Preisner is known for his award-winning scores for the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Louis Malle and others. He recently composed the title music for People’s Century, a 26-part PBS series. Another of his works was the recent Requiem for my Friend, a large-scale work dedicated to the memory of his friend Kieslowski. This new project gave the composer the freedom to create on a blank canvas without having to follow a screenplay or film plot. Silence, Night and Dreams is for soloists, choir and orchestra and uses texts from The Book of Job and the Gospel of St. Matthew, with a preface by Polish lawyer/screenwriter/politician Krysztof Piesiewicz. The primary vocalist, Teresa Salgueiro, comes from the Portuguese hit group Madredeus, and is a self-taught vocalist who influences include fado, Brazilian music and international pop/rock. Her voice is very high and clear, but unlike Sarah Brightman, without vibrato. The scoring of the work adds to the usual symphonic contingent with electric cello and bass, vibes, B-3 organ, glass harmonica, recorder, and guitar. Preisner says the orchestration has elements of both classical and contemporary electronic music.
The composer’s inspiration was his concern about technology stopping us from interaction and introspection; he feels people haven’t enough time or space to devote to their souls. The work is in nine movements, with the texts sung in English and in Latin. The words, along with translations, are found in the note booklet, but you don’t need to follow them. You can just note the titles of the sections and let Preisner’s spiritual and atmospheric music wash over you.
Movements: Perchance; Silence, Night & Dreams; To Speak; To Dream; To Find; To Know; To Die; Be Faithful, Go; To Love.
– John Sunier