In this fascinating and unconventional examination of the creative process, an artist near the end of his career finds new inspiration in a young model. Edouard Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli) is a famous and well-respected artist who lives in a comfortable estate in the French countryside. At the age of 60, Frenhofer considers his career as a painter to be over; he says he no longer feels any inspiration to create, and his last attempt at a major work, a nude study of his wife Liz (Jane Birkin) called "La Belle Noiseuse" (The Beautiful Nuisance), has sat unfinished for ten years. Just as Frenhofer has lost his enthusiasm for his art, he has also lost his passion for Liz; their relationship is polite and friendly, but without enthusiasm. When Frenhofer tells Nicolas (David Bursztein), his young protege, that he no longer feels the desire to paint, Nicolas suggests that he needs a more inspiring subject, and he offers his girlfriend Marianne (Emmanuelle Beart) as a model. Frenhofer is taken with Marianne's beauty, and, with Liz's cool approval, he and Marianne spend several arduous sessions together, exchanging ideas and opinions as Frenhofer methodically attempts to create a final masterpiece.
López-Cobos is an excellent conductor with a wide repertory, best known for late-Romantic and the more colorful early 20th century literature. López-Cobos first led the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1970, and would serve as general musical director for that company from 1981 to 1990. López-Cobos was named principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic and served there from 1981 to 1986. In 1986, López-Cobos was named principal conductor and music director of the Cincinnati Symphony. With Cincinnati he would embark on an extensive recording schedule with Telarc, resulting in recordings of works by Respighi, Ravel, Richard Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Falla, Bizet, Franck, and Dukas…
This collection contains tracks from Nomi's debut and the follow-up, Simple Man. As such, the material is an interesting blend of catchy synth-pop, like 'Just One Look' and 'Falling In Love Again' (sung partly in German) and serious choral pieces like 'Death and From Beyond'. 'Rubberband Lazer', an addictive pop song with weird country infusions and brilliant bursts of synth, and the theatrical' Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead 'with its sing-along chorus are my favorites here.
GRP's generally well-chosen 1991 Collection covers an entire decade of Lee Ritenour releases from Elektra and GRP. As such, those years seem to form a late-'70s plateau descending into a commercial valley by the early part of the '80s and then gradually ascending a slope as Rit's playing grows and deepens in the decade's final years. Some of the high points are the Latin-inflected numbers from Festival ("Latin Lover") and Portrait ("Asa") and two excellent straight-ahead excerpts from Stolen Moments ("24th Street Blues," "Waltz for Carmen"), the latter two with lots of Wes Montgomery-like octave work. And even "Is It You?," Ritenour's pop hit from 1981, comes off as a good, catchy piece of record-making. Recommended for those who only want a sample of Lee Ritenour's voluminous solo output.