Music Break: 5 Memorable Piano Moments on Film

MemorablePianoMoments

As a big fan of classical music, I have always been a fan of piano music. In fact, I grew up listening to Richard Clayderman in the car nearly every single day as the French pianist is my late mother’s favorite.

This month’s music break is inspired by a scene I saw on Monday night. It was in the new drama Breathe-In starring Guy Pearce who plays a music teacher and aspiring concert cellist who’s tempted by a high school British exchange student in the form of Felicity Jones. There is a scene where she played the piano for him right after both being drenched by a thunderstorm. Brimming with breathless sexual tension, let’s just say their mutual attraction reached a crescendo.

It made me think of other memorable piano scenes in movies. Now, I’m not talking about films that are about musicians like Amadeus, Immortal Beloved, Copying BeethovenGreat Balls of Fire! or movies with piano/pianist in the title for obvious reasons (plus I haven’t seen The Pianist yet, but I’m guessing there are many piano moments in it). No matter what the genre, a well-choreographed piano scene is not just about the music itself. As some of these scenes exemplify, they can stir up various emotions, whether it’s sweet, fun, tense, happy, melancholy, or ominous.

Here are five to start with and I hope you, my friends, can add your own favorites in the comment section:

STOKER

Just like the scene in Breathe-In, the sexual tension is ricocheting off the walls and the ceiling of the whole room. So much so that one can’t help but squirm in one’s seat as the scene reaches its er, climax.

Casablanca

“Play it once, Sam, for old times’ sake.” It’s one of the most misquoted line from Hollywood classics. I love this scene, it’s romantic but tinged with sadness. Ingrid Bergman never looked so luminous and As Time Goes By remains one of my favorite songs ever.

Corpse Bride

I didn’t plan on having an animated feature on this list but somehow I just remembered how much I enjoyed this scene. It’s one of my fave Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter many collaborations, and they made a sweet musical duet.

Groundhog Day

This is such a great movie as it’s full of surprises. I love Phil’s piano solo, especially when he played Rachmaninoff’s 18th Variation on a Theme by Paganini, as in the music used in Somewhere in Time.

Moonraker

What, a Bond film? Well, why the heck not? I’ve shared it on this blog before that my early introduction to classical music was partly through Roger Moore’s Bond movies, as the Spy Who Loved Me introduced me to Mozart as Bond villain Stromberg played Piano Concerto No. 21. This scene is particularly memorable as it’s the first time Bond met his nemesis Drax, an elegant billionaire with a penchant for killer dogs and classical music.


As a bonus, I had to add this one in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Though really who notices the piano when you’ve got Michelle Pfeiffer in that red dress, ahah. Amazing that Jeff Bridges didn’t make one false notes watching her sexy rendition of Making Whopee.


Well, hope you enjoy today’s music break. What are some of YOUR fave piano moments in movies?

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Music Break: Top 10 Disney Princess Songs

Can’t believe I haven’t made this post sooner as I grew up with Disney Princess movies. But thanks to Cinema Parrot Disco who put up her fave Disney songs last week, I thought I should do the same.

DisneyPrincesses

So this list is limited to the Princess Movies, otherwise I’d have included The Lion King‘s Circle of Life & Can You Feel the Love Tonight, as well as Hercules’ Go the Distance and Tarzan’s You’ll Be In My Heart. That last one by Phil Collins never fails to make me tear up as the lyric’s so beautiful. I’m also excluding Pixar films, otherwise I’d have included Brave‘s Touch the Sky on here.

It’s REALLY tough to narrow it down to just 10 but here we go (in order of the movie’s release):

Heigh-ho – Snow White (1937)

I actually love the songs by the seven dwarves more than those sung by Snow White. This one is just so chirpy and fun to sing along to!


A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes – Cinderella (1950)

Ok so the part where the birds and mice are singing along are pretty silly but I find it endearing. The song has such a dreamy quality about it that’s lush and lovely.


Once Upon A Dream – Sleeping Beauty (1959)

I love this song so much I’ve dedicated a Sleeping Beauty’s Music Break post for it a few years ago. Based in Tchaikovsky‘s ballet, this song still sounds fresh even today. I like how the originally perky song is made darker and sexier in the Lana Del Rey’s rendition for Maleficent coming this May. I’m including both versions below:


Part of That World – Little Mermaid (1989)

I remember being so moved by this film as a kid. What teenager doesn’t want to be someone else sometimes, but Ariel’s plight seems more than a flight of fancy. I really feel for her and her desire to be part of our world and this song still gets me teary-eyed.


