Max Richter’s award-winning Waltz With Bashir soundtrack has been digitally released today and will be globally reissued on CD, and released for the first time on vinyl (180g), on 14 August 2020. Richter’s original soundtrack score for Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir 2008) is as provocative and powerfully intense as the searing images of a film that confronted audiences with lasting lessons in recent history and the psychology of trauma. The music moved millions worldwide and contributed to Richter’s stellar rise on the contemporary scene.
Golden Globe Award-winning animated documentary
The Golden Globe Award-winning animated documentary Waltz With Bashir probes Ari Folman’s recovered memories of his time as an Israeli soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War. The film was acclaimed by Rolling Stone for its “hallucinatory brilliance” and as an “an altogether amazing film” by the New York Times. The director, Ari Folman, hadn’t met Max Richter before he started working on Waltz With Bashir – but for the previous five years his albums inspired all his work as a screenwriter. After “listening obsessively” to the composer’s second album, The Blue Notebooks, while drafting his screenplay for Waltz With Bashir, the director invited Max Richter to create the film’s soundtrack.
“The music influenced the film from the very beginning and not the other way around”
Max Richter instantly accepted, he became attached to the story and the vision of the film immediately and finished the movie’s music before the team of animators began their work. “Therefore the music influenced the film from the very beginning and not the other way around,” recalled Folman.
“Ari sent me thirty seconds of animation and it was stunning, unlike anything I’d ever seen,” noted Richter. “I immediately thought, I have to do this! Just as this film deals with the recovery of lost memories my approach to the music for Waltz With Bashir uses a number of found objects which drive the music.” Richter wove altered fragments of Schubert’s ‘Piano Sonata, D.850’ and accompanied images of Lebanese Phalangist militias with the ‘Funeral March’ from Chopin’s ‘Piano Sonata No.2, Op.35’, which Ari had in his original sketch for the film, into his eclectic original score. PBS described Richter’s Waltz With Bashir soundtrack as “haunting and melodious … evocative of perhaps what war might sound like in memories”.
Critics hailed the importance of Richter’s unforgettable score
Following the film’s premiere at Cannes in 2008, critics hailed the importance of Richter’s unforgettable score and also recognised its success as a standalone album, something rarely achieved by a movie soundtrack. The score went on to earn Max Richter the European Film Academy’s Best Composer Award in 2008 and contributed significantly to his stellar rise on the contemporary scene.
Ari Folman’s animated anti-war documentary Waltz with Bashir was praised by critics globally and won the Golden Globe and César Awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009.
Ari Folman noted, “Personally, I believe that a partnership between a film-maker and a composer is not something that can be built or worked on. It either works, or it doesn’t. It should be like love at first sight.”
Max Richter’s soundtrack for Waltz With Bashir has been digitally released.