Angèle Dubeau founded La Pietà in 1997, an all-female string ensemble featuring some of Canada’s best musicians. What she could not have known at the time was that this experiment, originally [...]
A Time for Us
They spoke about it
A Word from Angèle Dubeau
I have chosen musical moments that speak to me, film music that is particularly appealing, and great musical pieces that inspire images.
My relationship to this music is not the kind chosen by composers, who have created emotions that are attached to images, to a reality conceived for film. Rather, I was inspired by pure music, ignoring conveyed images, and taking it elsewhere in order to recreate my own musical universe. What I feel when I play these works comes from the music, and my approach has been comparable in all respects to the one I favour when working on my repertoire. That is why pieces that are first of all functional go beyond their role by defying time and, breaking out of their framework, become masterpieces.
With great pleasure, I have fashioned the orchestral sound of La Pietà work by work in order to communicate sound palettes specific to each, by integrating in the different sections of the ensemble the colours and textures that blend with my solo playing. I have opted for long, generous phrases, in which the grain of the bow is perceptible and the chords vibrate with such osmosis that the number of musicians is multiplied rather than added. Such are the natural harmonies of our instruments that they become an exponential equation.
I have always loved conveying the complete spectrum of sounds my violin offers. Sometimes you will hear my violin whisper, as if it were divulging a secret. I have also explored my vibrato, which at times allows for a roundness of tone that is characteristic of my style, and at others, by its near absence, creates a sought-after emotional sensitivity. Here and there I have added sometimes generous glissandi, but also barely perceptible, subtle inflections, like a gentle caress.
I have made my selection by way of music, a choice that was built up over many years, as much through the memory of a melody already heard as through the discovery of heart-winning favourites.
For a long time some of the composers presented here have drawn my attention, for example E. W. Korngold, whose Concerto for Violin I am especially fond of, but to whom we also owe grand symphonic works for film, which have inspired many others.
I cannot forget Joe Hisaishi, with whom I had the pleasure of touring in Japan. To perform in 14 large concert halls, including the famous Tokyo Opera, and to share the stage with him during five weeks while playing his compositions can only establish strong links. Whether playing familiar or new works, I easily imagine myself playing at his side.
Ennio Morricone remains my number one melodist. Time and again I hold back a nostalgic tear when I play his music, as my violin finds the phrase and vibrates along with ease.
“Smile”, the theme from Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, is presented here in an adaptation by Claus Ogermann, its essential elements transmitted in a language stripped of artifice, with jazzy colours. It has held a truly special place in my heart ever since I first heard it.
My recollection of Memoirs of a Geisha is of course filled with images, but it is while listening to Itzhak Perlman’s violin that I began to dream of playing this melody by John Williams.
My Heart Will Go On remains a magnificent song, and like all Quebecois, I feel a touch of pride when I think of the great achievements of our Celine. Here, I asked Claude “Mégo” Lemay, a musician I respect and who, having been on stage with her so often as pianist and music director, knows the world of Celine Dion musically better than anyone else.
Through the years, I have played and recorded other great film scores, all irresistible, which have accompanied me on stage, all over the world. As a bonus to this album, you will find these unforgettable masterworks associated with film: Joe Hisaishi’s Princess Mononoke, Stanley Myers’ The Deer Hunter, my friend François Dompierre’s A Fairy Tale, John Williams’ Schindler’s List, and Ennio Morricone’s The Mission.
For 35 years now, I have been sharing my passion and enjoying what is for me one of the most beautiful professions in the world. Without language barriers, I have been able to travel in more than 40 countries and have made my instrument sing, cry and dance. I have always thought that the violin was capable of transmitting the whole range of human emotions, as is the case here with this collection of musical treasures from the seventh art. The music speaks, no need for images. I suggest that you offer yourself this gift and attach your own images overflowing with memories.
Music speaks above all to the subconscious, and the best movie soundtracks exploit this quality to add depth to an image without overpowering it. Yet some film scores continue to live on in our imaginations years after scenes from the movie itself have faded from memory. As filmmaker Robert Bresson said, “music always evokes images, but images never evoke music.” More than any other art, music can take listeners into an imaginary realm that even the magic of cinema can never equal.
