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FILMMUSIK

Filmmusik: the soundtrack to Österreich: Oben und Unten

25th September 2014

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Österreich: Oben und Unten
A film by Joseph Vilsmaier with soundtrack by Hubert von Goisern

Österreich: Oben und UntenOn 30th January 2015 renowned director Joseph Vilsmaier's new film Osterreich: Oben und Unten will be coming to the silver screen.

Austria in its endless diversity. Joseph Vilsmaier presents the alpine republic from above - a tremendous natural spectacle, a fantastic piece of creation. And he shows us Austria from below too, descending into the valleys and discovering the details. A dynamic, modern country that is constantly developing. Together with his experienced helicopter pilot, Hans Ostler, he has composed impressive images - from a perspective from which Austria has never been seen before. Yet Vilsmaier is not content with the power of flight and he draws closer, creating intimacy: as the herdsman drive their cattle down into the valleys, at the Erzberg Rodeo motorcycle endurance race, traditional bonfire celebrations on the first Sunday of Lent, the Karlsplatz pop festival, the beach volleyball Grand Slam at Wörthersee, the Salzburg Festival, or midsummer bonfires in the picturesque cultural landscape of the Wachau region. The juxtaposition of landscape, tradition, technical innovation and pulsating life create a different, emotional Austria, a country seen in a new way through the eye of the artist.

Great emotion and passion for his art and alpine roots are brought to the film by world musician Hubert von Goisern. He creates the accompanying voice to Vilsmaier's composition of images. A touching, stirring musical counterpart to the film experience, which both reaches far into the past and points to the future.

FILMMUSIK by Hubert von Goisern

Osterreich: Oben und Unten is a journey through Austria, showing the beauty and character of all nine provinces from the ground and from the air. The film's soundtrack was created by Hubert von Goisern. Making images resound, creating musical landscapes: Hubert von Goisern works far outside the bounds of a stage artist.

On the Filmmusik album a number of Hubert von Goisern's most popular titles from the last 25 years have been taken together with earlier film compositions and newly arranged as remixes. The Austrian musician, composer and orchestra conductor Robert Opratko worked together with Hubert von Goisern on implementing the orchestral accompaniments of the latter's melodies. They sound mature. Close to the original. But freer and more fundamental - as if specifically newly composed. One hears the familiar as if for the first time. The Filmmusik album completes the Goisern oeuvre. For now.

Along the way Hubert von Goisern abandons every possible genre classification, every stylistic assignment, or musical region. The trademark of his music is the concept that he carries within himself: he does what he enjoys. And yet instinctively satisfies the desires of his listeners exactly.
That's why the images resound. That's how the songs convey what they do.

Hubert von Goisern - Filmmusik

24.10.14 | 88875021922 | Amazon

Filmmusik

  • 1. spät
  • 2. grass m
  • 3. ferlach-fanfare
  • 4. abend spät
  • 5. herz erzog johann
  • 6. grass a
  • 7. juchitzer
  • 8. höhlenjodler
  • 9. kuahmelcher
  • 10. grass y
  • 11. blue danube
  • 12. grass r
  • 13. l'amero
  • 14. kohler
  • 15. domglocken
  • 16. afrika overtüre & anreisejodler

Österreich: Oben und Unten on DVD!

19th June 2015

Österreich - Oben und Unten DVD
VÖ: 10.07.15 | Amazon

A film by Joseph Vilsmaier
With music by Hubert von Goisern

"Dreamland Austria". Joseph Vilsmaier paints a breathtakingly beautiful picture of the alpine republic. From above, we see the tremendous natural spectacle of the mountains and fly over deep valleys, lakes and rivers. And "below"? Intimacy is created. As the herdsman drive their cattle down into the valleys, as we watch traditional handcraft, festivals and the arts in action.

The juxtaposition of landscape, tradition, technical innovation and pulsating life creates a completely new image of Austria, scored with great feeling by Hubert von Goisern. Fantastic classic cinema – for our eyes and ears. 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

- Subtitles in nine languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic
- Map with sightseeing points

BONUS MATERIAL:

- Hubert von Goisern and Robert Opratko: interview about the soundtrack with the Vereingten Bühnen Wien Orchestra
- Der Trailer zum Film


SOUNDTRACK: On the album Filmmusik you'll find 50 minutes of the 85 minute long soundtrack to the film. If you hear something in the film that piques your interest, you can find out more here - be it music from HvG or other artists, or a recording made on location:

Österreich - Oben und Unten: Complete discography

Filmmusik: Chart entry

13th February 2015

HvG back in the charts! The album Filmmusik has entered the Austrian album charts at number 45. The stirring music forms the soundtrack to the recently released film Österreich - Oben und Unten, which has already been seen in cinemas by nearly 25,000 people.

