THE EXCEPTION – Composed By Ilan Eshkeri
PASSAGE TO DAWN – Composed By Diego Navarro

Varèse Sarabande has announced their two next limited edition CD releases (limited 1000 units) available for orders beginning May 22: THE EXCEPTION, composed by Ilan Eshkeri (SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE, STILL ALICE), and PASSAGE TO DAWN composed by Diego Navarro (CAPTURE THE FLAG, MIMESIS).  Both titles will also be available digitally on May 26, 2017.

“Stories from the Second World War touch me very deeply,” explained Eshkeri.  “My grandmother was a hero of the French resistance. She was captured and survived Auschwitz, and then returned to Paris where she was able to start a family. Lilly James’s powerful portrayal of a female spy had obvious parallels with my grandmother’s story and it of course, touched my heart and inspired me.”

A riveting World War II thriller that is filled with espionage and romance in equal measure, THE EXCEPTION follows German soldier Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a secluded mansion in The Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country’s authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids whom Brandt soon discovers is secretly Jewish.

When Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan), Head of the SS, decides to come for an unexpected visit with a large platoon of Nazis in tow, the stage is set for a breathtaking showdown, as secrets are revealed, allegiances are tested, and Brandt is forced to make the ultimate choice between honoring his country and following his heart.

“The score draws its rhythms from Morse code, and its musical forms from traditional baroque fugue, but exploiting mid 20th century harmony,” explained Eshkeri.


Composer Diego Navarro was asked to write, amongst other things, a lullaby in French for the Spanish language film PASSAGE TO DAWN.  Javier, a young photojournalist, decides to travel to Fallujah (Iraq) as a war correspondent. With a flight leaving December 30th at dawn, he must deal with another conflict before leaving for the war-torn country: his family.

“Javier’s Grandmother first heard The Lullaby as a young girl living in France with her mother having escaped from the Spanish Civil War,” explained Navarro.  “She adopts that lullaby as ‘her’ lullaby and it in essence becomes the family’s lullaby. There is a wonderful scene where we see Javier’s mother, her daughter and her granddaughter on the bed trying to sleep. Then, suddenly, they started singing the Lullaby all together. Andreu [Castro, director] showed the scene to me when I visited the set, and it was an incredibly special moment.”

For his score, Navarro reached deep to represent what it would feel like if your son was going to a war-torn region.  “It would be a deep pain, full of uncertainty,” Navarro described.  He presented this both through a girls’ choir and a cello soloist to present a tone that sounds like a musical moan.  “I decided to work with a chamber orchestra instead of a full orchestra as this film needed a very intimate and emotional score. One of the things Andreu emphasized was ‘less is more.’”  Navarro incorporated Middle Eastern instruments and vocals, “but just as a few impressionistic brush strokes to let the character of Javier´s Mother know that the fate of her son is going to be informed by his experiences there.”


1. Waking Up (4:23)
2. Stefan Prepares Himself (2:35)
3. Chopping Wood (2:33)
4. Feeding Ducks (1:31)
5. Stefan’s New Room (1:15)
6. Apology (1:42)
7. Restoration (1:35)
8. Seize The Day (1:32)
9. Himmler Arrives (1:52)
10. Private Conversations (2:03)
11. The Kaiser Sees The Truth (1:55)
12. Mika’s Message (3:41)
13. The Ambulance (4:04)
14. Escape (1:16)
15. Mika’s Promise (2:10)
16. Return To Berlin (2:42)
17. The Kaiser’s Theme (2:42)
18. Last Kiss (2:12)