"Soundtracks from Henning Carlsen movies"

People Meet And Sweet Music Fills The Heart.


We present you with the music to the three Scandinavian films composed and performed by Krzysztof Komeda for the Dutch director Hening Carlsen. I am sorry this CD does not include the music to the first film from 1963 under the title Hvad med os but I hope it will be released not just for the superb music but also for the importance of the film – cast in the film were Ingmar Bergman’s best actors like Harriet Anderson, Eva Dalbeck. The music you are going to hear comes from the Swedish-Danish film Kattorna (Kittens) from 1965 which tells a sad story of women.

Director Hening Carlsen wished the Polish actress Lidia Korsakówna had starred the film. He had seen her in a film by Jerzy Passendorfer called Wyrok. Unfortunately Lidia Korsakówna’s husband, the Polish actor Kazimierz Brusikiewicz mistook the filmmaking in Scandinavia for the Hollywood production and demanded $12,000, which was a staggering sum of money in Denmark and Sweden (this was a Danish and Swedish cooproduction). Komeda himself got $1,300 for the whole score and recording. Well, yes, the dollars are different now as the pairs of Levis jeans I bought for myself, Krzysztof and our son cost $2,30 each and another pair of jeans for myself, the white jeans I couldn’t resist - $2,60. It’s a pity Lidia Korsakówna did not take part in the film.

The next film from 1966 called Sult (Hunger), based on the Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, winner of the Nobel Prize was autobiographic in character. The main character was played by a Swedish Oscar-winning actor, a great eccentric (unfortunately I can’t remember his name after the 40 years that have passed since then). In order to prepare himself for the role he walked all the way from Stockholm to Oslo where the film was set, living on whatever he could find on the way. In the film Oslo bore its older name Kristiana as the film was set in those days.

Anxiety accompanied the production of the film as the writer, a Nobel Prize winner was a great supporter of Hitler during the WW2, so ardent that he forced his young son to join Wehrmacht. We were afraid the film would be boycotted but it was a big success. It was also shown in Poland with a beautiful poster by Waldemar Świerzy. The poster had been made earlier in Copenhagen and it was Krzysztof who came up with it. The poster was spread in Scandinavia sending the public into raptures wherever it was displayed. It can still be seen in the Museum of Poster in Wilanów near Warsaw.

The other film from 1967 was called The People. Longish titles were in fashion then and in Polish translation the title was People meet up and the sweet music of love starts nesting in their hearts. The film starred the Swedish actress Harriet Anderson. The soundtrack also includes the dialogues and in the background you will hear Harriet’s voice.

Komeda’s fifth film with Carlson was to be made at the turn of 1969 and in winter 1968 music to a film by Jerzy Skolimowski was to be made in Rome. In 1969 Komeda died in Warsaw. I had only managed to transport him to his homeland dying. He was buried at Powązki Cemetry in Warsaw.

Zofia Komeda-Trzcińska


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