The power of music

Der Sonntag February 2015 | Text: Agathe Gansterer

Hubert von Goisern has brilliantly scored Joseph Vilsmaiers new film "Österreich oben und unten"

An unusual, primal yodel that touches you deeply, while the camera circles mountain peaks and flies along glens. The brilliant thing about Joseph Vilsmaier's film Österreich oben und unten is the combination of moving images and moving music. Working together with Robert Opratko Hubert von Goisern has created the music and created an impressive aural image of our country, which also includes the great composers of the land.

Joseph Vilsmaier's film is a colourful "all around portrait" of the country, which also shows how churches, convents and monasteries have shaped Austria. Michael Niaravani narrates the film with the informative and entertaining script by Georg Mayrhofer.

Austria above and below: A declaration of love

NEWS 4th February 2015

Now in cinemas is Österreich oben und unten, a film about beautiful Austria. The Bavarian director Joseph Vilsmaier has dedicated it to his "Dreamland Austria", leaving out any critique of diverse drawbacks. NEWS.AT met the director, as well as musician Hubert von Goisern, who contributed the appropriate sounds to the beautiful footage, to talk about Austria, the Austrians and the return to Tracht and love for the homeland.

[...]

Hubert von Goisern created the soundtrack for the impressive images. How important is the music in the film?

Joseph Vilsmaier: The music is an essential part, as the pictures alone would not work. And Hubert did great work. Someone said to me after they'd seen the film, that they had been in tears during the parts where there was no talking. And that's great.

How did you come to collaborate?

Joseph Vilsmaier: It was my first wish, from the start of the project, that Hubert did the music.

And was he involved straight away?

Joseph Vilsmaier: No, he wasn't. He said "no" three times, but then he was thrilled by the first cut.

Hubert von Goisern, did you really say "no" three times, before it came to this collaboration?

Yes, that's right. At first it just didn't appeal to me to do the music for a documentary about Austria. But the request kept being repeated and then at some point it became "at least look at the rough cut" and then I was so thrilled by the images. The beauty of my own country captured me in such a way that I could no longer refuse and was instead delighted to be able to deliver the soundtrack to these images.

In the film you use songs from your last 25 years (with orchestral arrangements by Professor Robert Opratko and the Vereinigten Bühnen Wien Orchestra). How difficult was it to make the right music choices? Or did you see the pictures and immediately have the fitting music in your head?

Yes, it was always very clear. For a long time I was concerned that it was too much music, but you can't, for example, say after an hour that now a break would be good and we're in Lower Austria, so in Lower Austria there's only birdsong. I really was concerned: too intensely beautiful images, too intense, beautiful music and in the long run you're simply clobbered by too much beauty.

Were there provinces where the selection was easier or more difficult?

No. But of course the more alpine the area, the closer it is to my approach to life and the music I make. In Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria, there's a different attitude to life and different style of music, so I turned to musicians and ensembles who live in the area.

You didn't compose any new songs for the film?

No, I didn't think it was necessary. In the first instance I drew from the pool and from the folk songs we have, because I think there's a style of music the developed in this country that has something timeless about it. And I wouldn't have thought of reinventing the wheel. Something new here would have almost been a distraction.

Joseph Vilsmaier speaks of "Dreamland Austria". Many people see it that way too and at the moment there is a return to values such as love for one's homeland; tradition and traditional costume - Tracht - too are becoming important again. What do you think of this "hype"?

I like Tracht, I like this traditional attribute, whether in Norway with the Samis, or in the desert with the Tuaregs. Nonetheless there are things that profess a very clear identity, something restrictive. One shouldn't kid oneself. There is something exclusionary about it and I can't advocate it unconditionally. One shouldn't hide behind Tracht, or a Styrian hat and say, "I am how I am, because I'm Styrian." If the Viennese grumbling is something behind which one retreats, where one says, "that's just the way it is", I think to myself: "Yes ... idiot! Be the way you are and not the way you think you have to be here in order to fit the image." This self-incapacitation with too much identity gibberish and Tracht gets on my nerves a bit.

[...]

The film Brenna tuat's schon lang follows you and your career as a musician and will be in the cinemas in April. What awaits the fans?

I'm conflicted. I made myself available for it, but I don't want anything to do with the edit, I don't want to have anything to do with searching out archive material, someone from outside needs to do that. I haven't seen the film and don't want to see it until it's finished - because otherwise I might insist that they alter it (laughs). But it's a film about my life and my musical career, the stops along the way as a musician that have shaped me.

Did you want the film?

