Friday, June 23, 2006

Musical Mayhem For a Wild and Woolly Weekend

Probably not much posting this weekend, so to fill the space, here are some clipz of Stuff I Like (tm). This particular group can be categorized as the "Music is Fun" group.

The first half of the cartoon "Hillbilly Hare" with the isolated music score. Note some things about Carl Stalling's scoring of a cartoon: when there's a big sound effect -- like an explosion -- he quiets down the music or turns it off altogether; you don't need "cartoony" music when the sound effect is carrying the burden. Also, in the conversation between Bugs and the first Martin brother, notice how Stalling switches between moods and keys (major to minor) depending on who's speaking.

The final scene and closing credits of The Bad and the Beautiful, highlighting the theme music by David Raksin -- one of the all-time greatest movie themes. And just to show you I'm a monomaniac, I'll also call attention to the fact that Vincente Minnelli does the final scene in one take, no cutting.

Cesare Siepi sings Philip's aria from Verdi's Don Carlo. Siepi was a bit past his prime when this was recorded -- for German television, apparently -- but he still shows why he was the number-one Italian basso after the retirement of Ezio Pinza; Philip was probably his best role, and it's a shame he never got to record it commercially.

And finally, a clip that's "embed-worthy," the "Isn't It Romantic?" number from Love Me Tonight, where director Rouben Mamoulian and songwriting team Rodgers & Hart pulled off the most elaborately plot-related musical number in a movie up to that point: with several different characters picking up the song after Maurice Chevalier sings the first refrain, the song travels across the countryside and makes its way to Jeanette MacDonald, who sings the last refrain about the lover she hasn't met yet -- and we know who that will be.

And long as this song is, it's not the complete version Rodgers and Hart wrote; Hart wrote two additional refrains that weren't used in the film due to lack of time, including this one that was supposed to be sung by Chevalier:

Isn't it romantic?
Starting out the day
A citizen of France.
Isn't it romantic?
In the month of May
To sew a pair of pants.
My business is a honey,
Goods on ev'ry shelf.
I make so little money
I can't pay myself.
Isn't it romantic?
When each millionaire
Is broke and has the blues,
Why should I be frantic,
Pulling out my hair?
I've nothing left to lose!
I'd borrow from myself now,
But I can't afford to take a chance.
Isn't it romance?

1 comment:

D said...

The "Isn't It Romantic" scene is to me the greatest scene in the history of film.