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Music For Film – Danna, Yared and Umebayashi

November 22, 2021

Silva Screen Records is releasing three Music For Film compilation albums in association with Film Fest Ghent. Dirk Brossé conducts The Brussels Philharmonic and Vlaams Radiokoor (Flemish Radio Choir) as we are presented with music from Mychael Danna, Gabriel Yared and Shigeru Umebayashi. These new (and expanded!) releases are available from November 26th 2021.

Music For Film – Mychael Danna

Mychael Danna Music For Film

The Mychael Danna album is an expanded re-issue of the For The Record album from 2007. It’s expanded with suites from the Oscar-winning Life of Pi and Hearts in Atlantis. The Ghent team have compiled a 71-minute album that shows off Danna’s lush, romantic side. Where the Truth Lies is easily the most suspenseful suite showing a Herrmann influence, though Capote also offers plenty of brooding tones. For me, Capote is a tad too moody and at 9 minutes it outstays its welcome and interrupts the romantic flow of the album. Hearts in Atlantis, Monsoon Wedding and The Ice Storm are all wonderfully performed; but the absolute highlights are Being Julia and Vanity Fair, which book-end the album, as well as the Life of Pi suite. Being Julia feels as lush as it could possible be and the violin performance here is exquisite. The Life of Pi performance is playful and colourful, showcasing a host of instruments and performers. Visit Silva’s website for more information.

Music For Film – Gabriel Yared

Gabriel Yared Music For Film

The Gabriel Yared album is also an expanded re-issue of the original For The Record with 50 minutes(!) of additional material. It is now a 2CD album including music from L’Avion, L’Amant, Tatie Danielle, Ut Jucundas, Coco Chanel &Igor Stravinsky, 37*2 Le Matin, Les Saveurs du Palais, Tom a la Ferme, Autumn in New York, City of Angels and Amelia. That is alongside the Oscar-winning The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley and Yared’s rejected work for Troy. “I hope that by listening to some of my film music and just closing your eyes, you can imagine and invent your own film. This is what music aims for, just any kind of music: to trigger the imagination and let you create your own images, your own world,” says Gabriel Yared. At well over 2-hours of music, it is good representation of Yared’s work including lots of lesser known titles, but you have to be a fan to site through all of it. Whilst the compilation incorporates lots of different styles, including plenty of intricate up-tempo cues, the orchestrations are dominated by strings, piano, winds and female vocalists. It’s all very beautiful, but it gets a little ‘samey’ after a while. You could try and pick out the classical influences (I’d say Bach, Beethoven and Mozart); or you could listen out for motifs that hint towards the illustrious rejected Troy (itself owing a bit to Holst). Though a bit long, it is a wonderful compilation, beautifully performed and recorded. Visit Silva’s website for more information.

Music For Film – Shigeru Umebayashi

Shigeru Umebayashi Music For Film

Umebayashi’s oeuvre can be found at the confluence of Western and Eastern music. It is unique, stylistically original, authentic in colour and has its own character. Its vibrant intensity transports us. It is Ume,” says Dirk Brossé. As it so happens, I’m not overly familiar with Umebayashi’s work, so for me this compilation is the perfect vehicle to get acquainted with some of his work. The album includes music from In the Mood for Love, Curse of the Golden Flower, 2046, Hero, A Single Man, Hannibal Rising and House of Flying Daggers amongst others. What strikes me is how lyrical his music is; and how long-lined some of the melodies are. Unsurprisingly, Eastern instruments make various appearances, and they are performed beautifully alongside orchestra and choir. Whilst strings also dominate the orchestrations for this album, it bothers me less than on the Yared album. I find Umebayashi’s music and the performance of it more vibrant and varied than Yared’s. I struggle to explain it properly and it’s probably just a matter of taste, but I feel the Umebayashi album is a bit more dynamic. It’s a beautiful album and a great introduction to ‘Ume’ if you’re not yet familiar with his work. Visit Silva’s website for more information.

All three albums come highly recommended even if you’re already familiar with the composers and these compositions. They’re available from Silva Screen Records from 26th November 2021.

Article by Pete Simons (c) 2021 Synchrotones Soundtrack Reviews

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