No. The people came to me and said that they wanted to do it. I said: "Yes, but for God's sake, don't ask me". (laughs)

What's next for you?

My new album was finished today. It's out on 8th May and then we'll be on tour soon after that.

"Austria - Above and below": Beauty torn from the mist

Salzburger Nachrichten 27th January 2015 | Text: Bernhard Flieher | Photo: Lisa Film
Österreich - Oben und Unten

Joseph Vilsmaier and Hubert von Goisern create a captivating image of Austria with images and music.

Everything is so beautiful. "So magnificent and wonderful", says Joseph Vilsmaier. And there's no stopping the Bavarian film maker as he is lost in rhapsody about "how beautiful it all is".

"This landscape!", says Vilsmaier and he is thinking of Austria. The country is relatively far away when he's sitting in his Munich office on a grey, rainy day. But over the past few years, the 76-year-old got to know the neighbouring country much better than he ever did on visits or film shoots. He flew over the country. He set up his camera at cultural events and at glistening lakes. From this came the film Österreich - Oben und unten.

When the project was finished, it came to 40 to 60 per cent footage unten - below. Yet it is the aerial footage that shapes the film, giving it a compelling structure. Untouched nature and human intervention cross paths. Alpine pasture landscapes meet urban overcrowding, bluish glaciers encounter the dirty brown of the Styrian Erzberg. "There are landfill sites, dirt and problems all over. But that's not what it's about," says Vilsmaier. It's about beauty, "in which we can feel lifted". It is for Austria as it was for his homeland of Bavaria. "I see Austria as a dreamland", he says.

With Österreich - Oben und unten Vilsmaier follows the same principle that he did three years ago in Bavaria - Traumreise durch Bayern. After great success at the cinema, 200,000 copies of the DVD have been sold so far. "It's an advert too. Tourism is an important factor there", says Vilsmaier. The success of Bavaria led film producer Karl Spiehs to the idea of filming a similar project about Austria. Joseph Vilsmaier "was immediately on board".

A little luck "is certainly on side too", when for example during advent in the Salzkammergut "the fattest snowflakes fall from the sky". The film becomes thoroughly kitschy. Vilsmaier has no problem with this. "My heart beats faster when I think about these images." And when he hears the music, he swoons.

Film music created by Hubert von Goisern

He employed Hubert von Goisern for the sound. "He was the only one considered", says Vilsmaier. The two men have a working relationship that goes back a good twenty years. In the autumn of 1994 Vilsmaier documented Hubert von Goisern's last concert with the Alpinkatzen at the Circus Krone. From this came the film Wia die Zeit vergeht.... After that Hubert von Goisern was also involved in the soundtrack to Vilsmaier's successful film adaptation of Schlafes Bruder, a novel by Robert Schneider.

For Hubert von Goisern the collaboration on Österreich - Oben und unten gave him the opportunity to work with composer and to fulfil a dream. It was only possible thanks to the film being delayed. Opratko had turned him down due to lack of time. The fact that he was able to take part in the end turned out to be a stroke of luck. With the Vereinigten Bühnen Wien orchestra, conducted by the 82-year-old, orchestral expanses were designed and the old Goiserer songs were embedded in broad sound. The soundtrack allows - more than when you listen to the individual songs - inner landscapes to grow. And sometimes it seems as though the powerful, poetic images first arose to the music.

The Goiserer's music is deeply rooted in the country over which one flies and into which one zooms. But it is not satisfied with this country, it wanders beyond. "It's a film soundtrack. And as such the view is broad and far-reaching, set on the horizon, as is one's listening", says Hubert von Goisern. There was no script for this picture of Austria at first. One thing was clear though, "each province must be represented as strongly as the next".

Joseph Vilsmaier was able to choose from 30 hours of aerial footage. And it was important to him to be able to go closer to the things that are seen from the air. "The bird's eye view is gigantic", says Vilsmaier. But where he comes closer, where he films tradition on the ground, for example driving cattle down into the valleys, or innovations, or the Erzberg Rodeo, or industrial monuments, contradictions arise that ultimately serve to give a complete picture of a country.

Film: Österreich - Oben und unten, in Austrian cinemas from 30th January.

Review: Österreich: Oben und Unten

Spielfilm 15th January 2015 | Text: Bianka Piringer

[...] With the flight over the Steinernes Meer, Großglockner and the idyllic bathing lakes bordered by forests, you understand why alpine bard Hubert von Goisern was so inspired by the first rough cut of the film and decided to contribute the music. The soundtrack consists mainly of Goisern songs, give new orchestral arrangements by Robert Opratko. Unobtrusive, but nonetheless with a hypnotic expressive power, the music gives the film an acoustic quality that befits its visual appeal.

