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Archive for May 7th, 2009

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by Sam Juliano

Felix Mendelssohn was only 19 years old when he revised Mozart’s arrangement of a greatly undervalued early masterwork by Georg Friedrich Handel, titled Acis und Galatea, which predated by a number of years his landmark revival of Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, considered by many to be the greatest composition in the history of Western music.  Acis was actually the only Handel opera to enjoy popularity at the time of his death, and modern musicologists can rightly point to its felicity of melody and a plethora of electrifying arias and choral pieces that make it at least the equal of Israel in Egypt, with which it shares some stylistic similarities and length.  The Mendelssohn revision was not found until 2005 by a music historian, and it is widely believed that the last time the score was heard was back in 1869, before vanishing. (more…)

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charulata-1

by Allan Fish

(India 1964 117m) DVD2

Aka. The Lonely Wife

The Sentinel

p  R.D.Bansai  d/w  Satyajit Ray  novella  “Nastanirh” by Rabindranath Tagore  ph  Subrata Mitra  ed  Dulai Dutta  m  Satyajit Ray  art  Bansi Chandragupta

Soumitra Chatterjee (Amal), Madhabi Mukherjee (Charulata), Sailen Mukherjee (Bhupati), Syamal Ghosal (Umapada), Gitali Roy (Mandakini), Bholanath Koyal (Braja), Suku Mukherjee (Krisikanta), Dilip Bose (Sasanka), Subrata Sen Sharma (Motilal),

It’s surprising how the simplest of objects can be used as a motif on camera, and one of the unheralded favourites has to be the good old child’s swing.  After all, La Roue, The Scarlet Empress, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Ikiru and Une Partie de Campagne, to name but a few from my selection, all feature memorable sequences on that delight of our innocent years.  The symbolism in the above films may vary from the erotically charged to the almost spiritual, but they remain ingrained in the memory.  Yet if I was to choose the most cinematic use of a swing in movie history, it would have to be the astonishing sequence in Satyajit Ray’s sixties masterpiece where the eponymous Charulata sings to camera, and the camera becomes almost intoxicated with movement, with one particularly clever shot taken from the swing itself.  (more…)

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