Sunday, 19 December 2010

A note on music from films

So recently I watched Master and Commander, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Both are very different but equally worthwhile films. Anyway during the final scene of Master and Commander the captain (Russell Crowe) and the ships doctor  - who is awesome - (played by Paul Bettany), play a very nice violin and cello duet. So I had to find out who wrote this and after some intensive research (Googling) I discovered the piece to be Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid or (Night Music of the Streets of Madrid) written by a certain Mr Luigi Boccherini, who as it turns out is a bit of a badman; whilst employed by King Charles III of Spain he wrote a trio which included a passage of music the King found displeasing, rather than remove the passage he doubled it and was forthwith dismissed. 
I was fascinated by the way the cello is used in this duet, played in a cantabile manner and given a intensely lyrical part to play as opposed to accompanying the violin, similar I thought to Bach's Prelude from his cello Suite No 1: interpreted masterfully here by Paul Tortelier.


The other piece, from The Curious case of Benjamin Button, is a ragtime concert waltz written by the one and only Scott Joplin (composer of such overplayed piano works as the Entertainer) . Named BethenaBenjamin plays the waltz in the movie, and again the melody just got stuck in my head, so I had to go and find the song.

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