Quick review: Filmmusik

WAZ 5th January 2015 | Text: Susanne Schramm

It sizzles. It tingles. It gives you goosebumps. Hubert von Goisern, the otherwise earthy Styrian with the mission to make folk music open for all (and to dress it up accordingly) has tackled a new project. And newly arranged his biggest hits as remixes for Filmmusik. It's not just a "best of" collection to make a quick buck, but variations. Together with the Austrian musician, composer and orchestral conductor Robert Opratko images materialise that have a lasting effect - brought to life quite differently with an orchestral accompaniment. Domglocken, Abend spät and Höhlenjodler sound so densely atmospheric that they could be soundtracks to a Hitchcock film. To which one would be happy to listen. A few more times too. A successful surprise. *****

Descending, soaring

Neues Deutschland 3rd January 2015 | Text: Marion Pietrzok

Shortly before Steilklänge, Filmmusik was released. It arose from the music for the documentary film Österreich von oben und unten, which will be in cinemas in Austria in January. Similar to his filmic declaration of love to Bavaria in 2012, Joseph Vilsmaier has flown the alpine republic and was also on the ground wherever there were beautiful shots to be filmed, a puzzle of natural experience and typical present day life in each of Austria's provinces. A feel-good film in which a number of unpleasant truths are faded out. And for the score the alpine dialect rocker has re-recorded some of his most well-known music pieces and some earlier film compositions - together with the Vereinigten Bühnen Wien orchestra conducted by musician and composer Robert Opratko. A few tracks are also contributed by KK Strings, the Salzburg Volkslied choir and the Mozartband.

50 minutes of the 85 minute long film soundtrack were taken for the CD. The result is phenomenal. The film isn't needed, you can already see by listening. The symphonic orchestra gives all von Goisern's pieces an unheard of sound in the truest sense of the word, a breadth, a levitation, a completely new quality. No kitsch, just art. So full of commitment, ceremony and solemnity that, aside from the aesthetic experience, it is a balm for the soul. Music to descend to.

The highlight of the musical pleasure is without doubt the Juchitzer, a version, sung by von Goisern's former accompanying singer, Sabine Kapfinger, in her unbelievably crystal-clear voice. It is ardent, a call from the soul full of vitality, filling the listener's heart, giving them wuthering wind beneath their wings - to soar!

Like a film without images

Medientheke 6th December 2014 | Text: Markus Birner

In 2012 the Bavarian director Joseph Vilsmaier filmed a declaration of love to his homeland of Bavaria. In Bavaria – Traumreise durch Bayern he showed the Free State mostly from the air and at times from the ground. It was a slightly kitsch journey through a land between tradition and the modern, which the filmmaker, who was born in Munich, presented to the cinema audience, thrilling not just die-hard Bavarian traditionalists. Only a handful of artists could contribute authentic music to a film about Bavaria. In this Vilsmaier showed taste and instinct, recruiting Haindling for the musical scoring of his breathtaking aerial footage. On 30th January 2015 the filmmaker is taking the next step so to speak with Österreich – Oben und unten (Austria - Above and Below).

This time though (as the name suggests) the director flew over our neighbouring country and judging by the trailer, has succeeded in capturing no less impressive footage on celluloid. As befits such an alpine homeland anthem, Vilsmaier looked for and found a worthy counterpart to Haindling in Austria: Hubert von Goisern. His name is actually Hubert Achleitner, but since he was born in Goisern, Upper Austria, he integrated the name of his hometown into his stage name. Since the alpine revolutionary anthem Brenna tuats guat the yodelling bard has released relatively few sounds with such mass success in the last few years. The soundtrack to Österreich – Oben und unten is thus a new milestone for him and a new high-flying step in front of a large cinema audience. It is striking that Hubert von Goisern has released the music to the film a good bit before the actual film premiere. The album was released at the end of October with the title Filmmusik and offers an acoustic taster of the epic aerial views of the alpine republic.

Since each of the 16 tracks belongs to a section of the film, which no-one but the film team has seen, it is difficult for me to judge the quality of the isolated audio work. Neither is individual judgement of the titles really possible. It's a film soundtrack with a yodel mélange with orchestral sound and electro sequences. There are only a few pieces with lyrics. Mostly Hubert von Goisern sings juchitzers, strident and energetic over the mountain peaks of the Austrian alps. But there are also quiet and contemplative sections, as well as a creatively mixed version of Blue Danube. Just before the end, you hear in Domglocken the heavy peal of the "Pummerin", one of Europe's biggest bells, ringing from the tower of St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna. All in all, Filmmusik is an unusual experience for me. It's a musical journey, a film without images, an atmospherically dense and tense mixture, which on the one hand sounds completely like Hubert von Goisern, and on the other hand is so different from what you think you know of him. After this acoustic trailer I'm looking forward to the film and the interplay of sound and picture power on the screen.

