To Kill a Priest

Georges Delerue

" To remember a composer "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

The drama To Kill a Priest was originally meant for Polish composer Zbignieuw Preisner, but producers didn't want the obvious choice (considering the movie goes about a priest who started the Solidarity movement in Poland). They wanted a slightly different (read French) voice and came to Delerue instead. His score is rather somber and restrained (given the dramatic weight of the movie), leaving little room for pleasantries. No, Delerue's voice is a lot darker than we're used too, with little hints of suspense as the priest is hunted down (and eventually killed) for his beliefs. So much of the music is rather dramatic, without overcompensating it. The violins do play a massive role in delivering the weight of the drama, but hardly is there a theme attached to it. The one and only theme you'll remember is the truly wonderful song theme that opens and closes the score. Sung with restraint by Joan Baez, it's a truly wonderful and again restraint composition. It's strength doesn't come of the song alone, but also of the various instrumental versions ("The Crimes of Cain (Guitar Solo)" and most notably "Body Recovered"). And its long version with an orchestral / choral opening "The Crimes of Cain (End Title)" is the very best the score has to offer. This newly released version features above all various additional tracks, and also it's a much smoother listening experience. Delerue enthusiasts will probably have it already. Others might have enough with the compilation piece of the song.

The song theme is a restraint highlight of Delerue, very sincere but very powerful too. God I love track 23.
Tracks are a bit short, leaving little room for development.

Track Listing

1. The Crimes of Cain (Main Title): Joan Baez (2.49) Excellent track
2. Suicide or State of War (1.49)
3. The Gallows (1.47)
4. Confession * (0.57)
5. The Crimes of Cain (Guitar Solo) * (1.25)
6. Love After Murder (1.25)
7. Anna and Alek (1.51)
8. Stefan and the Militiamen (1.23)
9. Popc is Dead (1.16)
10. Sacrilege * (1.32)
11. Alek Leaves the Bishop's Palace (1.07)
12. Alek's Presence (1.59)
13. Secret Believer * (1.10)
14. Kiss Me (1.48)
15. Flashing Lights (2.27)
16. Meditation (1.13)
17. Body Recovered (1.40)
18. Joseph's Escape (1.40)
19. Police Control (1.27)
20. The Murder (1.29)
21. Candles * (1.56)
22. Funeral Arrangements (1.03)
23. The Crimes of Cain (End Title): Joan Baez (3.25) Excellent track

Bonus Tracks
24. Waltz #1 (2.11)
25. Polka (1.40)
26. Mazurka (1.37)
27. Waltz #2 (1.59)
28. The Crimes of Cain (Vocals Only) * (1.53)

* Previously unreleased

Total Length: 47.58
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Released by

Music Box Records MBR-057 (limited release 2014)

Conducted by

Georges Delerue