Nino Rota (1911-1979): A Time for Us
Excerpt from the movie Romeo & Juliet directed by Franco Zefirelli (1968)
Arr. Marc Ouellette
The name Nino Rota will always be associated with that of Federico Fellini, the director he worked with on many occasions. But Rota also wrote operas, ballets and numerous symphonic works. The delicate waltz “A Time for Us,” from the soundtrack to Romeo & Juliet by Franco Zefirelli, is reminiscent of another age and one of Rota’s most enchanting melodies.
John Williams (1932 – ): The Chairman’s Waltz
Excerpt from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha directed by Rob Marshall (2005)
Arr. Marc Ouellette
John Williams (1932 – ): Suite Far and Away
Excerpt from the movie Far and Away directed by Ron Howard (1992)
Arr. Antoine Bareil
A living legend of American film scores, John Williams has to date won five Oscars and received no less than 45 nominations, making him (along with composer Alfred Newman) the most nominated artist after Walt Disney. He has also won 17 Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, received the Kennedy Centre Honors, and was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000.
Though he is well known for his numerous explosive scores, “The Chairman’s Waltz,” from the film Memoirs of a Geisha, shows a more restrained and tender side, providing a magnificent backdrop for the flowing, ornate lines of the solo violin. The suite from Far and Away is a bouquet of traditional Irish songs, into which countermelodies have been woven in a completely organic fashion.
John Barry (1932-2011): Two Socks – The Wolf Theme & The John Dunbar Theme
Excerpt from the movie Dances with Wolves directed by Kevin Costner (1990)
Adapt. Antoine Bareil
Adapted from the eponymous novel by Michael Blake, Dances with Wolves marked the imagination of a generation of filmmakers and was selected for the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” John Barry‘s soundtrack, for which he won an Oscar in 1991, undoubtedly played an essential role in the film’s inclusion.
Ennio Morricone (1928 – ): Love Theme
Excerpt from the movie Cinema Paradiso directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (1989)
Orch. Marc Ouellette
Ennio Morricone (1928 – ): Main Theme
Excerpt from the movie Casualties of War directed by Brian De Palma (1989)
Arr. Gilles Ouellet
It only takes a few notes from Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack for Cinema Paradiso to elicit a powerful emotional response. In a sense, the music takes on the role of protagonist, emphasizing its deeply human dimension. The dramatic 1989 war film Casualties of War, directed by Brian de Palma, touched a chord with audiences and is a sort of memorial to the innocent victims killed during the Vietnam War.
Howard Shore (1946 – ): Concerning Hobbits
Excerpt from the movie Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
directed by Peter Jackson (2001)
Arr. Antoine Bareil
Canadian composer Howard Shore, who has worked on over 80 films, wrote 12 hours of music for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which he won three Oscars, two Golden Globes, and four Grammy Awards. Shore’s modally inspired music instantly immerses audiences into the magical world created by director Peter Jackson.
James Horner (1953 – ) / Will Jennings (1944 – ): My Heart Will Go On
Excerpt from the movie Titanic directed by James Cameron (1997)
Orch. Claude Lemay
Few songs have had a greater impact than My Heart Will Go On as sung by Céline Dion on the Titanic soundtrack. Co-written by James Horner and Will Jennings, it won the Oscar for best original song and four Grammy Awards in 1999, including song of the year. It sold over 31 million copies and went on to rack up 108 million sales on other albums.
Gabriel Yared (1949 – ): Convento Di Sant’Anna
Excerpt from the movie The English Patient directed by Anthony Minghella (1996)
Adapt. Antoine Bareil
In The English Patient, which won nine Oscars, including best original score, Gabriel Yared skilfully wove the piano into the entire soundtrack. The instrument has a key role in the film, with the character portrayed by Juliette Binoche playing the aria from Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The excerpt recorded here remains one of the most sublime works of the repertoire.
