TAR (Music From And Inspired By
The Motion Picture)
The multi-faceted concept album features music from and inspired by the movie, including a series of stunning new tracks by Hildur Guðnadóttir, as well as extracts from major works by Elgar and Mahler. It complements the film by presenting completed, real-life versions of the music on which we see the fictional protagonist Lydia Tár (played by Cate Blanchett) working. One of the aims of the album is to reveal something of the complex process that goes on behind orchestral rehearsals and recordings.
“The tracks, like the film, are meant to invite the listener to experience the messiness involved in the making of music.” Todd Field
Released on 17 March, Unsung presents works by Nadia Boulanger, Clara Schumann, Anatoly Lyadov and Felix Mendelssohn. Sophie is partnered here by pianist Kunal Lahiry, a current BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the 2021 Carl Bechstein Foundation scholarship. Their performance of the first of Clara Schumann’s 3 Romances, Op. 22 reached number one on the Classical On-Demand Audio Streaming chart, making Sophie the youngest artist since the chart’s inception to achieve this top position at just 21 years old.
The cellist aimed to draw fans of TÁR deeper into the world of classical music. “This is beautifully written, classy music. I wanted to show that classical music itself can be very accessible,” she explains. The double meaning of her chosen title, Unsung, reflects both the songlike quality of her chosen repertoire and her desire “to promote music by female composers, voices that have been relatively unheard for so long, as well as some other pieces that are not as well-known as they deserve to be”.
The EP opens with the first of Clara Schumann’s Three Romances Op. 22. “It’s so warm and youthful,” Sophie observes, “and has so much emotion packed into such a short space of time.” She describes the Prelude from Lyadov’s Morceaux Op. 11 as “icy and cold” and the first of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words Op. 30 as like “a mixture of going to sleep and the dream that follows”.
The recording also includes the last of Nadia Boulanger’s Three Pieces, originally written for organ in 1914 and later transcribed by the composer for cello and piano. “It’s very sassy and bold, a lot of fun to play and quite sarcastic,” says Sophie. A video for this track has been filmed by the same team – including director Mateusz Miszczyński – that created the video for Hania Rani and Dobrawa Czocher’s Malasana, winner of the 2022 Opus Klassik Video Clip of the Year award.