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Peter Schickele - Silent Running: Soundtrack

(Colored Vinyl LP)

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Universal Pictures released Silent Running to sci-fi audiences in 1972. What viewers saw was a brilliant story of environmental concern before it was part of our vernacular, robotic drones long before they were popular and high-tech visuals by the very artist behind the ground-breaking look of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Douglas Trumbull directs, Bruce Dern stars, and Peter Schickele provides the stunning score. Using a full orchestra, Schickele creates a soundscape of beauty and intimacy unlike any other sci-fi score before - or since.

Standing out is his use of very exposed "high-end" instruments: harp, flute, glockenspiel, crotales (tiny antique cymbals), left-hand piano, pizzicato violins, orchestra bells, triangle, high electric piano and other delicate colors. Haunting cello solos, chordal brass passages, trio passages for flutes all add to the very sensitive, intimate palette of sound. Deserving special spotlight: Three incredibly beautiful songs by Schickele, voiced by the incomparable Joan Baez. In fact, the theme song "Rejoice In The Sun" remains one of the most memorable and moving ballads in all of film history.

In contrast, Schickele also creates moments of suspense and even probing dissonance for the film's more dramatic moments. Yet it remains the quiet, introspective moments of the score that linger. For listeners largely familiar with Peter Schickele's musical genius only through P.D.Q. Bach, this soundtrack will be a welcome discovery!

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