Filmmusik

Abenteuer Ruhrpott 16th November 2014

It's not just in Alps that Hubert von Goisern is a well-known musician. When he was asked to write the music for the film Österreich Oben und Unten, he gladly accepted. His arrangements can now be heard on the album Filmmusik.

Roberto Opratko has made brand new arrangements of von Goisern's compositions together with the Mozartband, the Salzburg Volksliedchor, KK Strings and Vereinigten Bühnen Wien orchestra. They include some of the most popular titles from the past 25 years, such as Spät, Herz Erzog Johann, Juchitzer, Höhlenjodler, Blue Danube, L'Amero and Kohler and finally Afrika Overtüre with Anreisejodler. The orchestral accompaniments sound fundamental and free, but close the originals. You can envision the landscape, hear the yodelling, church and cathedral bells. Bird song, a babbling brook, or an echo. All very laid back. Even without being familiar with the film you can visualise the origins of the music well, superbly arranged mental cinema.

Top 5: Filmmusik

CD Tipps 16th November 2014 | Text: big

We know yodelling from people like the Hellwigs. Toothy grins from ear to ear and then going at it until they go crazy. But it's possible to yodel without horrifying the recipient. Hubert von Goisern, born in 1952, shows a very different side to yodelling and folk music on Filmmusik (Capriola) - magical, alluring, enchanting. Pieces from Goisern's across entire repertoire become free and contemplative with Robert Opratko's orchestration. The result has the majesty of a mid 70s Pink Floyd record, the intimacy of a mature Americana album, the sonorous landscape of a Morricone soundtrack and at the same time charges the listener with a wonderful inner peace. After this stylistically-open beauty the novice won't be able to wait to turn their attention to Goisern's previous work and references (to be heard on the new compilation Steilklänge – also on Capriola); established fans on the other hand will be experiencing the pieces familiar to them in a completely new, freely-floating way. Filmmusik is in fact a film soundtrack - for Joseph Vilsmaier's documentary Österreich: oben und unten, to be released in January.

Mental cinema

Plattenladentipps November 2014 | Text: Helmut Blecher

Illustrated music, or scored images? Both are correct for Hubert von Goisern's score for the film Österreich von oben und unten. His album Filmmusik makes images sound, created to the actual topography of fascinating musical landscapes, which reach far beyond the borders of his creations thus far. Hubert von Goisern has taken some of his most popular songs from the last 25 years and put them together with brand new compositions in a soundtrack that creates a grandios mental cinema with the grand sound of an orchestra. The Austrian musician, composer and orchestral conductor Robert Opratko transforms melodies with Hubert von Goisern, which sound beautifully mature. More fundamental, freer and more metaphorical than the originals, you feel as though carried into worlds of fantasy in which everything is in a state of flux. You hear familiar things and yet experience them as if completely new and different. An album that doesn't stay on the mountain slopes and in the deep valleys, but instead is boundless world music. Characteristic of his music is the concept that he carries within him: he does what appeals to him.

Hubert von Goisern – Filmmusik

Alternativmusik 7th November 2014 | Text: Dennis

Another soundtrack from Hubert von Goisern, known not just for his songs such as the famous Koa Hiatamadl, Oben und unten or Brenna tuats gut, but also as a pioneer of world music and an excellent composer of film soundtracks. This has led to famous director Joseph Vilsmaier (Herbstmilch, Die Geschichte vom Brandner Kasper) turning to his friend von Goisern for his new project Österreich: Oben und Unten, a documentary on Austria. Vilsmaier previously staged Schlafes Bruder with von Goisern and has now charged him with newly recording some of his most well-known songs with a symphony orchestra conducted by Robert Opratko and a number of other musicians, such as Sabine Kapfinger, the former singer from the Alpinkatzen (von Goisern's first band).

Austropop elements meets world music and combine to make an aural treat, in which you can see in your mind's eye exactly which alpine panoramas or other filmed scenes Vilsmaier will be presenting us. As it is put so beautifully in the booklet: "That's why the images resound. That's how the songs convey what they do." It is to be sure.

Hubert von Goisern: Filmmusik

Dreamoutloudmagazin 30th October 2014 | Text: Torsten Schlimbach

Every film needs a soundtrack. Sometimes the film is only decoration and the phenomenal music outshines the visual implementation and stands quite alone. At best the two world support each other in a grandios and playful manner. This autumn comes the film Österreich: Oben und Unten, the title of which indicates the subject. Who would be better for the musical score than Hubert von Goisern? The soundtrack Filmmusik is available now and is a very special work by him - once more!