Kiss the Girl – Little Mermaid (1989)

I LOVE LOVE Sebastian, the adorable red crab voiced by Samuel E. Wright. I even owned the stuffed animal as a kid! This one deservedly won the Oscar for Best Original Song. I just love the Calypso/Afro-Caribbean music style used here, it’s such a whimsical and jovial tune!


Something There – Beauty & The Beast (1991)

I’ve made a Beauty & the Beast Music Break post of this one as well. It never fails to make me all gooey inside every time I listen to it.


A Whole New World – Aladdin (1992)

Anything by frequent Disney composer/lyricist Alan Menken &  Tim Rice is usually a recipe for gold. This one won Best Original Song at the Oscar. I actually prefer the Brad Kane and Lea Salonga rendition instead of the Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle version.


Colors of the Wind – Pocahontas (1995)

Oscars seems to get a lot of their picks right when it comes to songs, this is yet another Best Original Song winner by you guessed it, Alan Menken! I love both the Judy Kuhn version in the film, as well as Vanessa Williams’ cover. Great melody and poetic lyrics I love listening to year after year.


I See The Light – Tangled (2010)

For some odd reason I always burst into sobs every time I watch this! I love Tangled and this emotionally-charged lantern sequence is by far my favorite scene. This unabashedly sweet and romantic love song between Rapunzel and Flynn is classic Disney. It’s Menken’s magic once again, featuring the voice of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi who’s a surprisingly good singer!


For the First Time in Forever – Frozen (2013)

Let It Go is likely to nab Best Original Song at the Oscars this Sunday, but it’s actually not my favorite tune from the movie. THIS is the one I love most and the scene as its played in the movie is so much fun! I actually prefer Kristen Bell’s voice to Idina Menzel’s for some reason.


HONORABLE MENTION:

In Summer – Frozen (2013)


What do you think of my picks? Let me know YOUR own favorite Disney Princess songs!

Music Break: Oscar Isaac’s singing in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

InsideLlewynDavis_Bnr

Boy, it’s been two months since I did a Music Break post, as I missed doing one in December! Well, now it’s the last day in January and I’ve been wanting to highlight this soundtrack for some time, so today is as good a time as any.

I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog that I wasn’t enamored by this film. I appreciate the character study of a down-on-his-luck folk singer set in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1961, but it feels so indulgently aimless. To be honest, the decidedly-morose tone makes this film much longer than 1 hour and 45 minutes! The pointless ending especially rubs me the wrong way. I guess I just don’t get what the point of it all is, which I find quite frustrating.

But hey, I’m not going to focus on the negative as there are two things I really enjoyed about the film (well three if I count the cat) and those are Oscar Isaac’s acting/singing and the music. According to this Rolling Stones article, the Coens thought their screenplay was ‘un-filmable’ before they saw Isaac … “Where would they find a crazy-talented singer-guitarist with movie-star presence and major comic acting chops?” Well I’m very glad that their paths crossed!

The opening sequence of Llewyn singing at the bar singing this song is exquisite, and it really makes me want to know more about the character.

InsideLlewynDavis_stills

Isaac is a Guatemalan-born actor who’s been on my radar for some time ever since I saw him as the spoiled Prince John in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. He’s apparently trained Juilliard where he was encouraged to work on his voice. ‘Through doing the basic practical classes, learning how to use my diaphragm, I really figured out how to sing and what it was that I sounded like.’ [per Telegraph]. He was also in a punk bank before his dramatic training, as a frontman for a band called the Blinking Underdogs when he went through the Cure phase. He said he was a terrible singer then but surely that’s not the case as I LOVE his voice. I’m going to have to update my old list of Actors who are surprisingly good singers. I think the fact that he can actually play guitar really well AND has a naturally melodic voice adds so much realism to his character, it’s as if I was really watching a part-Welsh musician named Llewyn Davis instead of an actor playing one.

Now this clip below is one of the highlights from the film. It’s hilarious and bizarre, with great supporting turn from Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver.

Lastly, here’s a recording of Isaac with Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons:



[SPOILER alert] It’s quite amusing that Bob Dylan appears at the end of film. He’s a music legend who I’m not really fond of. I always joke that I don’t get the Coens’ style and Bob Dylan’s music, two blasphemous things for people living in Minnesota, ahahahaha. In fact, I said to my hubby afterwards that if Llewyn Davis were a real musician, I’d rather buy his records than Dylan’s :D

So yeah, even though I won’t buy the dvd of Inside Llewyn Davis, I’d readily buy the soundtrack.


