teuber of the Catholic Church in the 19th Century. Taking place in the same region, the film's love story involves a prostitute played by Kinski and the historically true-to-life priest, Joseph Mohr, who wrote the poem "Silent Night" and eventually arranged its song translation. The priest is considered too radical by his superiors, as well as by the local baron, and he is unsuccessfully set up in a plot to reveal his lost celibacy when in fact he has chosen God over the woman. The unhappy circumstances of Magdalene are interesting in their portrayal of the formation of the famed Christmas carol, but otherwise function to stir animosity towards organized religion of the era. For composer Cliff Eidelman, the little-known Magdalene was a gift from Heaven. Breaking into the scoring business is a very hard task to accomplish, especially for a person in his young twenties fresh from school and still in the days before production houses like Hans Zimmer's were an incubator. Many aspiring composers are still forced to spent rich amounts of money in order to record demos with a reasonably sized orchestra before they can be hired. Typically, it takes four or five scores and a lot of invested cash before a composer can establish himself thoroughly enough to be hired through the word of mouth.

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Average: 3.11 Stars
***** 31 5 Stars
**** 36 4 Stars
*** 35 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 26 1 Stars
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A good score
Sheridan - September 24, 2006, at 3:30 a.m.
1 comment  (1617 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 44:46
• 1. The Revolution (2:22)
• 2. The Death of Hans (4:07)
• 3. Magdalene in Love (1:06)
• 4. Father Mohr (3:45)
• 5. Going to Heaven (2:32)
• 6. The Archbishop's Entertainment (1:52)
• 7. The Aftermath of War (4:45)
• 8. Christmas Time (1:59)
• 9. Absolve Me of My Sins (4:01)
• 10. Temptation (4:42)
• 11. Silent Night (0:48)
• 12. Freedom in Salzburg (1:56)
• 13. Magdalene's Prayer (5:11)
• 14. Kyrie Eleison (1:31)
• 15. Will You Forget Me (1:10)
• 16. Mohr's Farewell (4:32)

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The insert includes two pictures of Eidelman and the following note from him (written in May, 1992):

    "Imagine how I felt when, in 1988, I was offered my first feature. The producer Ernst R. von Theumer and writer/director Monica Teuber visited my apartment and asked me the big question; "How many musicians will you need?" I told them seventy would be sufficient for a nice, rich sound. Emst replied, "Why seventy when you can have one hundred and twenty?" To quote Casablanca, this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

    To say I was fortunate would be an understatement. Most first or even third time composers pay out of their own pockets to have their scores performed by any musicians. I was so inspired by the fact that I had a job, I must have spent a minimum of fifteen hours a day composing. This score is my contribution to the romantic period during the time of the French Revolution. In order to best dramatically serve the film, I used four bars from Mozart's Requiem Mass to help root the early eighteenth century period, subject matter and place in history. The song Silent Night (by Franz Guber) is also part of the story. The rest of the score is my own.

    I arranged this soundtrack much in the same way as if I were constructing the foundation and drama for a tone poem. The opening piece dramatically erupts with the sound of war where rebel, Janza, is on a warpath, trying to ignite a revolution. The battle takes place in Oberndorf (near Salzburg). I used the text from the Requiem Mass throughout the score as a way of painting the church as the all empowered force in the lives of all the characters. This music tells the story of a beautiful woman named Magdalene, who by the strength and love of a newly appointed Priest, Father Mohr, fights to change her suffering life as a victimized prostitute. They fall in love at first sight but are forced to keep much of their feelings toward each other a secret. Eventually Father Mohr is confronted with choosing God or Magdalene. Both of their lives are further complicated by the hostility raging through the town. Many families are brought down to poverty while the Baron, a wealthy land owner becomes even richer. In exchange for money which he donates to the church, the evil Prior agrees to turn his head away from the injustices that the Baron indulges in.

    The story ends on Christmas when the song Silent Night helps to bring the people of the town together. Many, including the Baron and the Prior, realize their sins and they repent, praying for God's forgiveness. Father Mohr and Magdalene part for the last time. Fifteen film scores later, Magdalene continues to be one of my personal favorites. I would like to give special thanks to Monica Teuber for giving me the almost unimaginable opportunity to write my first major score. You truly provided me with a life changing experience. To my greatest support Claire Benoit and my family; to my Mentor Donald G. Richardson for your continued belief and priceless inspiration; to my agents Richard Kraft and Lyn Benjamin for putting so much effort into my music career."
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Magdalene are Copyright © 1992, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/20/01 and last updated 7/22/08.
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