De Zitting

Cedric van de Graaff

" Cedric van de Graaff succeeds in capturing and aiding the mixed feelings.... "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

De Zitting (The Trial) is a 2021 TV movie, directed by Saskia Diesing, and featuring excellent performances by actors Jacob Derwig and Kim van Kooten. It tells the story of how a popular prime minister candidate and a well-known thriller book writer face each other in court after she accuses him of sexual abuse just before the election. The present-day topic is reflected through conflicted emotions, blurred memories, and how these relate to an incident that may or may not have happened. Cedric van de Graaff’ score addresses them with an original score.

The score opens with De Zitting (Main Titles), an outstanding cue that opens with a rather mournful, yet unresolved set of cello, strings, and piano, continued onward aided by a rhythmically driven idea with piano, a ticking ‘device’ and bass string chords, interwoven with the emotions and instrumentation of its introduction. It is a very moving and intriguing cue that concludes as the court is in session. As with a variety of other scores, a main title is usually a bit more outspoken, urgent in tone and different from the overall score to come. Yet, almost all musical ingredients are further developed elsewhere.

There are several short emotional cues that quickly provide a dramatic accent in scenes inside the court, by small atmospheric strings, which remain unreleased, but nonetheless are more extended elsewhere. These phrases are especially effective in the context of the film. The relativity longer cues do something similar to the shorter cues; they provide a musical emotion to the events unfolding, not specifically to sympathize with ant of the characters, but rather to craft a conflicted emotion interconnected with the believability of all persons involved in the court session.

The best part of the score, De Pauze, comes about halfway into the film as one of the dramatic keynotes flows into a montage as the court is adjourned. It is an incredibly evocative interplay of sparse high-pitched strings carrying a great fragility and the minimal notes of piano, later joined by mourning, deeper string performances. It is the only part of the film in which several characters, not only the defendant and so-called victim, both reflect on the process in court, while offering a new aspect soon to be revealed as the hearing continues. Intuitively, it gives the composer time to deal with emotional developments, devoid of the compounds of the court; but with strongly subdued writing.

While the score in context is faced with several scenes in which I feel some arbitrary doubt concerning its use, but nonetheless feel most of it is absolutely moving.

Cedric van de Graaff succeeds in capturing and aiding the mixed feelings of the trial. The film premiered on Dutch television on the 29th of September 2021, followed by an incomplete, yet wonderful digital release by Cedric van de Graaff.

1. De Zitting Main Title 4:31
2. De Pauze 4:39
3. Het Manuscript 1:29
4. Alles op Tafel 1:28
5. De Hamer 2:02
6. De Uitspraak 2:19

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(total of 1 votes - average 4/5)

Released by

CDRC (download only release 2021)