Hope you enjoy the music break today. Thoughts on this soundtrack and/or the film?

Music Break: Five great songs/theme from Richard Curtis’ films

AboutTimePosterI haven’t done a Music Break post in a while but today I might as well hit two birds with one stone to highlight Richard Curtis. Today the British writer/director turns 57 and his time-travel rom-com About Time starring Domhnall Gleeson & Rachel McAdams opens today in the US as well, so I thought why not highlight some of the music from his films.

You could say Mr. Curtis is the King of British Rom-Com, he’s also the man behind great comedic shows like Blackadder and The Vicars of Dibley (my personal fave). He often works with Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) and Hugh Grant, in fact, all of the films I highlighted here have Grant in them! His films are quintessentially British, filled with wacky British humor and cultural references which I really enjoy, but another thing I love about his movies are the great soundtracks.

Here are five from some of my favorite movies written/produced by Richard Curtis:

She – Notting Hill

I’ve never even heard of Elvis Costello’s music before this one but I LOVE, LOVE this song and I like how it plays in the beginning to sort of introduce Julia Roberts’ movie star character. It has such sweet, melancholic melody that


Ain’t No Sunshine When She Goes Away
– Notting Hill

The song choice is just perfect for this scene, it’s as if R&B star Bill Withers knew exactly what broken-hearted William (Hugh Grant) is thinking at this moment as he goes through each season missing his sweetheart Anna. I’m not a huge fan of Hugh Grant generally but too is perfect for this role.


Love is All Around – Four Weddings & A Funeral

I remember playing this song over and over when this film first came out. The song was originally recorded by The Troggs but in this soundtrack it was performed by Scottish band Wet Wet Wet. Apparently it was so popular it remained at number 1 in the British charts for fifteen weeks and was then the ninth biggest selling single of all time in Britain (per Wikipedia). Playful and romantic, just like the movie!


PM Love Theme – Love, Actually

There are a lot of great themes in this film, I also love the Glasgow Theme but this one has such a swooning quality about it but not in an overly sappy way. It has such a rousing and ‘stately’ feel about it too that fits the fact that Hugh Grant’s character is a British state leader.


Have You Met Miss Jones? – Bridget Jones’ Diary

I initially didn’t realize that this song’s part of Bridget Jones’ Diary. I LOVE it, it’s so my kind of music as I was just telling Michael and Jack in this awesome music post. I had no clue that swing jazz is Robbie Williams’ genre, I thought he’s more of a pop star. Originally sung by Sinatra, of course it’s tough to beat the real deal, but still, it’s a lovely song that I can listen to over and over.


Hope you enjoyed the Music Break. Which Richard Curtis’ movie(s) are your favorites?

Music Break: Marion Cotillard’s musical segments in NINE

I was browsing Netflix Instant yesterday when I saw the cover of NINE flashed by. I remember seeing that film a few years back and I even reviewed it. Overall I wasn’t fond of the film, it felt extremely indulgent and vapid. Despite Daniel Day-Lewis’ best effort and the spectacular female cast, Rob Marshall’s musical just didn’t wow me.

The two scenes that did make an impression on me, were the two musical segments performed by Marion Cotillard. She played Luisa Contini, Guido’s former-film-star-but-now-abandoned wife. Cotillard is also the only cast member who has two musical numbers in the movie, and I adore both of them. Kudos to composer Maury Yeston for writing such beautiful melody and lyrics of all the songs in the film.

NINE_MyHusbandMakesMovies

Luisa laments about husband’s obsession with making movies, and bedding his actresses, in the sequence My Husband Makes Movies. It’s such an emotional song and Cotillard conveys such pathos in the way she sings the song. I like that the scene also shows the first time Guido meets Luisa during her audition. It adds so much to the sentiment of the moment. The song such a gorgeous melody that has a sad, haunting quality. It’s quite a heartbreaking song that it actually made me tear up every time I hear it.

Her second musical sequence Take it All is far less demure. In fact, it’s quite a seductive number as Luisa shimmied down the catwalk in sparkly stripper getup. The spirited sequence is decidedly sexual and provocative, but it’s just as sad as the first one as she bares it all, body and soul, for her husband to see just how much she’s kept on giving.

NINE_TakeItAll

I love how passionate this song is, it’s both sexy and heartbreaking at the same time. Marion’s performance is nothing short of brilliant, I think her character is definitely the scene-stealer of the film. I dare say that she even outshone Day-Lewis every time she appeared in the film.

