Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine's Day [Half] Week: Romantic

Okay, so first, let's get this out of the way. THE VIOLIN IS THE GREATEST INSTRUMENT EVER GOT IT. You might say, well, the guitar is-- NO. Or, the tuba, now, the tuba achieves an effect that ranges from comic to tragic without sacrificing-- NO. The zither has been-- no no no. The violin is where it's at. It is the devil's instrument, and you don't get much better than that.

Um, what I mean is. All instruments are very, very nice. Even the viola.

BUT I think it's safe to say that the violin's strengths have been well used in producing some downright amazing romantic music. Hard to argue with that, even if you disagree with what I said above (about violins, or the viola). Especially hard to argue with that if it's Itzhak Perlman playing the violin. And impossible to argue if it's Perlman playing John Williams arrangements of themes from Hollywood's Golden Age.

Cinema Serenade II: The Golden Age is one of my most treasured CDs, and it only takes one listen to realize how amazing of a collaboration we're looking at here (or one look at the classy cover art.) There are a lot of film music collections out there, but it's hard to find one of this quality. It includes music from Robin Hood, Casablanca, Laura, Now Voyager, Gone With the Wind, and more. Great, great stuff.

Williams has paired up with Perlman several times, including Volume I of this series as well as the multiple-award winning score for Schindler's List, and it's an amazing partnership. Williams' arrangements (you can definitely hear his hand in this) bring Perlman's amazing playing to the forefront. For an idea of the technical master he is in addition to his ability to evoke a general awe-inspiring range of emotion, listen to the music from The Quiet Man-- the purity of tone, clarity, the lightness of the bow's acrobatics. The music is gorgeous, featuring two masters of the modern music scene, and it's hard to accurately convey the heights of beauty the CD offers.
Next up: Valentine's Day Half-Week Continues with the inevitable (what I'm calling) the Other Half post.


b said...

from amazon.com

1. Laura, film score Theme
Composed by David Raksin

2. Now, Voyager, film score Theme
Composed by Max Steiner

3. Modern Times, film score Smile
Composed by Charlie Chaplin

4. The Lost Weekend, film score Love Theme
Composed by Miklos Rozsa

5. The Quiet Man, film score St. Patrick's Day
Composed by Victor Young

6. The Adventures of Robin Hood, film score Marian & Robin Love Theme
Composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold

7. As Time Goes By
Composed by Herman Hupfeld

8. Henry V, choral suite (arr. by M.Sargent) and orchestral suite (arr. by C.Matthieson) Touch Her Soft Lips and Part
Composed by William Walton

9. The Uninvited, film score Stella by Starlight
Composed by Victor Young

10. My Foolish Heart, film score Theme
Composed by Victor Young

11. Gone With the Wind, film score Tara's Theme
Composed by Max Steiner

12. Wuthering Heights, film score Cathy's Theme
Composed by Alfred Newman

King AdBeck said...

Sister, you are a serious blogger - I can't keep up with all the good stuff you post. Took The Stranglers (how do I not have that already?) and the Beatles soundtrack - I was always partial to those George Martin scores (why did they never make it onto cd?). And how many parenthetical thoughts can I place in a single run-on sentence? Anyway, in keeping with the spirit of your Beatles post, here's a little something I found in a forum (not my link): Beatles Movie Medley

Happy V-Day!

PS - Thanks for your vote in the beat-making contest - a generous donation in your name has been made via Paypal to the Human Fund.


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