THURSDAY, October 29, 2020 – 8:19 AM
(One of my students, Jasmine, is responsible for my interest in this. It started out as a children’s book, which I’m reading right now, then went viral as a movie. It perhaps has less success here than elsewhere because the man responsible for the movie was both anti-war and against the Iraq War. But politics is not what this site is about, so you can draw your own conclusions. However, as a result of said politics the movie was far more successful and popular in other countries. Regardless, it is now considered on of the finest animated films ever made. I did not know any of this three weeks ago.)
This is the main theme as in the movie. It’s OK. It sounds processed, fake instruments. I can’t get excited about it. I suppose if I loved the movie, I might listen with affection.
OK, this is a lot better than anything I could do without a lot of work, but my main objection to piano solos is that they lose the complexity and tone color of more instruments. So this is nice, but I’m also bored after a minute too. It sounds overblown, a bit tinkly. For old timers perhaps it’s a bit like Liberace. I hated Liberace. So I’m still not impressed. It’s still a catchy tune, OK piano, but no more. Enough already…
I’m starting to like this better. More instruments. Something is more charming about this, but to me it still sounds a bit kitschy. It feels awfully heaving, and it sounds processed in a studio. There are too many strings, the piano is too heavy. You can tell the composer had good ideas, but he has the touch of a truck driver. No subtlety. The strings sound heavy too, like they were paid for studio work. Those string slides just sound cheap, forced, clumsy. I see why this is popular, but I’m bored.
The pianist has touch. He rearranged the intro, and it took me perhaps an hour to get the exact notes he plays, because they are just right. Beautifully arranged. The strings have soul. They play with feeling, style and they are convincing. It’s really just about the same music, but there are countless small details, and it just works. but what IS this?
It’s now a piano trio…
I wonder how many listeners know that this takes us right back to the old masters? Because for them piano trios were enormously popular, not only for audiences, but for them personally, and their friends. If anything this shows you that the genius is not in theme – although the theme is terribly important – but what the composer and players do with that theme. This cover is in all ways far superior everything else I heard and totally caught my interest. It’s so nice to see an old, famous form rebooted and done so well.