I still need to see her Oscar-winning performance as French singer Edith Piaf in La vie en rose. In her IMDb trivia, it’s said that ‘if she had not been an actress, she would have liked to become a singer’ No doubt Marion would have a flourishing career in that as well, heck she could probably do both. Another actor I wish would venture into singing is Ewan McGregor, LOVE his voice in Moulin Rouge!

So yeah, if you haven’t seen NINE yet, I’d say it’s worth a rent. The soundtrack however, should be worth buying.


What do you think of NINE and/or these two musical numbers?

Music Break & Scenes Spotlight: Guy Ritchie’s Rocknrolla

RocknrollaBnr

I quite like Guy Ritchie’s frenetic style. Most of his films have a cool vibe and I think his best work is when he tackles the London underworld. His humorous gangster movies always feature a great cast and witty dialog, and Rocknrolla is no different. His movies aren’t for everyone though, I remember dragging some of my friends to see this on the big screen and half of them didn’t dig it. I think some of the conversations are tough to understand without subtitles, that’s why I actually enjoy it more when I rented it later on. I ended up buying the Blu-ray as it’s something I enjoy watching repeatedly… how could I not, it’s set in my favorite European city AND it stars a lot of my favorite actors!

Today happens to be Idris Elba’s 41st Birthday, so I thought I’d highlight the movie I first saw him in.

RocknrollaWildbunch

The Wild Bunch – comprised of three hunky Brits: Idris Elba, Gerry Butler & Tom Hardy – is no doubt my favorite group in the film. All of my favorite scenes have at least one of these guys in them. They have such great chemistry together I feel like I’m actually watching a documentary of Cockney gangsters, ahah. Oh man, I’d LOVE to see a spinoff of just these guys! I think Ritchie originally wrote this film as a trilogy and I remember seeing several interviews where all the cast are on board w/ the idea. Alas, the movie didn’t make enough money to warrant a sequel! Ritchie is quite busy these days with big-budget film, like The Man From U.N.C.L.E I talked about yesterday, well I still hope that one day he’d still revisit this story again in the future… but it has to be with THIS cast! I quite like Toby Kebell in the title role and Mark Strong in this as well.

There’s a certain style to Ritchie’s movies, down to the title sequence which I’ve featured a while back. But really, the music is one of the major highlights here, it’s almost its own character in the movie! From start to finish, the music never fails to entertain and it just adds so much to the tone of the film. The stylish rock ‘n role vibe definitely lives up to its title!

Here are some of my fave songs from the film:



Just for the fun of it, why not check out some of the great scenes with the boys of the Wild Bunch. I’m not usually fond of colorful language but Ritchie’s certainly has a gift for snappy dialogue. And with the right cast, it’s even better! Seriously, I could listen to these three guys talk all day long. The song in the dance scene of Butler and Thandie Newton is Waiting for a Train by Australian band Flash & The Pan.

Dance Scene

Mumbles & One Two – The Talk

Is This a Robbery?

Handsome Bob


Hope you enjoy the soundtrack & clips. What do you think of Rocknrolla and this cast?

Everybody’s Chattin’ & Music Break: ‘Pacific Rim’ by Ramin Djawadi

HAPPY FRIDAY!! It’s been a sweltering Summer the past week, so I’m gonna cool off tonight watching … you guessed it, Pacific Rim once again at the IMAX, wahoo! I was gonna do a Music Break in honor of Guillermo del Toro’s movie, but since I’ve been so sporadic with posting my regular series, I thought I’d combine it with Everybody’s Chattin’. I’m sure y’all don’t mind? :D

EverybodysChattin

So here are what blogger’s been chattin’ about this past week:

EuropaReportFilm Hipster‘s Chris reviewed one of this sci-fi movies I’ve been curious about: Europa Report. Sounds intriguing and it also stars Sharlto Copley which impressed me greatly in District 9.

Another Chris (aka Terry Malloy Pigeon Coop) makes me feel so guilty that I haven’t seen Metropolis yet. An inspired and fitting choice for his ‘What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen …’ series.

Josh and Eric recently reviewed a couple of films I haven’t even heard of yet but certainly sounds intriguing. Check out Josh’ review of What Richard Did and Eric’s write-up of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul [1974]

Sati is at it again with her Visual Parallels, this time pairing two HBO shows: Game of Thrones and ROME. Brilliant as always.

Both Mark and I appreciate Joaquin Phoenix’ acting chops and his outrageous stunts from a few years ago is perhaps one of his greatest work yet. Check out Mark’s review of I’m Still Here, which I’ve been meaning to see for some time.

