A Serious Man [Original Score]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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?
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2009
  • Label: Lakeshore Records
  • UPC: 780163411126
  • Catalog Number: 34111
  • Sales rank: 90,566

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
Ken Bichel Piano
Sidor Belarsky Vocals
Technical Credits
Grace Slick Composer
Paul Kantner Composer
Carter Burwell Composer, Producer, Orchestration
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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