Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto|
The Last Emperor
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Soundtracks
The Last Emperor, director Bernardo Bertolucci's epic tale of Pu Yi, the exiled final potentate of China's 3,000-year old Qing dynasty, was the big winner at the 1988 Academy Awards, taking Oscars for (among others) Best P... more »
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The Last Emperor, director Bernardo Bertolucci's epic tale of Pu Yi, the exiled final potentate of China's 3,000-year old Qing dynasty, was the big winner at the 1988 Academy Awards, taking Oscars for (among others) Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Score. The composing trio of Sakamoto/Byrne/Su was an unusual one to be sure, but it's clearly Sakamoto who carries the day here. The avant-garde trained/former Yellow Magic Orchestra pop mastermind crafted a seamless fusion of grand Western themes, Asian shadings, and his own deliciously distinct timbrel sensibilities; an accessible if deceptively modern classicism. Not surprisingly given his Talking Heads roots, Byrne's efforts are more rhythmic and minimal, yet his consuming passion for world music thoroughly evidences itself as well. His lyric and lilting "Main Title Theme" (one of the film's unusual elements was its use of two main themes by separate composers) may offer a pleasant surprise to listeners overly familiar with his pop work. The composer Cong Su is represented by just one cut; but it's a gentle, ethereal spin on Chinese folk influences that fits well with his fellow composers' work. --Jerry McCulley
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Member CD Reviews
Judy M. (Pilly) from WOODLAND HLS, CA
Reviewed on 8/21/2010...
Great, almot classical, movie score. Very soothing.
A Little Contrived...
Tom | Palatine, IL USA | 09/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...but entertaining, none-the-less.It is always fun to track down anything David Byrne has worked on, but this soundtrack is a wee disappointing. While listening to the soundtrack (as opposed to watching the movie which it underscores) you always have a sense that this is somehow a synthetic interpretation of what you expect when you look at the forbidden city...almost westernized.It's great music, and a great and cohesive effort, but many of the repetitive melodies sound as if they might be more at home in Broadway hit than a period piece about the declining days of Chinese aristocracy.If you saw the movie and enjoyed the music (as I did) there is no reason not to pick this disc up. If you are buying this because you think you are getting some authentic Chinese music...keep shopping."
The Last Word on "The Last Emperor"
Kathleen Rand Reed | Washington, DC , Menlo Park, CA and Portland, OR | 01/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rather than this being a "word of mouth" review and purchase, it is a "word of another CD". First, I love Chinese traditional music and the Western approximation instruments, pipa [lute], gu-zheng [zither], erhu [violin] and diza [flute]. The deep spiritual, mystical sound is hypnotic and moving. I recently discovered the Asian music company, Pacific Moon and its range of artists. One artist is Jiang Xiao-Qing and her CD, "Breathing Spaces." [Such a quiet joy] The last cut, # 11 is the Theme from the Last Emperor, and it is so haunting and beautiful, it led me to wonder about the actual soundtrack. In both CDs the magic of Ryuichi Sakamoto's writing and arranging will take your breath away with where it takes you. Both are to be played during a time you really want to simply think, drift and drop back into your own sense of self. Now that part of my Chinese music section is complete--If you like to close the door and simply relax, give yourself a real treat! It's worth the trip to the computer to buy this treasure from Amazon.com. Kathleen Rand Reed"