Those close to me know I’m not one for horror or war films as I simply don’t have nerves of steel. But Keith‘s latest rave review of Black Hawk Down made me think if I should muster up the courage to give that a shot. Maybe, just maybe.

BallOfFireOn the Classic front, Paula made a tribute to commemorate a screen legend’s 106th birthday by doing an Unscientific Favorite Stanwyck Movie Poll Results. All of them look superb, though I’m most intrigued by Ball of Fire ;)

One of my favorite series from It Rains… You Get Wet is TMT (Theatre… a Movie… and a Time). And this latest one happens to be one of my favorite action franchise (well up to the third movie anyway): Die Hard (1988). Seems like Bruce Willis never stops playing John McClane, even in non Die Hard movies :)

A couple of BLOGATHONS are going on right now that are worthy of note: Cinekatz‘ Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap and My Film Views’ The 5 Obstruction – Click each link to find out more and join in on the fun!

Trailer-wise, there are quite a few great ones released this week. I’m most excited to see 12 Years A Slave and The Fifth Estate. It so happens that both films have birthday boy Benedict Cumberbatch in it!

BenedictCumberbatchBday37

In The Fifth Estate he plays the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, check out the trailer:

For more trailers, head out to Terrence’s Triple T, that is Trailer Time Thursday!


Now time for some awesome music!

One of my favorite sites The Art of the Title is currently featuring Pacific Rim‘s gorgeous opening and end credits titles, done by Imaginary Forces Creative Studio. Combined with composer Ramin Djawadi‘s rousing score, it just might be one of my favorite credit sequences of all time!

PacRimEndCredits

I love this score so much I’ve been humming it constantly the past couple of weeks. It’s a GREAT soundtrack for working out as well. It gives me an extra boost at the elliptical machine… but no, I’m not trying to walk like a Jaeger, ahah.

A softer version of the theme I like is the Cancelin’ the Apocalypse track:


Well have a great Friday, everyone! What are you gonna see this weekend?

Music Break: Philip Glass’ The Illusionist score

As tonight I’ll be seeing Now You See Me tonight, a crime thriller about a team of illusionists pulling off bank heists during their performances, I thought this week’s music break would have a similar theme of magic. The Illusionist is essentially a love story based on Steven Millhauser’s short story, “Eisenheim the Illusionist.

TheIllusionistScore

The film tells the story of Eisenheim, the the son of a cabinetmaker in Vienna, who uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Before I get to the music, I’m quite fond of this period drama. The cast is wonderful, especially Ed Norton who carried the film with his affecting performance. I also love Paul Giammatti and Rufus Sewell here, both are terrific character actors who rarely disappoint. Even Jessica Biel, who’s not typically a strong actress, seems to acquit herself well here as Norton’s long lost love, though at times she did seem to be out of her elements amongst other more experienced actors. Visually it’s quite beautiful as well, shot by cinematographer Dick Pope who deservedly nabbed an Oscar nomination for his work.

Now, I think Philip Glass should’ve been nominated for his work here as well, as his score is no doubt one of the strongest artistic elements of the film.


I love Philip Glass‘ musical style, he’s actually my dream composer for my romantic thriller movie pitch Hearts Want. I first heard his beautiful score for The Hours a few years ago, and I also love his work in The Truman Show. Glass was nominated for three Oscars for his work in The Hours, Notes on a Scandal and Kundun. The Baltimore-born composer utilizes the repetitive structures that some critics would label ‘minimalist style.’ Now, I’m no musical critic, so for me, I’m a fan of his work as his music have a distinct sound unlike any other, and they’re pleasing to the ear.

In this one, he wonderfully captures the romantic sensibility as well as the mysticism and magical tone of the story. According to PhilipGlass.com, Michael Riesman is the conductor and producer of nearly every Philip Glass soundtrack recordings. And here he conducted the Czech Film Orchestra to bring the score to life beautifully.

Another one of my favorites from the score is the Orange Tree track, and the scene in the movie is also one of the major highlights.



Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s music break. What do you think of Philip Glass and/or The Illusionist’ score?

Music Break: The Great Gatsby’s Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey

I have the Moulin Rouge!‘s soundtrack frequently playing in my car, so I admire Baz Luhrmann‘s creative use of music in his films. He’s known for using contemporary music in his films set in retro setting, and this one is no different.

