Monday, September 20, 2010
Clair de Lune
If ever there was a song or a piece of music that deserves its own special posting, it has to be Clair de Lune. You cannot even call it a song as that seems to be belittling the music. Yes, it has to be called that masterpiece composition by Claude Debussy.
If you ever needed to find solace, calmness and one with the world, just listen to Clair de Lune, possibly my favourite piece of music ever, and I am sure many of you feel the same.
Listening to Clair de Lune kind of makes me feel that all people of the earth are so alike. I don't think anyone on earth do not feel the same when they listen to this song ~ any race, any nationality, any political affiliation, any religious group, everyone ~ we all feel the same kind of wonderment and will be moved by it. Coincidence or the humanity of it all.
Translated, its called Moonlight, named after Paul Verlaine's poem of the same name. For such a wonderful piece of music, I tried to locate the movies which have used the piece of music. To my horror and to Debussy as well, many do not do justice by parading the music alongside so-so movies with even blander plots.
Topping the list of horrors has to be using Claire de Lune in Twilight, of course. There are many movies including Ocean's Eleven & Ocean's Thirteen, Seven Years in Tibet, Atonement, Man On Fire, The Darjeeling Limited, Ficció, El próximo oriente, The First Day of My Life, The Right Stuff, Antonieta, Casino Royale, Gran Turismo 4, The Game, Mùi du du xanh - L'odeur de la papaye verte (aka The Scent of Green Papaya), Tôkyô Sonata, Valley of Abraham, Bloodsport 3 (OMG), Castaway, Dog Soldiers, ... I must have missed some somewhere.
Movies that feature the music appropriately: Tokyo Sonata, Castaway and The Right Stuff. But the best movie has to be Frankie & Johnny, starring Al Pacino and the wonderful Michelle Pfieffer. The movie was way under-rated, the story enchanting and the acting was amazing. The song was waaayyyy appropriate. In fact, I thought the entire plot and movie was made so that they could feature the song towards the last 15 minutes of the movie.
Anthony Tobin 2007, piano solo.
The tough task here is selecting which of the four versions you like best. They are all wonderful. I think for this piece, less is more, I love David's version best.
David Oistrakh plays beautifully, recorded in Paris, 1962, with Frida Bauer on piano.
John Williams & Julian Bream
Julian Lloyd Webber with his cello and full orchestral accompaniment.