Spiegel im Spiegel

Yesterday I finished the six-part episode of the BBC’s Auschwitz documentary… I cried and cried and cried until I fell asleep around 2AM.  One of the things that I consider as a “good” movie is the music score — I think that really makes the movie complete… I hate movies with songs (probably because I feel like it’s so out of place); my favorite music piece is Beethoven’s Für Elise, and I also love Pachelbel’s Cannon in D (I think it’s just absolutely lovely!).

I think my favorite contemporary composer is Hans Zimmer, I’ve loved all of his music (especially Gladiator), and another excellent film composer is Michael Giacchino (I thought his original soundtrack on the film Let Me In was very moving… the film sucked though, but I was able to watch it the whole way through because of the music).

So, back to the BBC documentary I was watching (which by the way, I also think that BBC produces/broadcasts excellent films and documentaries) — Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State (currently streaming on Netflix and Hulu Plus) was a very emotional documentary.  I’ve always had a very intense interest in WWII, specificially the Holocaust, ever since I was thirteen and read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.  I couldn’t believe that something so devastating could happen to humanity in the 20th century like that… it’s too terrible to even think about sometimes.

Right away, a few minutes into the documentary and my ears caught a beautiful piece of music that touched me deeply.  I was thinking maybe a German composer (as I do personally think Germans are the best composers in the world — all of my classical favorites, Beethoven, Mozart, Pachelbel, Brahms, Bach, etc. — and of course my contemporary composer is Zimmer — are all German); I Google search the soundtrack to the documentary and found out that the piece is called: Spiegel im Spiegel (German for: Mirror in the Mirror).

Spiegel im Spiegel was written by Arvo Pärt in 1978, just prior to his departure from Estonia.  The piece is written for a solo piano and violin combination.  Arvo Pärt is an Estonian contemporary composer.  In 1980, after a prolonged struggle with Soviet officials, he was allowed to emigrate.  He lived first in Vienna, and then relocated to Berlin in 1981.  He speaks fluent German (see — every true music lover knows Germany/Austria is the center of classical music).

Anyway, this is the first time I’ve ever listened to a piece by him.  I thought it was very deep, it made me very emotional.  I was able to download it off of YouTube and listen to the whole entire piece and I was just overwhelmed by tears.  It is very beautiful.  I will definitely have to check out his other works.

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