Classic – The “Definitive” Playlist

It’s coming… It’s coming…

But first, I just want to say when I was a kid my Dad used to advertise for the New York City Opera, so I grew up going, and even met Beverly Sills on a few occasions.  In fact, when I was a bit older, I would take dates to Lincoln Center, picnic by the fountains and then take them to the opera.  It did not help me get laid.  Sad.

But one of the highlights of my young life was meeting Maurice Sendak backstage.  He had designed the sets for the New York City Opera‘s 1981 production of The Cunning Little Vixen, and he, my mother and I wound up sitting on some stairs where we all talked for what seemed like forever!  Amazing!!!

I have always loved classical music and opera… but the sudden resurgence is due to me wanting some great soundtrack music to play in the background while I was writing (two period pieces… one script, one book) and my reading an article where Alec Baldwin said he wishes he was Elliott Forrest , the host of the Saturday and Sunday morning brunch on WQXR.  So thanks, Alec!

Silverado – I love this movie and first really listened to the soundtrack in college.  In fact , it may be the first movie score I really appreciated and understood.  It is now out in a special 2-CD format and is a fantastic example of great Western music and just great movie music in general.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – Erich Korngold was a master… and between this and The Sea Hawk, you cannot go wrong.  I am re-writing an Action-Adventure script and starting my long-delayed book, and since both are period pieces, this swashbuckling music gets the creative juices flowing.

The Natural. Randy Newman is amazing, as a composer and songwriter… and this is one of his best, and that is saying a lot given all his amazing work with Pixar!

HovahnessAlleluia and Fugue.  This is one of those pieces that took my breath away and brought me to the verge of tears the first time I heard it… I happened to be listening to a local LA classical station and was immediately transfixed by this piece.   Definite religious overtones… face of G-d kind of stuff.  Powerful and stunning.

Edward Elgar – Symphony 2.  If not for an online article from Mojo Magazine on the history of Abbey Road Studios, I might not have known about Edward Elgar.  I mean, I guess I knew about the composer who wrote the Pomp and Circumstance Marches… The first one you’ll recall if you graduated from anything… But I did not KNOW him.  His music is very British and big and quite lovely.

Paganini – 24 Caprices.  Itzhak Perlman.  Wow!  This came way of WQXR.  I was actually enthralled with a Yo-Yo Ma performance of Paganini’s Introduction and Variations from Rossini’s Mosè “Dal tuo stellato soglio” which I am tracking down… and then found this.  The strings will cut you to your soul.

Dances With Wolves – John Barry.  A quick jump back to the movies and this wonderful score.  John Barry is one of my all-time faves… I mean, aside from a credit saying differently, this is the guy who created the famous James Bond theme!!! And he did 12 Bond films, I think!  Plus, his music for Somewhere in Time has to rank amongst the most romantic music ever!!!

Come back next week for more, y’all!


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