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kalervon
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:43 pm
Posts: 792
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:35 pm 
 

I became a fan of Dekalog movies in the mid-90s, when a TV channel decided to air them one per week late at night. I recorded them on my VCR in SP and watched them all one summer. I guess it was a light form of binging.

Dekalog IX had a quite fascinating piece of music; it can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3KQdqgnJ-w (low quality); or Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/track/4DXcUyOJxKRgL63ZEPuftN

Kieslowski had then created a fictional composer, Van den Budenmayer, whose music would feature in some of his future films, not related to this Dekalog. Even that piece of music was used in his last movie, Red (1994). I used to go to search record stores with a huge classical backstore for his works, not being appraised that it was some kind of a joke (snopes, where were you ?). Soon I discovered all I had to do was to buy the soundtrack of real life composer Zbigniew Preisner to hear that music and more.

At any rate, I'm wondering now, so many years later, what language are the lyrics sung into ? Opera-style lyrics aren't always easy to understand. It does sound German, but I don't recognize any word. One may think Polish, since it is a Polish movie and real-life composer, but I just don't hear it. I would also guess Dutch, since Van den Budenmayer is a Dutch name. Yet I thought I knew quite a bit of German and Dutch but can't make anything out, plus 'classical' works are hardly ever in Dutch. Unless it is Italian as classical works are sometimes into ? Yet I know myself some Italian.

Can anyone on this forum, native Polish, Dutch, German.. or just language freak, help me figuring it out ?
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jimbies
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 2205
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:28 pm 
 

Hey, man, I can't help you with the language, sadly. But it's nice to see someone else who is a huge Kieslowski fan. I just re-watched the colours trilogy in January (3rd or 4th time I've seen them) and they get better each time. I have the criterion collection boxset of those films, and the Dekalog series, as well as Blind Chance and The Double Life Of Veronique. Very powerful stuff.

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Tekdeth
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Posts: 195
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:32 am 
 

I listened to the YouTube version a couple of times and my guess is that it's sung in old Dutch. I can make out some words but there are some sounds that don't appear in modern Dutch but do in German and old Dutch. The fact that it doesn't sound German to me then leads me to believe that it's old Dutch.

However, this might be totally wrong. For all I know it might not even be (old) Dutch and I'm just hearing stuff that isn't there.

Edit: another possibility is that it's modern Dutch sung with a German accent.
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AddWittyUsername
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:40 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:59 am 
 

Not Modern Dutch with a German accent as far as I can tell. When you're referring to old Dutch, you likely mean Middle Dutch/Diets, considering Old Dutch is more like "maltho thi afrio lito" and "Visc flot aftar themo uuatare."? It's *possible*, but doesn't quite fit to my ear. Sounds like Middle High German to me--which, to be fair, does share a fair bit in common with Middle Dutch.

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Tekdeth
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Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Posts: 195
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:53 pm 
 

Ah yes I meant Middle Dutch, forgot the term so I just called it 'old'. It does indeed seem likelier to be Middle High German though, as you said.
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kalervon
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:43 pm
Posts: 792
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:04 pm 
 

jimbies wrote:
Hey, man, I can't help you with the language, sadly. But it's nice to see someone else who is a huge Kieslowski fan. I just re-watched the colours trilogy in January (3rd or 4th time I've seen them) and they get better each time. I have the criterion collection boxset of those films, and the Dekalog series, as well as Blind Chance and The Double Life Of Veronique. Very powerful stuff.
I don't have the Criterion collection boxset, but I have the Dekalog DVD box set (special edition) by Facets Video, the couleurs trilogy DVD boxset by Alliance Atlantic and a 6 DVD boxset by Kino Video with 4 other movies (including Blind Chance) and his early short-films and documentaries, plus the two movies corresponding to Dekalog V and VI. I don't have 'Véronique' on DVD, but I do have the soundtrack, as well as the soundtracks to Dekalog + 3 couleurs, and a few more Preisner recordings (the concert recorded in a salt mine, his Requiem for Kieslowski's funeral and some other recordings). I actually watched a lot of unrelated movies that had music scored by Preisner over time, on purpose.

As for the language question, thanks to everyone who responded. I'm glad I wasn't completely off by thinking it was a Germanic language. Old Dutch is a brand of chips around here (http://www.olddutchfoods.com/) and also a brand of cleaning products (https://www.olddutch.ca); Middle Dutch sounds more elegant than Old Dutch. I assume Preisner (or Kieslowski) would have an existing Middle Dutch text to feature as lyrics.. I don't think anyone actually writes anything new in Middle Dutch.

On the 'Véronique' soundtrack, there is a concerto purportedly written by fictional composer Van den Budenmayer 'dated' 1798, in keeping with this spirit, the Dekalog IX piece must be in an 18th century or older language. However the said concerto's lyrics are in 14th century Florentine Italian (Dante). The same soundtrack also contains a song portraying a Polish poem (Tu viendras/You will come).
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kalervon
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:43 pm
Posts: 792
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:56 am 
 

Update; I just found this YouTube video with the original Polish soprano performer; the piece has a title: Nimfa

Nimfa is the Polish word for nymph; Dutch would be nimf and German Nymphe. A google search revealed the full title, on some Polish compilations, is Nimfa wodna; water nymph (or naiad). This doesn't mean the lyrics are in Polish.

The vocals on this version may be clearer for Dutch and German speakers who want to lend their ear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moQyBW7hqTE

This is what I can make of it, in German, though it could be in a Middle Dutch or Middle German equivalent or variant:

(0:18) Ich habe gebeten warum durch …. ist
(0:28) Die dacht so blach ist...

Am I unto something ?
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Gravetemplar
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
Posts: 1301
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:38 am 
 

Just came here to say Preisner is one of my favourite composers and the three colour films + la double vie de Véronique are incredible.


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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 2205
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:26 am 
 

I think I'm due for a re-watch of Veronique actually.

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kalervon
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:43 pm
Posts: 792
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:23 am 
 

I just rewatched Tramway, his first short film. Going to watch one feature per day from now on.
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