Bela and Mihaly: Great Vig music in Tarr films

I believe and have stated firmly that the two best collaborations between filmmaker and musician are Krzysztof Kieslowski & Zbigniew Preisner, and Bela Tarr & Mihaly Vig. Last week I wrote a post about Kieslowski and Preisner, and so this week I’m following it up with one on Tarr and Vig.

Bela Tarr is one of the most unseen filmmakers. Not that he himself is unseen; his films are largely unseen. In New Zealand, where I live, not a single one of his films are available on DVD, and if I wanted to see one, I’d have to turn to the internet or buy the films myself. So far I have managed to track down two Tarr films via YouTube. I downloaded them and then watched them on a bigger screen, but of course it’s not the same as seeing them in the cinema. Those two films I found were Werckmeister Harmonies (which after rewatching the other day I unfussily described to a twitter friend as ‘my all-time favourite film’ and Damnation, which I saw and reviewed last week. I am currently planning on buying a box set of his 450-minute magnum opus Satantango via Amazon, and I expect based on the clips of the film I’ve seen online, that it will climb up my favorite films list also. I simply cannot wait to experience this on a widescreen television, in high quality, in one sitting. But in the meantime, I’m going to share with you a few stunning, beautiful tracks that Mihaly Vig, Tarr’s composer (and the star of Satantango), wrote and performed for Tarr’s films. So go ahead and give it a listen, and tell me what you think.

Valuska (from Werckmeister Harmonies):

Old (from Werckmeister Harmonies):

Kesz as egesz (from Damnation):

Lassu tanc (from Damnation):

Kortanc (from Damnation):


Posted on January 15, 2012, in Music and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Which Satantango box were you looking at? The UK Artificial Eye version is apparently the one to get; the US Facets one is just a conversion of that, and apparently a poor one. The latter has more extras, but again apparently of quite poor quality (as Facets generally seems to be).

  2. Also, neither edition is anamorphic, which is a bizarre choice these days…

    • Thanks for pointing that out, James. I did read that in an article on DVD Beaver and the Artificial Eye one is definitely the one I plan to purchase.

  3. I have only seen The Turin Horse as you know. But when ever i see the trailer now I get goosebumps. And that is thanks to the haunting music featured that cuts to the bone.

    Nice article

    • Haven’t seen the trailer but Mihaly Vig did do the music from that movie so it probably was one of his pieces.

      Personally, every time I hear the music from WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES, I feel like breaking down in tears. It’s one of the most moving pieces of music I’ve ever heard. You have GOT to see that movie man.

  4. No doubt Vig’s compositions are a huge memorable part of these films. Really all it takes is a few notes and I can perfectly recall those scenes in my mind.

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