Admittedly you can't win any cool points with Hubert von Goisern. But why not? Alpine and dialect rock serves a niche that doesn't make it so easy. Hubert von Goisern has always done his own thing and time and again proved that he can thrill a young audience too. He won't manage it quite so well with Filmmusik, but instead a completely new clientele is addressed.

A number of Hubert von Goisern's most popular songs from the past 25(!) years are to be found on Filmmusik, as well as a number of earlier film compositions. These are all now newly arranged as remixes. The Austrian musician, composer and orchestral conductor Robert Opratko achieved this out together with Hubert von Goisern. The melodies may be the same, but completely new songs arise. But what does the word "songs" mean in this context? They are scores, and the finest ones at that. You can get a rough idea of how it will all work with the moving pictures. Austria will be brought to life - no matter whether from above or below. There's an alphorn, the church bells peal and there's an occasional yodel. But this all happens in a very pleasant way and is never obtrusive.

But the entire Filmmusik production also works wonderfully without needing to know the background. In its own way the album has a mantra and develops a really wonderful, calming effect. Artistically-speaking it is highly ambitious and staged quite beautifully. Time and again von Goisern adds nice little touches of colour. Filmmusik really does take you on a journey. Everyone can fire up their own mental cinema screen!

In short: Filmmusik by Hubert Von Goisern may well be a soundtrack, but thanks to its implementation, has a therapeutic character for all the stressed city souls. You can really abandon yourself magnificently to this comforting music. Deceleration is the magic word. The everyday world stays outside and in the time it takes for this soundtrack to play, you can dream yourself into another world - to Austria too!

Hubert von Goisern - Filmmusik

Deutsche Mugge 30th October 2014 | Text: Gerd Müller

Hubert von Goisern (Hubert Achleitner "von" - from - Bad Goisern, Österreich) understandably needed a break after 101 dates on his very successful Brenna Tuats Tour 2012. If you think he left the time unused, far from it! In the autumn a documentary from renowned cinema and documentary director Joseph Vilsmaier, Österreich Oben und unten, will hit the cinemas, a virtual visual journey through all nine provinces with footage from the air and the ground. Goisern and Vilsmaier know each other, because Goisern previously contributed compositions for the Vilsmaier film Schlafes Bruder. Some time ago Vilsmaier brought a similar project, Bavaria - Traumreise durch Bayern to the silver screen. Thus came another collaboration for the soundtrack. Finding the right music for moving pictures, enriching the images with music and thus creating a visual and acoustic symbiosis, is an attractive, but difficult undertaking. Without having seen the film, the recently released album Filmmusik is a good example of how one's own film can develop in the mind's eye just by listening, if you add in a little fantasy and are a little familiar with the music of the alpine region.

For the project Hubert von Goisern chosen his most popular titles from the last 25 years. Added to that were previous film compositions and together with the Austrian musician, composer and orchestral conductor Robert Opratko developed them as remixes with orchestral accompaniment. The result is fascinating.

The acoustic flyover begins with Spåt, what I call a slowly sung "noble yodel", with an almost sacral character and orchestral accompaniment. Not what one would know from so-called folk music programmes. Goisern designs the yodel as its own artistic form. Sung with such dedication, devotion, that you think you've stepped into another time and can forget everything around you. After a short instrumental passage follows the equally brief Ferlach-Fanfare with a brass fanfare. Abend Spåt is an almost eight minute long composition with a long, diverse instrumental part, until Goisern's unmistakeable vocals set in.

The title Herz Erzog Johann made me curious. It is of course a modified version of the Erzherzog Johann theme, not yodelled, but instead appealingly performed as an instrumental chamber music version.

But what happens with Juchitzer, sung in a breathtaking version by Hubert's former singer Sabine Kapfinger, is indescribable. You'll never forget this penetrating, crystal clear voice. It is carried on a constantly climbing cloud of keyboard and percussion. Simply phenomenal, words fail me. I'm curious to see which imagery Vilsmaier has put to this passage in the film.

Bell peals flow directly into the Höhlenjodler with beautiful singing from the Salzburger Volksliedchor. It's not possible to go into every track in the framework of an album review, but Blue Danube, which will probably be skimmed over, absolutely deserves mention here. The Schöne blaue Donau with the basic melody from Johann Strauss II (the son) is meant. But Blue Danube doesn't flow predictably, leisurely, but instead over a "modern" riverbed, entertaining and not necessarily in waltz rhythm.

