March 27 – 66 songs played. 25 removed.

exclusively composed music today it seems, mostly from film and television, though the most excellent slavonic dances were mixed in as well.

  • bavarian radio orchestra performing dvorak’s slavonic dances op.46
  • joseph loduca [army of darkness]
  • alan silvestri [back to the future]
  • christopher franke [babylon 5: in the beginning]
  • the boston pops performing select john williams compositions
  • christopher franke [babylon 5: the long night]
  • christopher franke [babylon 5: sleeping in light]

sleeping in light is the last episode of babylon 5 and is also probably christopher franke’s best score for the series. it is contemplative yet sweeping in its composition, a fitting accompaniment to the episode that wraps up the character’s loose threads.

the babylon 5 scores, like the show itself, dramatically improve as the show progresses. the first season in particular is hard to enjoy. don’t get me wrong; i admire what jms was attempting at the time and ultimately what he achieved with the series, but the production value of those early episodes left a lot to be desired. and franke’s new-age inspired music for the first season didn’t help matters. however, as the action, suspense and intrigue mount of the course of the show, franke really steps up and produces some contemplative and engaging music.

if i had to recommend just one soundtrack, it would probably be sleeping in light. or maybe coming of shadows, just for the scene where the centari emperor has his heart attack. •

the army of darkness score is rousing and fun, just like the movie. it also contains the march of the dead by danny elfman, which hey, is good. •

March 8 – 40 songs played. 24 removed.

today included:

  • bavarian radio orchestra performing beethoven's no.5
  • badly drawn boy [about a boy]
  • english symphony performing delius' florida suite
  • disney's magic skyway music from the 1964 new york world's fair
  • all tomorrow's parties 1.0

you know, the back-to-back playing of delius' florida suite (which is magnificent, btw) with dvorak's no.9 has given me the idea to put together some kind of "impressions of america" compilation. dvorak's 9th was written during the time the czech composer spent in states (it even premiered in new york) and delius was inspired to write his florida suite by his experiences while he live in jacksonville. both composers wrote their works near the end of the 19th century and i guess i'm just intrigued by late-romantic music influenced by the american landscape and psyche of the time. i'd be tempted to only put foreign composers on that compilation (delius was british), but then i wouldn't be able to include copland's appalachian spring.

also, i must call out the disney music. richard and robert sherman's compositions for the magic skyway exhibit at the new york world's fair is simply a modern-era musical gem. the futurism is thick and the music just exudes the scientific and industrial "up-and-go-get-em!" ethos of the era.