The Ninth Gate OST 2X LP was issued in a pressing of 1000 units on record store day. You can still find the CD version if you missed that one.
Polanski’s 1999 tale of the supernatural, starring Johnny Depp, while not the greatest of film offerings, features a haunting soundtrack by gifted Polish composer Wojciech Kilar who died in 2013 at 81.
Best known in America for his amazing score to Francis Coppola’s Dracula (1992), Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi favorite composer delivered a tense, romantic and eerie score performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic and Chorus under the direction of Stepan Konicek and enhanced by the beautiful vocals of South Korean soprano Sumi Jo.
Various major motives come and go from the ghostly opening with Sumi Jo’s voice accompanied by harpsichord and piano with later full string section added to the evocative and rich mixture (as dark as it is lyrical), To the Low opening bass setting a tone and mood (either with the film or for home listening) and passages with more cheerful sound, followed by the introduction of brass including Trumpet and french horn solo variations on the main themes. It features all the trademarks of Kilar: repeated-like-loop real percussive sections, high pitch piano, extreme low bass strings, etc. Some of the later edits on the album (Corso and the Girl for example) recall of Dracula‘s soundtrack with fascinating use of abyssal scale range between mid and low tone that provide a heavy vibe. It highlights how frustrating it can be to listen to such music on MP3… Get the real stuff to obtain all the lyrical beauty and sensory attack of the original writing- recording.
A contemporary music giant, largely overlooked when it comes to great OST lists (he worked mainly in Poland), Wojciech Kilar is without any doubt one of the greatest film composers of all time.
The Ninth Gate soundtrack is beautiful and haunting.