Margaret Mc Namara
FM Program Guide
, November 2006
NAXOS has issued numerous discs in its series Cinema Classics. They offer a wide assortment of music, are generally easy listening, and are a reminder of the frequent use that is made of classical music by film makers. To a great extent, much incidental music does not register as we watch films. The film makers use it to engage our emotions unconsciously. Doesn't this say something about the power of classical music!
Cinema Classics 2006 features music from thirteen films (all the titles are on the front cover) as widely contrasting as for example: Robots, Monster-in Law, The Downfall, and Brokeback Mountain, but the list of composers is 'straight' classics from Bach, Purcell and Pachelbel, to Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti, to Strauss, Elgar and Rimsky-Korsokov. Each track is acknowledged as being from another NAXOS recording (made between 1989 and 2006), so the orchestras and soloists featured include those who record regularly for NAXOS like the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, but there are quite a number of other well-known groups. The extract from Elgar's Symphony No 1 is played by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; the Cologne Chamber Orchestra plays Pochelbel's Canon; the Scholars' Baroque Ensemble performs Bach and Purcell; and the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra plays Donizetti's Una Furtiva Lagrima which happens to go with Match Point, Woody Allen's film.
A most valuable part of the package is the information booklet. Each film's director and cast are named and a short synopsis of the story follows. Brief details of the music and its composer are provided plus the titles and dates of any other films in which the music has featured. Amusing cryptic commentaries introduce each film - how about "A romance before its time" for Pride and Prejudice, or "Never judge a man by his cover" for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers! Lars Johansson is given credit for the notes to this disc. What a resource for film buffs!