Alberto Iglesias (1955 – ): Soy Marco
Excerpt from the movie Talk to Her (Hable con Ella)
directed by Pedro Almodóvar (2002)
Trans. Antoine Bareil
Alberto Iglesias has worked with Pedro Almodóvar on several occasions over a period of 15 years. Hable con Ella, which won Iglesias a Goya Award and a Spanish film writers’ award, is typical of his style: string-dominated writing in an almost chamber music medium. The excerpt selected here is a violin solo accompanied by strings, creating an almost immediate sense of intimacy.
Carlos Gardel (1890 – 1935): Por Una Cabeza
Excerpt from the movie Scent of a Woman directed by Martin Brest (1992)
Arrangement by Antoine Bareil, including
Gerardo Matos Rodriguez (1897 – 1948): La Cumparsita
Excerpt from the movie Some Like it Hot directed by Billy Wilder (1959)
In the 1920s, the “King of the Tango,” Carlos Gardel, popularized the vocal form of the genre, which was soon adopted by Parisian high-society, contributing to its popularization throughout the world. One of Gardel’s most famous songs, “Por Una Cabeza,” was used in likely the most memorable scene of the film Scent of a Woman. “La Cumparsita,” featured in Some Like it Hot, considered by some to be the most successful American comedy of all time, was written by Gerardo Matos Rodriguez in 1916. Immediately recognizable and with a contagious pulse, the song was named a popular and cultural anthem of Uruguay in 1998.
Joe Hisaishi (1950 – ): Hana-Bi
Excerpt from the movie Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Directed by Takeshi Kitano (1997)
Over the years, Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi has become a force of nature in Japan’s music scene. He began working with Hayao Miyazaki in 1984, and his notable film scores include Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. He also works closely with director Takeshi Kitano, and he won the Japanese Academy Award for best music for the film Hana-Bi in 1999.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897 – 1957): Marian and Robin
Excerpt from the movie The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz & William Keighley (1938)
Arr. Gilles Ouellet
Considered a mentor by John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, Erich Wolfgang Korngold arrived in Hollywood in the mid-1930s after repeated invitations from Leo Forbstein, head of Warner’s music department. Korngold eventually accepted, albeit reluctantly, but after Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, his family joined him as he was composing his Oscar-winning soundtrack to The Adventures of Robin Hood, one of his most famous scores. He would later say that Robin Hood saved his life.
Harold Arlen (1905 – 1986): Over the Rainbow
Excerpt from the movie The Wizard of Oz directed by Victor Fleming (1939)
Arr. Gilles Ouellet
Harold Arlen’s song “Over the Rainbow,” introduced in The Wizard of Oz, would go on to become Judy Garland’s signature song and top the list of the American Film Institute’s 100 best songs in American cinema. Like Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” the song was adopted by American troops in Europe as a sort of hymn to freedom.
Charlie Chaplin (1889 – 1977): Smile
Excerpt from the movie Modern Times directed by Charlie Chaplin (1936)
Adapt. Clauss Ogermann
The sweetly melancholic song “Smile” is heard at the very end of the film Modern Times, the last silent film of actor-director—and violinist and composer— Charlie Chaplin. A goodbye letter to the character Charlot, it was composed by Chaplin himself and orchestrated by David Raksin, although many others have claimed credit. Covered by numerous artists, from Nat King Cole to Michael Jackson, it has aged, over many years and styles, with hardly a wrinkle.
What better way to bring this collection of the best film music to a close than by revisiting other great classics, launched previously on other Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà’s albums? All have been musical favourites of Ms. Dubeau and she has performed them in concert all over the world.
Joe Hisaishi (1950 – ): Princess Mononoke
Excerpt from the movie Princess Mononoke (Mononoke hime) directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1997)
François Dompierre (1943 – ) : Un conte de fée / A Fairy Tale
Excerpt from the movie L’Odyssée d’Alice Tremblay directed by Denise Filiatrault (2002)
Stanley Myers (1930 – 1993): The Deer Hunter: Cavatina
Excerpt from the movie The Deer Hunter directed by Michael Cimino (1978)
John Williams: Schindler’s List
Excerpt from the movie Schindler’s List directed by Steven Spielberg (1993)
Arr. François Dompierre
Ennio Morricone: The Mission
Excerpt from the movie The Mission directed by Rolland Joffé (1986)
Arr. Anthony Rozankovic
ANGÈLE DUBEAU & LA PIETÀ