Composed By: Gaute Storaas
Distributed by: MovieScore Media
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Nina's Children tells the story of a group of Jewish children who travel from Vienna to Oslo for summer camp just after the Nazi invasion and incorporation of Austria in 1938. When the time comes to return home, conditions have deteriorated and it is no longer safe for them to do so. In Norway, child psychologist Nina Hosvoll Meyer establishes an orphanage to care for the children (one of whom is the film director’s father). In 1942, the police raid the orphanage and the women and children are slated for deportation to Auschwitz. Their escape and the ordeal afterwards is a testimony to courage and strength.
The musical score of Nina’s Children was created by Norwegian jazz musician and composer Guate Storaas. Well-known for his bass playing in jazz and rock bands, Storaas began his musical studies in the University of Bergen and later received his degree in music arrangement at the Berklee College of Music. Since then, he has composed musical score for a number of mediums, including television, film, commercials and more. Film and television scoring credits include Elias: The Little Rescue Boat, Journey to the Christmas Star, Victoria and The Last King.
The Nina's Children Soundtrack features orchestral music that is classical in nature. The score begins on a playful note, but moves toward ominous undertones, followed by fast-paced dark movements signifying danger and then softer tones of sadness and beauty restored. The piano is used often to signify youth and innocence and the playfulness of the children. Strings accompanying the piano offer a peaceful beauty to the score. Ominous tracks like Anschluss and Exacerbation feature low register notes from woodwinds and strings and signify hard times, perhaps at the hands of the Nazis. By the time we reach the last track, Lovers' Serenade, beauty has been restored to the score, perhaps signifying the end of the children’s trying experience.
Gaute Storaas has created a beautifully emotional classical score for this film that easily works as a standalone album or as background music to the emotional tale presented by Nina’s Children. I enjoyed listening to the score so much that I have listened to it a number of times since. The Nina’s Children Soundtrack is an excellent listen for any fan of movie scores particularly those with a classical influence.