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Sound of Cinema: Mike Leigh

Michael Berkeley's guest is film-maker and writer Mike Leigh. His choices include music from Gilbert and Sullivan, Mozart, Offenbach, Shostakovich, Miles Davis and Bethoven.

Michael Berkeley's guest this week is the filmmaker, writer and playwright Mike Leigh, who began his career in the theatre and with TV dramas such as 'Abigail's Party' and 'Nuts in May', and went to to produce a string of original, award-winning films including 'Life is Sweet', 'Career Girls', the Gilbert and Sullivan biopic 'Topsy Turvy', 'Naked', 'Secrets and Lies', 'Happy Go Lucky', 'Vera Drake', and most recently, 'Another Year'. Many of his films involve an element of improvisation, and Mike Leigh has launched the careers of an impressive array of distinguished British actors, including Alison Steadman. Brenda Blethyn, David Thewlis, Sally Hawkins, Liz Smith and Jane Horrocks. His play 'Ecstasy' is currently enjoying a West End revival.

Mike Leigh's choices begin with two extracts by Gilbert and Sullivan. He starts with a comic duet from 'Ruddigore' (I once was a very abandoned person)l, and goes on to 'The World is but a broken toy' from 'Princess Ida', which he loves for its sentimental charm. Mike Leigh sees Mozart's 'Cosi fan tutte' as essentially a comic opera, and has selected the gorgeous trio 'Soave sia il vento' from Act I. Then comes another facet of comic opera - the Doll's Song from Act II of Offenbach's 'The Tales of Hoffmann', which he used as the background to the brothel scene in 'Topsy Turvy'. There's also the original 1928 recording of the Ballad of Mack the Knife from Weill/Brecht's 'Threepenny Opera', an extract from a film score by Shostakovich, Jeanne Moreau singing 'Le Tourbillon de la vie' from Truffaut's famous film 'Jules et Jim'; 'Blue in Green' from Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue', and finally the Rondo from Beethoven's Violin Concerto (Mike Leigh used Beethoven to great effect in 'Abigail's Party').

33 minutes

Last on

Sun 22 Sep 2013 12:00

Music Played

  • Arthur Sullivan

    "I was once a Very Abandoned Person" - from Ruddigore, Act II

    Singer: Ann Drummond-Grant. Librettist: Gilbert, William Schwenck. Singer: Richard Watson. Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Isidore Godfrey.
  • Arthur Sullivan

    "The World is but a Broken Toy" - from Princess Ida, Act II

    Singer: Victoria Sladen. Librettist: Gilbert, William Schwenck. Singer: Thomas Round. Singer: Leonard Osborn. Singer: Jeffrey Skitch. Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Isidore Godfrey.
  • Jacques Offenbach

    "Les oiseaux dans la charmille" - from The Tales of Hoffmann, Act II

    Singer: Gianna D'Angelo. Orchestra: Paris Conservatoire Concert Society Orchestra. Conductor: André Cluytens.
  • Miles Davis

    Blue in Green

    Ensemble: Miles Davis Quintet. Composer: Bill Evans.
  • Georges Delerue

    "Le Tourbillon de la vie" - from Jules et Jim

    Singer: Jeanne Moreau.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    from "Alone" - film score

    Singer: Irina Kataeva. Orchestra: Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Mark Fitz-Gerald.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Concerto in D major, Op 61 - 3rd movement: Rondo

    Performer: Itzhak Perlman. Orchestra: Philhamonia Orchestra. Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    "Soave sia il vento" - from Cosi fan tutte, Act I

    Singer: Hillevi Martinpelto. Singer: Alison Hagley. Singer: Thomas S. Allen. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
  • Kurt Weill

    "Ballad of Mack the Knife" - from The Threepenny Opera

    Singer: Harald Paulsen. Librettist: Bertolt Brecht.
  • Gilbert & Sullivan - I once was a very abandoned person (from Ruddigore, Act II)

    Performers: Richard Watson (Sir Despard) and Ann Drummond–Grant (Mad Margaret), The Orchestra of D’Oyly Carte, conducted by Isidore Godfrey

  • Gilbert & Sullivan - The World is but a broken toy (from Princess Ida, Act II)

    Performers: Victoria Sladen (Princess Ida), Thomas Round (Hilarion), Leonard Osborn (Cyril), Jeffrey Skitch (Florian), D’Oyly Carte Opera and Orchestra, conducted by Isidore Godfrey

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Soave sia il vento (from Cosí fan tutte, Act I)

    Performers: Hillevi Martinpelto (Fiordiligi), Alison Hagley (Dorabella), Thomas Allen (Don Alfonso), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Simon Rattle

    • EMI CDS 556170-2.
  • Jacques Offenbach

    Les oiseaux dans la chamille ('The song of the doll', The Tales of Hoffmann, Act II)

    Performers: Gianna D’Angelo (Olympia), Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire, conducted by André Cluytens

    • EMI CMS 763222-2.
  • Kurt Weill / Bertolt Brecht

    Moritat von Mack The Knife ('Ballad of Mack the Knife' from Die Dreigroschenoper, 'The Thr

    Peformers: Harald Paulsen (Mack the Knife), unknown orchestra and conductor (1928 recording)

    • CAPRICCIO 10346.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Overture, Kuzmina Wakes and song Konechen, Konchen, tekhnikum (from film score for Odna ('

    Performers: Irina Mataeva (soprano), Frankfurt RSO, conducted by Marc Fitz-Gerald

    • NAXOS 8570316.
  • Georges Delerue

    Le Tourbillon de la vie (from Jules et Jim)

    Performers: Jeanne Moreau

    • WARNER FRANCE 5608 7743-2.
  • Charlie Parker's Reboppers

    Blue in Green (from Kind of Blue)

    Performers: Miles Davis Quintet (John Coltrane, tenor sax; Bill Evans , piano; Paul Chambers, bass, Jimmy Cobb, drums)

    • COLUMBIA LEGACY CK 64935.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Concerto in D, Op 61 (3rd movement: Rondo (Allegro) excerpt)

    Performers: Itzhak Perlman (violin), Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini

    • EMI CDM 556210-2.

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