Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vivaldi & Purcell – Kramer vs. Kramer Soundtrack

   Since very beginning of the cinema, music has very special place in the movies – first as life performances in silent film era, than as fixed track leading emotions and helping to understand narration. There were many different strategies and plenty of methods to build sound layer of cinematic work. And exactly as on other fields, fashion is changing but best ideas return periodically. One of oldest and most common ideas is to use a selection of most popular music. It is not difficult to make it with a success. Existed and known music has its common context and is easier to understand. This is main aim of giving such illustration in movies. Sometimes music builds more complicated relations with movie narration. In this case soundtrack works as a contrapunctus in obvious opposition to the main story.
   The story of Kramer family is the story about dissolution of marriage. This would be story like many others, but whole case is complicated by Billy, son of the couple. They fight on custody giving clear evidence love can be fast way to disaster. Director of the movie, Robert Benton recalled during shooting in New York the crew was listening baroque music played this moment at the park. This atmosphere was something that perfect fitted to the mood of the movie. Baroque music by Purcell and Vivaldi lent this drama lot of “cool air”, making it more clear and obvious.

Kramer vs. Kramer Soundtrack (1980)

   Baroque Suite from Kramer vs. Kramer is opening by Allegro from Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major for Mandolin, Strings and Harpsichord abridged and transcribed for Mandolin and Guitar and played by Scot Kunney and Frederic Hand, who was also the author of arrangement. Featured artist of this selection is Raymond Leppard leading The English Chamber Orchestra. This is main interpreter of this performances and basic band sounded in this selection. Many fragments were taken from works by Henry Purcell, sonatas and Suite The Gordian Knot United. Featured soloist is John Wilbraham in Purcel’s Sonata D Major for Trumpet, Strings and Continuo. Smooth and warm sound of his trumpet is perfect for baroque music.
   Second orchestra is The New York Sinfonietta conducted by Max Goberman. This band is presented in two complete works by Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in C Major for Mandolin and Harpsichord and Concerto in G Major for Two Mandolins, Strings and Organ. It is worth to remember the performances of three soloists – Sol Goichberg and Mary Zelnicki on mandolins with Eugenia Earle on harpsichord and organ. Orchestra plays with discipline and great sense of Vivaldi, with transparent but still massive sound. All music comprised by the movie soundtrack and album released by CBS Masterworks label can be seen as an illustration of human yearning for happiness, balance and sense of security – all this made by expressive, touching music in best performances. Isn't this what we really need?

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