The great Italian stage and screen director Franco Zeffirelli made these widely acclaimed films, both starring Plácido Domingo. with Georges Prêtre conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala. Pagliacci, which co-stars the great singing actress Teresa Stratas, brought Zeffirelli the coveted Emmy as Best Director in the category of Classical Music Programming. Cavalleria was filmed on location in Sicily, which adds immeasurably to the power and atmosphere of this timeless story of love, honour, justice, and violence.
Music Box Records is pleased to present on the same CD two original motion picture soundtracks composed and conducted by Georges Delerue: The Conformist (1970) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci (1900, La Luna, Last Tango in Paris) and La Petite Fille en velours bleu (Little Girl in Blue Velvet) (1978) directed by Alan Bridges (The Hireling, The Shooting Party).
L’année même de son avènement en 1515, François Ier entre dans l’Histoire avec éclat, la victoire de Marignan lui valant aussitôt le glorieux surnom de Roi-Chevalier. Son règne fertile en événements majeurs – guerres d’Italie, duel contre Charles Quint, début de la Réforme – se place sous le signe d’un nouvel art de vivre suscité par la Renaissance …
Although highly productive and respected in his lifetime as a composer of Lieder, Robert Franz (1815–92) has since become a peripheral figure in music history. One reason may be that he avoids dramatic contrasts and instead aims at an emotional ambiguity: ‘My representation of joy is always tinged with melancholy, whilst that of suffering is always accompanied by an exquisite sensation of losing oneself’, he once wrote to Liszt. As a consequence his music appeals to those who are able ‘to admire the nuances of a charcoal drawing without longing for the colours of a painting’, to quote from Georges Starobinski’s liner notes to this recording. As they began to explore the songs of Franz, Starobinski and the baritone Christian Immler were moved by their findings to devise a programme which includes 23 of the composer’s often quite brief songs. Using the poet Heinrich Heine as their guiding star, they present these – all Heine settings but from different opus groups – in the form of two ‘imagined’ song cycles.