New Classical Tracks - More Than Just Popcorn

by Julie Amacher, Minnesota Public Radio
June 5, 2012
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St. Paul, Minn. — When you go to the movie theater, what's most memorable for you? The actors, the scenery, the popcorn? For Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau, it's the music.

A Time for Us, her latest release, is a collection of some of the most beloved soundtracks by some of the greatest film composers. "It's really musical moments that speak to me, the most beautiful film scores," she explains. "But what's important is they're all favorites of mine."

Among those favorites are themes from films like Lord of the Rings, The Mission, and Romeo and Juliet.

Dubeau draws the listener in to each piece by mastering just the right mood. A sense of intimacy is developed through her use of added vibrato in Soy Marco, from the Spanish comedy Hable con ella (Talk to Her). "I wanted to captivate the listener, just like if they were coming over my shoulder to share this little moment with me," she explains, "and playing with the technique that I use to make it specific to each work. This piece, Soy Marco, is just like a secret I am telling to each one of the listeners."

Many of the pieces on A Time for Us were arranged by Gil Ouellete especially for Angele Dubeau and her all-female ensemble, La Pieta. "For this album, I gave him a very, very hard one to do. It was to revisit the Marian and Robin excerpt from Korngold," she explains. "And you know, Korngold has a very symphonic way of writing. So it was not obvious for Gil to revisit this excerpt from Robin Hood and do this wonderful arrangement for strings and piano. It's a wonderful piece."

Gil Ouellette also found a way to customize another classic for La Pieta. "He took this wonderful, very classic theme that everybody knows and added this touch of jazz to this wonderful harmony that he's bringing in, to surprise the listener, I'm sure. And then in the middle, he comes with the same melody, but with this waltz rhythm. So it's really a wonderful way of revisiting this classic, Over the Rainbow."

Angele Dubeau features two pieces by Joe Hisaishi, a Japanese composer with whom she recently shared the stage on a five-week tour. "I asked him to give me some music to play on this album," she explains. "He gave me this Hana-Bi theme, and of course I add an extra piece on this CD, this wonderful Princess Mononoke. Just like Ennio Morricone is a champion melodist, I think Joe Hisaishi is a champion melodist also."

As you listen to the music on A Time for Us, you may be inspired to rent these movies and watch them again. But Angele Dubeau has a better idea. "Ultimately, the beauty and the power of the music is to give to the listener the liberty of adding his own images. And I suggest strongly when you listen to the CD to forget about the images projected on the screen and just make your own cinema with this music."

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