A Serious Man [Original Score]

A Serious Man [Original Score]

by Carter Burwell



Writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen's film A Serious Man is a black comedy about the Job-like travails of a Jewish college professor, Larry Gopnik (played by Michael Stuhlberg), living in a Midwestern suburb in 1967, which may help explain why this soundtrack album combines composer Carter Burwell's short, poignant cues with songs from Jefferson Airplane's hit 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow and a track by the Yiddish performer Sidor Belarsky. Gopnik's son Danny (Aaron Wolff) is studying desultorily for his bar mitzvah while listening to a transistor radio that seems to play only one song, Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love," and that song's opening lyric couplet, "When the truth is found to be lies/Don't you know the joy within you dies," is, in essence the theme of the movie. The delicate Jefferson Airplane ballads "Comin' Back to Me" and "Today" are more in tune with Burwell's restrained music, however, and also feature prominently. Given the film's offbeat tone, a listen to the album doesn't give much of a sense of what it's about, although Burwell's music is typically affecting. (He is the Coens' in-house composer, in addition to working extensively with others.) Among Gopnik's many problems in the movie is that he is being hounded by the Columbia Record Club for nonpayment of its charges, including one for the 1970 Santana LP Abraxas. Given the surreal quality of the plot, it's hard to say whether that is a deliberate error or an unintended anachronism. Couldn't Larry just point out that he can't be expected to pay for an album that won't be released for another three years?

Product Details

Release Date: 11/23/2009
Label: Lakeshore Records
UPC: 0780163411126
catalogNumber: 34111

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carter Burwell   Primary Artist,Conductor
Jefferson Airplane   Band
John Patitucci   Bass
Steve Williamson   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Suzanne Ornstein   Violin
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Nadine Asin   Flute,Alto Flute,Piccolo
Tom Sefcovic   Bassoon,Contrabassoon
Marc Goldberg   Bassoon,Contrabassoon
Anne Lehmann   Violin
Sharon Yamada   Violin
Robert Rinehart   Viola
T-Bone Wolk   Guitar
Jeremy McCoy   Bass
Dawn Hannay   Viola
Jeanine Wynton   Violin
Christof Huebner   Viola
Alan Stepansky   Cello
Jeremy Turner   Cello
Soohyun Kwon   Violin
Mark Stewart   Guitar
Ken Bichel   Piano
Sidor Belarsky   Vocals
Barbara Allen   Harp
Wei Yu   Cello
Nathan Hughes   Oboe,Cor anglais
Joanna Maurer   Violin
Erik Charlston   Percussion

Technical Credits

Paul Kantner   Composer
Carter Burwell   Composer,Producer,Orchestration
Darby Slick   Composer
John Bergin   Art Direction
Joe Chavez   Layout
Marty Buchwald   Composer
Skip Williamson   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Brian McNelis   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Stephanie Mente   Art Direction
Dean Parker   Composer's Assistant
Mark Warshavsky   Composer

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