Reprise Orchestral (Music Week #3)


Artist: Ralf Wengenmayr

Soundtrack: Reprise

Album: Love Rosie Soundtrack

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: October 21, 2014

Rating: 5.0

What does an artist do when they have talent and their music is undeniably good, but isn’t well known? That is always a question in the music industry, and even more so for soundtrack music composers that need their break. Wengenmayr has created soundtrack music for Hotel Wx, Es ist ein Elch entsprung, Ghosthunters OST, Countdown and Love, Rosie. He remains as one of the lesser known composers for films and hasn’t made his big break yet. His best works would be from the soundtrack of the film Love, Rosie, a romantic comedy. His compositions in it are light-hearted, free and fit the film’s comedy aspect to an uncanny degree.

“Reprise” is the last composition on the soundtrack, and arguably the best one that Wengenmayr composed. It starts off with a gradual crescendo and eases into a calming and beautiful melody. It resembles waves moving back and forth peacefully. The music is very melodic with light harmonies providing support, which fits the last scene of the music. It is by the sea in a cottage and as the scene pans out to a close, we hear the piece as we see the calming sea. There are string instruments used and a dab of piano. The timbres of all the instruments meld together and integrate well. There is a good use of juxtaposition with the various instruments.

The tempo is slow but it did not feel boring but with Wengenmayr’s talent, it sounded tranquil. Reprise means to repeat and this is played at the end of the film. The music carries the emotion of love being difficult but there is repetition and second chances given. The music is in a major key with only transposition to another major key. There is a constant sense of hope crafted through the use of that and the dynamics.

Around the 50 seconds in, the music speeds up and the piano becomes very apparent as it rises from the background. The melody becomes harsh at this point and breaks the spell that was cast from the hard work in the beginning. The gradual opening was rare and sadly, it did not last. During the progression of the music, there is layering and texture. It takes previous motifs and manipulates them. The change of harmony at 1:22 was out of this world. It put a slightly minor spin on the already well known and overplayed melody. That’s not the only surprise we receive as during 1:33 the melody is transposed an octave higher. It carries a more piercing quality and breaks the spell of tranquility once again. It would be a lie to say that it wasn’t hard on the ears. Finally, the violins helped keep the music in command once again and brought it to a calming close. Fading near 1:50, and finally ending after barely 2 minutes. Overall, the composition sounded pleasing but not outstanding. There was certainly potential for it to stand out, but it was not there yet. That might be why it became another unknown piece from a film.

Reprise is a composition with meaning and a pleasing melody. It is simple, calming and likeable. More people should give Wengenmayr a chance and listen to his soundtrack compositions. Ralf Wengenmayr is not a name that is well known or a name one can research a lot about for a review. In a short 2 minutes, it conveyed emotions without words which has always been an impressive skill. Keep your eye out for later movie soundtracks that might feature his works.

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