Thursday, September 11, 2014

Aronofsky's Noah

Such an important event in the history of the world has been treated as a personalized and whimsical account by Aronofsky. It could have worked well if it was the case of Odette and Odile and shades of good and evil in the Black Swan. It does not work when you are narrating the story of Noah. The small version by John Huston in the sixties' film, `the Bible' was the best account of Noah I have seen so far. I expected too much out of this film and I wanted to see the conflict and persecution that Noah went through with the external mockers and from within his own family. It was skimmed through with indifference. The only thing that seemed important to Aronofsky was the twins his adopted daughter gives birth to and the rock angel protectors instead of the immense magnitude of the flood itself and the inner conflict of Noah. I have been disappointed with a waste of such talented cast, Included Hopkins as Methusaleh. Music by Clint Mansell is average.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Symphony in C Minor by Edvard Grieg Grieg himself did not promote this lovely symphony during his lifetime. The world renowned conductors also did not bother much about it. But any steadfast music proponent would at least give it a thought and include it in the regular repertoire. I consider it a decent symphony. It should be considered a great find. It has all the freshness as you can expect of a Norwegian fjord. Grieg wrote this symphony when he was twenty one. He had written later to his friends that they should not bother about this symphony and that it should never be performed. The symphony had a good sleep for one hundred and twenty years. Contrary to Grieg's beliefs, the symphony is not barely out of school or clumsy and not Norwegian enough. There is an influence of Beethoven in the style along with that of the musical styles of Mendelssohn and Schumann. It also has phases of the style of Niels Gade. There is youthful ebullience in it. Bjarte Engeset and Malmo Orchestra brought this symphony out of its slumber in 1984. The symphony opens with some charming melodies and few heroic marches. There are romantic themes in the Adagio with its tenderness followed by an intermezzo which is rustic sounding and the finale is joyful. Throughout the symphony, there are some harmonic shifts that are subtle with various colour nuances. It can safely be added to all the great symphonies in the archive.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oresteia Sergei Taneyev's opera, Oresteia, is a unique opera. You will not find any love interest or hidden sexual passion. The motivation for Agamemnon's murder and the way Atreid curse is effected in this music drama portrays pure evil with vendetta and discord. This is a mammoth work based on Aeschylus' trilogy.The music is brilliant and original. The influence of Tchaikovsky is evident in the score. Melodic invention is given the momentum. Taneyev also used Wagner as a model when using the leitmotifs in the drama. He brought about the effect of abstraction by using counterpoint in a powerful and narrative way on the stage. Taneyev is also popularly known in conservatory circles as the Russian Bach. He uses short and repeated phrases which resemble the style of Anton Bruckner. Taneyev took seven years to complete this opera.