Other Composers

Wojciech Kilar (1932-2013) - Polish film composer

Wojciech Kilar - Bram Stokers Dracula soundtrack CD cover The name of Wojciech Kilar has only come to light relatively recently in English language film circles, but he has been composing music for Polish and other films since the 1950s. He was able to put his Polish/Ukranian background to good effect on one of his earliest English language films "Bram Stokers Dracula", which has some dark and powerful music with an Eastern European flavour suggesting the Romanian origins of the legendary vampire. But the film and music also highlight another side of vampirism - the mysteriously compelling hypnotic quality, and in this movie there is also a love theme. One of the features of this soundtrack is that there are times when two of these themes are playing simultaneously yet independently, while the lyrics chant the Latin equivalent of the refrain "Blood is Life". This truly dark soundtrack closes with "Love Song for a Vampire" by Annie Lennox.

Wojciech Kilar and Frederic Chopin - The Pianist soundtrack CD cover Wojciech Kilar has worked several times with the director Roman Polanski, including "Death and the Maiden", "The Ninth Gate" and "The Pianist" which also includes piano music by Frederic Chopin. Among Kilar's concert pieces is one called "Requiem Father Kolbe" which had its origins in the music he created for a film about Father Kolbe who allowed his own life to be taken in preference to that of another prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp. An extract from this work was used on the film "The Truman Show", and portions of his "Angelus" were used appropriately enough on "City of Angels". The composer is now in his late 70s and, though he is still actively composing, the pace of his film projects has understandably slowed a little.

In 1991 Kilar created the music to accompany "Napoléon et l'Europe" an ambitious 6-part mini-series for French television. An album of this music is now available at Music Box Records.

It is with regret that we announce the composer's passing on 29th December 2013 at the age of 81.

Films by Wojciech Kilar:

    Wojciech Kilar - The Ninth Gate soundtrack CD cover
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula - dark and powerful, with an Eastern European flavour suggesting the Romanian origins of the legendary vampire
  • Death and the Maiden - for the Polish-French director Roman Polanski
  • Deceptive Charm
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • City of Angels - uses a portion of his music from the orchestral work "Angelus"
  • The Truman Show - the track "Father Kolbe's Preaching" was used in this movie
  • The Ninth Gate (La Neuvieme Porte)- again working with Roman Polanski in this horror/thriller, the traditional orchestral score is augmented with an ethereal wordless female voice Wojciech Kilar - Napoleon and Europe soundtrack CD cover
  • The Pianist - an intense Polanski film about a Jewish pianist who manages to evade capture during WWII, the soundtrack also features the piano music of Polish-born Frederic Chopin as played by the lead character
  • The Revenge
  • Persona Non Grata
  • We Own the Night
  • Black Sun
  • Welcome - stock music
  • Revisited

Television Music by Wojciech Kilar:

  • Napoléon et l'Europe (Napoleon and Europe) - TV mini-series for French television

Wojciech Kilar recommendations

Among the film soundtracks by Wojciech Kilar we suggest you seek out the following albums: