In listening to several scores to films nominated for Academy Awards in 2020, a particular feature emerges: a prominent cello theme. The instrument has been called on to convey a range of moods and even shaped the plot of at least one film.Continue reading “Oscars 2020: Year of The Cello”
In 1979 a critic for the New York Times confronted Michel Legrand with the criticism that his popular music was sentimental, “trite and treacly.” The occasion was the premiere of the off-Broadway adaptation of Jacques Demy’s film “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” with Legrand’s sung-dialogue score.Continue reading “Michel Legrand: The Easy-Listening Modernist”
This post refers to the first season of ‘The Crown.’ Here is a look at classical music in Season Two.
In the Netflix original series “The Crown,” music plays a significant role in heightening the drama and majesty of the British throne. A glance at the show’s IMDB page reveals that this is no shoestring operation: The music staff numbers some 20 editors, producers, engineers and composers, with much of the soundtrack supplied by British film composer Rupert Gregson-Williams. The cinematic title theme, by Hollywood veteran Hans Zimmer, broadly alludes to the ceremonial music of Henry Purcell. Continue reading “The Crown Uses Classical Music to Dramatize Monarchy”
Opera composers and their librettists have always mined familiar stories for inspiration and, in the past two decades, movies have provided especially rich source material. This year alone brings the upcoming Houston Grand Opera premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life by composer Jake Heggie (whose credits also include Dead Man Walking), and the Salzburg Festival debut of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel, based on Luis Buñuel’s surrealist film. Continue reading “Lars von Trier Film Gets an Operatic Makeover”