After the Italian song L'amero the impressive bells of St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna ring out to the Afrika Overtüre and Anreise Jodler and the landing after a wonderful, picture book flight over a magnificent cultural landscape.

The 50 minutes run time passes far too quickly. There are not many soundtracks that can stand alone. Von Goisern has managed to do justice to the undertaking and to slip unnoticed into one's ear canal. Christmas is not far away - just a little tip ...

Alpine rock vs. Filmmusik

Deutschlandradio Kultur 30th October 2014 | Text: Wolfgang Meyering | Photo: picture alliance / dpa
Severin Trogbacher and Hubert von Goisern

The musician from Austria on the orchestral work for a documentary by Joseph Vilsmaier

Hubert von Goisern is one of the most successful musicians in Austria. It's obvious that he should provide the musical accompaniment to the film Österreich – Oben und Unten. It wasn't easy to combine "new folk music" and orchestral film music though.

"I was so enthused by the images I'd seen, and so thrilled by this country of ours that I'd seen, that I was very happy to say yes to scoring it with my music."

Österreich – Oben und Unten is the name of the film from Joseph Vilsmaier, for which Hubert von Goisern has written the music. This film music project had made such demands on him, that even his own new studio CD had to be postponed. But it was an opportunity for him too and Hubert von Goisern soon clear on how he wanted to set this project to music.

"I must say, I said yes under the premise that I would be able to work orchestrally. Because I've never done that before, at least not for an eternity."

A difficult undertaking

There may be many musicians who dream of working with an orchestra as a body of sound. And to do this on a film production is quite obvious, the orchestral sound being something like the "prototype" of film music. But it proved to not be so simple to bring together these two worlds of Hubert von Goisern's "new folk music" and the sound of the orchestra.

"There were simply musical, not problems, but issues, which needed to be solved - not so much in terms of harmony, but the performance, the metre, because many pieces - not all, but many - were played freely."

When it came to translating the music with the body of sound of an orchestra, von Goisern worked with the composer and conductor Robert Opratko, who had to make the often very freely played titles suitable to be played by the orchestra. A task that the musician and high school professor solved with great skill.

The Danube Waltz makes an appearance

However it is not only Hubert von Goisern's familiar melodies from the past 25 years that were reworked for the orchestra by Robert Opratko, but other compositions and versions too, for example by Wolfgang Staribacher and the Mozartband, or an interesting working of The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss.

There is both a liveliness and a breadth too, which evokes an inner landscape more than the titles have before - it is film music. And as such the view is broad and far-reaching and is set on the horizon, the hearing is too.

With the sound of the orchestra Hubert von Goisern's music is effectively given a new quality. And when you listen to the CD in its entirety and abandon yourself to it, then it is not just the mental "inner landscape" that appears, but the the individual pieces too - von Goisern songs, to the bell peals, or the string quartet reveal a really astonishing whole, which you wouldn't expect based on a quick listen to the individual tracks. The CD Filmmusik is far more than a "bridge" to the next studio album. This film score really works as a stand alone CD in his collection with the film's images of Austria, although Hubert von Goisern would actually liked to have made it a bit longer.

"I would have liked to have put it all on, but the film is 90 minutes long and has 85 minutes of music. Limitation is not something I like, but it is often necessary."

New on CD

Nürnberger Zeitung 29th October 2014 | Text: müc

Making a rhyme with Austria can be a challenge. Hubert von Goisern has achieved something great in this regard: as a mediator of traditions, as a world musician, as an acoustic alpine cineaste. With the album Filmmusik he doesn't just underscore Joseph Vilsmaier's documentary Österreich: Oben und unten, the recordings are also a renewed ascent of a number of his best songs, now arranged with an orchestra. Happily yodelling and with striking imagery.

Hubert von Goisern can't sit still: Filmmusik

hr2 30th October 2014 | Text: Gregor Praml
Hubert von Goisern

[...] And then there is the project Filmmusik. Hubert von Goisern was asked by director Joseph Vilsmaier whether he would contribute the music to the documentary Österreich von oben und unten. This work too appealed to him enough that he couldn't say no. What von Goisern couldn't do though, was simply rummage around in his CD box and choose pieces that he had already released and score the film in that way. Something new should be developed for the film.

Hubert von Goisern engaged a choir and the K&K Streichquartett, asked his music colleague Wolfgang Staribacher to provide music from his Mozartband and for the first time had the idea of working together with an orchestral arranger and composer: Professor Robert Opratko, from the Wiener Konservatorium. A connoisseur of pop music and schlager, who has previously worked for Udo Jürgens, Freddy Quinn and, on many occasions, the Grand Prix de la Chanson – today's Eurovision Song Contest.

