The Sonic World of Zbigniew Preisner and Krzysztof Kieślowski

A close collaboration with a composer can serve as a profound and lasting influence on a filmmaker and his or her vision. The symbiotic partnerships between Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, Federico Fellini and Nino Rota, and Akira Kurosawa and Fumio Hayasaka illustrate how inseparable music and image become when both director and composer are working at the height of their creative powers. One of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s most important collaborators was Polish music icon Zbigniew Preisner, who first worked with the director on 1985’s No End and went on to contribute to all of his subsequent films. From the operatic grandeur of the Three Colors trilogy to the hushed, mournful sounds of Dekalog, Preisner’s symphonic scores enrich the great Polish auteur’s intricately structured narratives by highlighting their spiritual undercurrents. In a recent interview with the Village Voice, published in conjunction with the theatrical re-release of Kieślowski’s Dekalog, Preisner explains his philosophy that film music “shouldn’t be an illustration of what we can see on the screen, but should play a metaphysical role. It’s a dramatic axis in the movie.”

To celebrate our release of Dekalog, enjoy the following selection of Preisner’s most memorable work for Kieślowski:

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