After attending a local play in 1928, Danish film director Carl Threodor Dreyer cast a largely unknown actress named Renée Jeanne Falconetti to play the lead in a new film about the trial, torture and execution of Joan of Arc. Tragically, the original negatives were destroyed in a fire and no other complete version of the film was believed to be in existence. Ultimately unsuccessful, Dreyer had attempted to reassemble a version of the film from out-takes and surviving prints before his death in 1968. He died believing his original cut was lost forever.
However in 1981, a complete and virtually untouched print of this film was recovered inside a janitors closet, in an insane asylum, in Oslo, Norway.
In 1994, while sifting through the archives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, American composer Richard Einhorn came across a still from Dreyer’s film. After watching the film, Einhorn was compelled to compose an epic oratorio based on Dreyer’s original work. In 1995, along with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Choir and a vocal group known as the Anonymous 4, Einhorn arranged to record this piece.
So fitting was this piece of music that in 1999, when the Criterion Collection chose to restore and release La Passion de Jeanne d'Arcon on DVD, they included Einhorn’s master oratorio as on optional soundtrack.
Today, I offer to you Voices of Light, Einhorns original score for the Passion of Joan of Arc. Perhaps the heaviest soundtrack of all time, written for the heaviest film of all time, presented here on the heaviest blog of all time.
Metal fans will enjoy intensely epic wails, tasty melodic leads, shredding viola, and neck-breakingly rad bow chugging. I play a lot of air cello, and this record is tops in the bow chugging category. Damn it I love bow chugging.
The entire film is available for viewing on YouTube (not encouraged), but honestly, just rent the DVD. Find a dark room and a TV that’s hooked up to some huge speakers. You could not possibly be disappointed.
Watch this film as soon as you can. And get this soundtrack…. NOW
On a side note,