GreatGatsbySoundtrack

NPR calls the Aussie filmmaker “…cinema’s boldest remixer, infusing familiar works with new rhythms that refresh their relevance…” Instead of going with what the Jazz Age that F. Scott Fitzgerald prominently featured in his novels, Luhrmann boldly mixed in hip hop, R&B, indie pop, rock, etc. in the film’s soundtrack. Music mogul Jay-Z executive produced the soundtrack, so naturally it also featured his wife Beyonce’s music.

Now, I’ve been obsessed with Lana Del Rey‘s track Young & Beautiful. I’ve been listening to it endlessly, sometimes half a dozen times in a row :D

“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful / Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul / I know you will, I know you will / I know that you will.”

That music is used in this extended TV spot:


After seeing the film last night, I still regard this song as my absolute favorite. Del Rey wrote the track with Rick Nowels and she described Luhrmann’s take on the F Scott Fitzgerald classic as “highly glamorous and exciting”. “It was an honor to work with Baz Luhrmann on his amazing adaptation of one of the most extraordinary books ever written,” the singer said. (per Digital Spy)

LanaDelReyGreatGatsbyI LOVE the melody of the song and Lana’s evocative and seductive voice makes for a soulful yet poignant rendition… Just like Jay Gatsby’s life where he’s surrounded by so many beautiful things, the mansion, the clothes, the endless parties… he’s still aching for that something that money can’t buy. That ‘I know you will‘ line uttered over and over again perfectly captures the nature of this tragic figure… as hope and dream is the prominent theme in Fitzgerald’s literary classic.

I’m glad that this song is featured prominently in the movie, instead of only playing during the end credits. In fact, I thought the scene fits the song nicely, and it’s actually played more than once. I hope to have my review done yet this week but my initial reaction is I dug it, I think Baz’s style and his ‘more is more’ philosophy fits the theme of the story and despite my initial quibble about the 3D aspect, it’s actually one of the best use of such format I’ve seen so far.


Hope you enjoy this music break. Thoughts on this song and/or The Great Gatsby‘s soundtrack?

Music Break: Ennio Morricone’s The Mission – Gabriel’s Oboe

I’ve been wanting to feature this haunting score for a while now, and since Easter was just a few days ago, I thought it’d be fitting to feature it this week.

TheMissionPosterEnnio Morricone is one of my favorite composers of all time, with Cinema Paradiso being one of my favorite scores ever. There’s something so highly evocative about his music, and whilst Cinema Paradiso is more lush and romantic in nature, this score for Roland Joffé 1986′s film The Mission has a poignant and haunting quality to it. It’s one of those pieces I’d describe as so achingly beautiful as whenever I listen to it, it pierces my heart and stirs my soul.

I saw this film years ago and after seeing the trailer last night, I’m compelled to see it again. The story centers on 18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. It features fantastic performances from major thespians such as Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson.

The main theme, called Gabriel’s Oboe, is one of the most stirring piece of music I’d ever come across. The name of the score refers to the scene where Father Gabriel (Irons) travels to Iquazu Falls, climbs to the top and plays his oboe. The Guaraní community who lives above the Falls had tied a priest to a cross and sent him over the falls to his death, but the Guaraní warriors were captivated by the music and allowed Gabriel to live.



Morricone’s score for The Mission was ranked on #1 in a poll of the all-time greatest film scores and is ranked 23rd on the AFI’s list of 25 greatest film scores of all time. Morricone received a second Oscar nomination for The Mission, but lost out to Herbie Hancock’s jazzy score for Bertrand Tavernier’s Round Midnight. (per Wikipedia)

I owned a couple of Sarah Brightman‘s CD, and one of my favorite songs from her is Nella Fantasia (In My Fantasy). Well, apparently it was based on Morricone’s Gabriel Oboe theme he did for this film! Brightman was such a big fan of that music that he begged Morricone to put lyrics to the theme to create her own song.

My next song was originally an instrumental written by the composer Ennio Morricone for the film The Mission. About three years ago I wrote to Mr. Morricone, asking whether he would give me permission to turn this particular piece into a song. He flatly refused. So every two months I would send yet another begging letter, until I think he became so sick of me that he finally relented. And I am really glad that he did, because I think it works beautifully as a song. (per Wikipedia)

Here’s the Sarah Brightman’s rendition of Nella Fantasia with the English lyrics translation:

Few scores are as exquisite and powerful as this one… Mr. Morricone is certainly a legend amongst even the best film composers ever, and this stands at the top of his amazing work.


I hope you enjoy today’s Music Break. Thoughts on this film and/or its music?