Evoking China

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

In old movies, the great and ancient musical traditions of China were sometimes reduced to the sound of a big gong. But more recently, there are far more sophisticated and effective film scores that bring east and west together, blending Chinese and western instruments and traditions in colorful, exciting ways. On this week's Movies on the Radio, host David Garland presents movie music by Tan Dun, Lee Tzung Chen, and Wong Fei-hung, as well as Rachel Portman, Alexandre Desplat, and others, from films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Joy Luck Club; The Banquet; and more.




Tan Dun - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Main Title - Sony Classical

Tan Dun - The Banquet - trks 1, 2 - Deutsche Grammaphon

Tan Dun - Hero - Overture - Sony Classical

Christopher Gordon - Mao's Last Dancer - Family - Lakeshore

John Zorn - The Port of Last Resort - Shanghai - Tzadik

Jerry Goldsmith - The Sand Pebbles - Chinese Love Theme - Varese Sarabande

David Mansfield & Van Dyke Parks - Broken Trail - suite - Intrada

Thomas Newman - Red Corner - Main Title - Edel America

Alexandre Desplat - Lust, Caution - Nanjing Road (Ang Lee, piano) - Decca

Michael Galasso - In the Mood For Love - In the Mood For Love 1 - Omtown

Lee Tzung Chen - Farewell, My Concubine - Rock Records

Wong Fei-hung - Once Upon A Time In China - Main Title - Silva America

Lalo Schifrin - Enter The Dragon - Exhibition - Warner Bros.

Rachel Portman - The Joy Luck Club - The Story of the Swan, End Titles - Hollywood Records

Comments [6]

Marie from Ottawa ON CANADA

Love it!
Wish I could download it...

Sep. 29 2010 11:35 AM
Ron Lief from Goshen, NY

what a rare treat. Thank you. It sent me running back to my videos of some of these films to experience it all again.

There is so little interesting, quality film music being shared with the public , it's shameful. These programs are a treasure. The host keeps his comments pertinent and minimal, letting the music carry the message.

Sep. 26 2010 08:53 PM
Yuko Ichihara from NJ

I haven't had a chance to watch 'Crouching Tiger' yet, but sensed some influence by Japanese movie music in Showa era after WWII and early Heisei era while listeing to the first(and second?) piece played. Today I believe there is much more influence between Chinese, Korean, and Japanese movie music each other.
One work I wanted you to play was 'Last Emperor' (1987). Ryuichi Sakamoto did a great job, tapping the beauty of traditional Chinese music. Those of you interested in can find some videos - excellent performance by Sakamoto himself and Chinese traditional music instrument players on YouTube.

Sep. 25 2010 11:59 PM
Jing from Battery Park City

The music of Farewell My Concubine always reminds me of my childhood in China. I can almost smell the pastries and see the old men singing Peking opera in parks. I loved the film and the music. Thanks for playing it again tonight.

Sep. 25 2010 09:56 PM
Jing from Battery Park City

I'm glad you included the music from In the Mood for Love. It was just perfect for the era, the mood and the story.

Sep. 25 2010 07:18 PM

I am so excited about this program. My Ipod is filled with the music of Tan Dun and Alexandre Desplat. If you are a fan of this genre you should also check out Shigeru Umebayashi's haunting score to 2046 and Taro Iwashiro's work as well. Tayu Lo's scores for several Johnny To films including Election are sumptuous but sadly, unavailable.

Sep. 25 2010 10:51 AM

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