Once persuaded, Opratko orchestrated the music by von Goisern and then played with an orchestra to the already completed recordings. Not so simple when it concerns a freely sung yodel, which was not performed in a fixed meter.

Hubert von Goisern: "I thought, I'm curious as to how this is going to work, And we actually thought I might have to sing everything again, together with the orchestra, because it wouldn't work with what they were hearing in their headphones streaming in at them erratically. But he managed these two days with his baton, with unbelievable discipline and calm, without any commotion."

And these recordings with the mixture of von Goisern's vocals, his band and the orchestra fit very well together. Those who know the Austrian's work will recognise one piece or another, because of course Hubert von Goisern has used his existing repertoire too. The arrangements with strings and brass integrate very subtly with the music. They raise it to the level of film music.

Filmmusik by Hubert von Goisern

CD Tests 27th October 2014

Time after time through his career Hubert von Goisern has contributed music for soundtracks. No wonder then, that his latest CD is quite simply called Filmmusik.

Hubert von Goisern has been just as taken with the music of foreign people and cultures as with the creative treatment of his own musical roots that have time and again inspired and provided challenges for the musician. Whether with his Alpinkatzen or alone - von Goisern knows what he is doing. The soundtrack on his latest CD has partly been written for the successful film director Joseph Vilsmaier, who has travelled through Austria in a film documentary, capturing the peculiarities of the country and people from the air and the ground.

Here Hubert von Goisern has the unique opportunity of adding music to imagery, perfectly complementing the director's optical pleasures. Thus comes music from Austria, congenially uniting the traditional and the modern. Together with the older film compositions to be found here, the tracks on this CD absolutely have the makings of a hit!

Our conclusion: With the new CD Filmmusik Hubert von Goisern presents one of the most interesting works of his dazzling career. Fine world music with pop aspirations!

Take 5: CD recommendations

MDR Figaro 27th October 2014 | Text: Johannes Paetzold

To call Hubert von Goisern a multifaceted artist would be an understatement. From traditional folk music to rock and pop, from world traveller to fashion designer, to actor, documentary maker - he is an exceptional talent. With Filmmusik he returns to his folk music and sets his yodel against the volume of sound of an orchestra. Goisern fans know the songs from his rich repertoire already. For others not familiar with the genre-crossing "folk musician", Abend Spat is the first recommendation, in which new orchestration jazz bass and guitars melt together with cow bells until Goisern adds his voice over the top as narrator. Those with open ears stand next to Goisern on the mountains with a view into the distance, but never in Musikantenstadl. Hubert von Goisern has recorded these pieces with orchestral conductor Robert Opratko, who previously composed for André Heller. The songs are intended for Joseph Vilsmaier's new film about the Austrian landscape. And before the film hits the cinemas, one can see the valleys, mountains and rivers just by listening. A musical panorama, yodels blow across violin bows, the strings are reminiscent of Cinema Paradiso by Ennio Morricone, up on the mountain everything comes together harmoniously. In Opratko Goisern has found an arranger who has staged the whole thing with elegance and suspense without a moment of kitsch.

Hubert von Goisern: Filmmusik - far, far away

Teleschau - der mediendienst 28th October 2014 | Text: Matthias Bieber

Holy smokes! That could be a reaction to Hubert von Goisern's new album - and not unjustly so. For on Filmmusik the folk music innovator has taken his own old songs as well as classical pieces from Mozart to Johann Strauß and interspersed them with interludes of church bells. And why has the Austrian Jack of all trades done that? Because is the soundtrack to a documentary by Joseph Vilsmaier that shows Austria from "above and below".

The director has already dedicated a similar homage to the Free State with Bavaria - Traumreise durch Bayern. Together with fellow countryman the musician, composer and conductor Robert Opratko, Goisern packs the songs in a sleek outfit that conjure up the desire for flying, travelling, wallowing and dreaming. Lovers of classical music may well not need his version of An der schönen blauen Donau by the king of waltz, Strauß. But overall it stands that Filmmusik is superlatively arranged, brass and strings, folk music instruments and electronic elements forming an exciting alloy.

The highlights include Goisern's Abend spat with delicate Near East melodies, or the sensuously melancholic Juchitzer, which no longer has much of its lusty joie de vivre. No wonder, as Goisern sometimes lays darkly looming minor chords beneath. After Domglocken, the penultimate piece, comes the shimmering finale of Afrika Overtüre + Anreisejodler: here the Upper Austrian once more condenses driving and rousing rhythms, melodic and tonal influences to an always insightful feeling of music's ability to unite. And if Vilsmaier's film is only half as atmospherically dense as this Filmmusik, then people's souls will be wallowing and flying wonderfully in the cinema too.

Rating: excellent