“Saving Leningrad” Original Motion Picture Score
Limited Edition of 100 copies
Label: KMRCD 041
Film Date: 2019
Album Date: 2020
KeepMoving Records releases Yuri Poteyenko’s latest score for Saving Leningrad. Directed by Alexey Kozlov, the film is based on the true story of Barge 752, one of the biggest shipwreck tragedies of Russian history. Originally designed as a fishing boat, Barge 752 was not designed for passenger transport, yet over a thousand people were loaded onto it during the evacuation of the city. When the ship crashed in a storm, only 200 of the estimated 1500 passengers reached the shore safely. The true story of Barge 752 was kept classified until 2004 and even when it was released to the public, only a few people learned about it. This is about to change with Saving Leningrad, aimed to raise awareness about this shocking event to a wider audience.
Composer Yuri Poteyenko is no stranger to the story of the siege, having scored several movies about either the city of Leningrad or World War II in general. He scored Aleksandr Buravskiy’s Leningrad (2009), still the most epic retelling of the siege, featuring American actors such as Mira Sorvino or Gabriel Byrne for a more international appeal. Poteyenko’s score focused a lot on the human side of the story – both for heroic deeds and tragic personal fates. For the tank battle action film White Tiger (2012), Poteyenko’s two additional cues had the music of Shostakovich clash with Wagner-inspired material for the ultimate musical showdown between the Russian and the German army. Poteyenko’s music for Frontier (2018) explored World War II from a youth fantasy perspective as a kid is sent back in time to the time of the Great Patriotic War. Last but not least, he scored director Alexey Kozlov’s previous movie, The Forbiddance (2015) which also happened to take place on Lake Ladoga.
The music for Saving Leningrad alternates between high-octane battle pieces as well as Shostakovich-inspired cues that showed the darker side of Mother Nature with the storm being a much deadlier enemy than any German fighter pilots. The other half of the cue features the romantic moments for a couple whose relationship is tested by the tragedy. The soundtrack features almost the whole underscore recorded for the movie. As it is so typical of Russian films, some of the cues have been moved around or repeated, but have been reconfigured for the most optimal listening experience for the CD. The album comes with liner notes by Gergely Hubai discussing the historical events, the film and the score.