Since this site has Dutch roots, we will also want to focus on soundtracks of Dutch movies. The first Dutch soundtrack we would like to examine is from the movie Het Verlangen by the Dutch composer Merlijn Snitker. Het Verlangen (The Desire) is a comedy about a beautiful, but rather simple woman, who is pretending to have written a book that became a best-seller.
Snitker has been composing for TV and movies for over ten years. He started his career working with fellow composers Melcher Meirmans and Chrisnanne Wiegel, but he already had quite some movies to his name when he started his solo career. For Het Verlangen Snitker has chosen not to use an orchestra or synthesizers for the music: the whole score is written for a small group of musicians. You can hear a piano, flute, guitars, drums, double bass for the bass lines, and the other string instruments from the violin family to create a happy tuned score. The soundtrack is filled with a lot of short tracks, ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes, with only three tracks above the three-minute mark. The first two tracks, “Uitgeverij Goudemondt” and “Een meesterwerk”, contain the main themes: they are both simple melodies on piano with support from the other musicians.
I will not go into the details of every single one of the 34 tracks separately, otherwise, you would be reading for a long time. What can be said though is that the majority of tracks provide a great variety of styles. The main themes resurface from time to time in the tracks in their original form or slightly altered. Some tracks deserve a special mention though. “Naar De Wereld Draait Door” has a solid rhythmic pattern in the strings with guitar and cello melodies written over it. “Het Verlangen” has beautiful melancholic melodies in the strings and piano. Finally, “Jullie gaan het oplossen” is a charming piece with plucking strings providing the foundation for the solo on cello.
This score is weird for me to review since it is very contradictory and I am therefore of two minds about it. On the one hand, the score has some original ideas using all the different instruments, making the majority of the tracks their own little gems. But on the other hand, the overall score contains a lot of repetitiveness: the same themes and patterns can be heard from time to time in different tracks. A great example are the two tracks “Een verrukkelijke oplossing” and “Nep Schrijfster,” which sound very much the same. Both also sound almost the same as the beginning of “Een genadeloze oplossing.” Only by listening very closely the minute differences can be identified. To further emphasize the repetitiveness, the track between them, namely “Nieuwe Prada’s”, sounds very much the same as “Een Meesterstuk”, but also, to emphasize it even more, as “Existentiële crisis”.
Overall this repetitiveness prevents me from really enjoying this score and that is a shame. The score is very melodic and well performed by the musicians. It looks like the tracks used for the movie were just put on an album without much thought. In my opinion, more effort needs to be made in selecting and remixing the music used in the scenes in order to create an enjoyable soundtrack album. I would have preferred a shorter score with tracks combined into one and the repetitive themes removed.
Listen or buy
The highlights are in bold.
- Uitgeverij Goudemondt
- Een Meesterwerk
- Naar De Wereld Draait Door
- Een Nogal Onconventioneel Plan
- Een Genadeloze Oplossing
- Mi Casa Es Su Casa
- Brigitte Hooijmakers
- Het Verlangen
- De Kickboxer
- Jullie Gaan Het Oplossen
- Van Bommel
- Het Mooiste Boek Van De Afgelopen 10 Jaar
- Aaron Golsteijn
- Ongelofelijk Goedkope Lulsmoes
- Hou Jij Van Honden
- Soep Was Het Grote Toverwoord
- Zonder Verlangen Ben Je Niets
- Ik ik ik heb Verlangen geschreven
- De Schoenverkoopster
- De Tol Van De Roem
- Andante Con Moto by Sara d’Agostino, Ro Krauss & Annie Tangberg
- Een Verrukkelijke Oplossing
- Nieuwe Prada’s
- Nep Schrijfster
- Knopen Doorhakken
- Herman Schutte
- Mark en Boudewijn
- Existentiële Crisis
Total length: 49 minutes
Riva Media Records / Topkapi Films (2017)