The 1981 Jean-Jacques Beineix film Diva is a dizzying cornucopia of delights, with a strong sense of urban cool and a cast of characters whose alternating detachments and obsessions hint at the legacy of pain and loneliness that helped form them. Its score, composed by Vladimir Cosma, is inseparable from the film, which, after all, is about music itself, and the ways that it links to desire and longing. From the beautiful arias of Wilhemina Wiggins Fernandez (who plays an opera singer in the film) to the eerie, achingly beautiful instrumental pieces composed by Cosma to set the mood for images of rain-slicked streets, Taiwanese music pirates, teenaged Vietnamese thieves, jaded middle-aged art sages, motorbikes and car chases, the score for Diva remains one of Cosma's masterpieces, a perfect companion to a film that became an international underground hit.
Film Works is the accompaniment to last year's sublime Piano Works and embodies many of Armstrong's finest moments, including arrangements from Baz Lurhmann's 'Romeo and Juliet', for which he won a Bafta and Ivor Novello Award, and 'Moulin Rouge', for which he won a Golden Globe, Ivor Novello and American Institute Award. He notched up a third Ivor Novello for his music for Philip Noyce's 'The Quiet American'. Also on the album are arrangements from his scores for 'Ray', 'Love Actually', 'Plunkett and MacLeane', 'Cruel Intentions' and 'The Bone Collector'. The album closes with Craig's arrangement of the classic 'Clair de Lune' for the recent high profile 'Chanel No.5' ad starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Craig's long time cohort, Baz Luhrmann.
This disc is the first ever to offer the complete Shostakovich score to the 1964 Grigori Kozintsev film Hamlet. Actually, it contains a bit more: track 6 for example, "The Ball," presents music not heard in the film, music the composer wrote apparently because he wanted to reach a logical ending, even if in the film the music just fades away. There are 23 numbers in all, with a total timing of over 62 minutes. Stylistically, the music is related to the Eleventh (1957) and Thirteenth (1962) symphonies, but is of course less developmental and more programmatic, coming across as a sort of tone poem made up of many short movements. While there is a fair amount of bright, even happy music in the score, the mood is generally dark and intense, appropriately so considering the subject matter: Shakespeare's Hamlet is, after all, hardly a comedy. The music doesn't skim surfaces, either – it haunts, it sasses, it laughs, and it plumbs the depths.
Polish-born composer Wojciech Kilar had worked on over 100 Polish films before scoring his first American film, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula . This disc contains highlights from that film's moving, haunting score, plus music from Kilar's soundtracks for Pearl in the Crown, Death and the Maiden, The Beads of One Rosary and more. Simply gorgeous.
Joseph Vitarelli's (THE LAST SEDUCTION, SHE'S SO LOVELY, COMMANDMENTS) lush, orchestral score evokes a contemplative, playful, and sometimes haunting reflection of filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn's journey to piece together the life of his absent father, renowned architect Louis I. Kahn. The MY ARCHITECT soundtrack also features two vocal performances: the devotional "Call to Prayer" (a striking solo by a Muslim muezzin recorded on location at the mosque in Kahn's monumental National Assembly Building of Bangladesh) and the celebratory Hebrew hymn "Hayom Tamtzeinu" rendered with fervor by a cantor originally from Kahn's home city of Philadelphia. Included also on the soundtrack is a taped snippet of Louis Kahn himself in the visionary moment captured in a track called 'The Brick'. The documentary MY ARCHITECT was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and won the hearts of audiences and critics alike, placing it on a large number of best film of the year lists.
Arthur Benjamin composed the ‘Storm Clouds Cantata’ in 1934 for Hitchcock’s first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the 1956 colour remake of the film, the incidental music was composed by Bernard Herrmann, who was offered the opportunity to write his own music for the film’s climax. In an unusual outbreak of modesty, however, he said that he could not …….