Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Frida [Music from the Motion Picture]
Genres: World Music, Pop, Soundtracks
She was famous as both artist and model, infamous as political revolutionary and social libertine, and Frida Kahlo's controversial life couldn't help but seem the stuff of great musical theater. Her story is brought to the... more »
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She was famous as both artist and model, infamous as political revolutionary and social libertine, and Frida Kahlo's controversial life couldn't help but seem the stuff of great musical theater. Her story is brought to the screen by director Julie Taymor, whose musical compatriot here is also her husband; Elliot Goldenthal, student of both Copland and Corigliani, shrewdly sublimates his modernism in service of the rich, evocative music and songs of Mexico and Central America. Utilizing performers that range from the contemporary (Lila Downs) to the folk-classic (Costa Rican legend Chavela Vargas; Brazilian star Caetano Veloso) and traditional (Los Cojolites, El Poder Del Norte, Trio Huasteca, Caimanes de Tanquin, and others), Goldenthal generously displays the true breadth of Mexican folk music, while seamlessly infusing it with the minimalist corners of his own underscore and some winning songwriting of his own. The result is one of 2002's most compelling soundtracks. The enhanced CD features include musical film excerpts, as well as a video conversation between Goldenthal and star Salma Hayek and text interviews with the composer and director Taymor. --Jerry McCulley
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Hypnotizing and beautiful!
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 11/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Elliot Goldenthal, the scorer of movies such as "Heat" and "Titus," comes back with a brilliant blend of traditional Mexican and original latin music to go with one of the best movies of 2002: Julie Taymor's "Frida." The soundtrack as a whole is simply outstanding, yet it has some peak moments: Lila Downs' performances, most specifically the opening track, 'Benediction and Dream,' the sexy tango 'Alcoba Azul' and the theme that plays during the closing titles, 'Burn it blue' which she performs with Brazilian super-star, Caetano Veloso. Also the rendition of "La Llorona" by Chavela Vargas is outstanding. The tracks that are part of his score work are also outstanding, and reminded me a lot of the music from the album "Ronroco" by Argentinian composer and producer, Gustavo Santaolallas. All in all, a very eclectic and hypnotizingly beautiful soundtrack with supreme good taste."
Jana L. Perskie | New York, NY USA | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Frida," Julie Taymor's superb biopic which portrays the turbulent life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's, is highlighted by Elliot Goldenthal's extraordinary soundtrack and score. Goldenthal, a student of both Aaron Copland and John Corigliani, and director Taymor's husband, states in the CD's linear notes that when scoring the music he took the approach of "melodic intimacy" - scoring with melodies or tunes as opposed to motific fragments. The film is highly successful in bringing to life not only Ms. Kahlo's story, but the vivid colors and richly textured culture of Mexico. In the same mode, Mr. Goldenthal emphasizes Mexico's musical tradition with his score - filled with the rich, evocative sound of song and music indigenous to the region. The composer has explored and displayed the area's folk music, and incorporated it with his own minimalist style and some outstanding songwriting. He has stated, "... that it was a difficult task to capture the 'spirit of Mexican music' since it varies so much around different regions." However, his choice to stay true to the simplicity of the country's rhythms and themes is on target. The result is one of the most compelling soundtracks I have heard in many years. I knew from the minute I heard it, in the theater, that I was going to buy the CD. I did so almost immediately and listen to it frequently.
Central to Goldenthal's score is a core musical ensemble which consists of several acoustic instruments native to Mexico and Central America, including the standard classical guitar, small Mexican guitar (la vihuela), Mexican bass guitar (guitarron), Mexican harp, marimba, accordion, glass armonica and assorted percussion. The tracks: "El Conejo," "La Bruja," (performed by Salma Heyek who plays Frida), "El Gusto" and "Carabina 30/30" are absolutely fabulous and provide excellent examples of authentic traditional Mexican folk music. Goldenthal adds a small orchestral accompaniment of primary strings to the mix.
The importance of song south of the border is pointed out in the linear notes also. In Mexico, song is everywhere - I lived there, I know. One is serenaded for birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, weddings, etc.. There are several outstanding vocal performances here. One brilliant cut, "Paloma Negra," prerecorded by Chavela Vargas, (a tremendously popular Costa Rican/Mexican vocalist of the 1960's who sang "rancheras"), comes to mind. "Paloma Negra" was recorded about 40 years ago and the artist, now in her 80's, sings a second track, "La Llorona," live on screen - so the listener can contrast the diva's voice now and way back then. Vocalist Lila Downs plays a huge role in the success of this CD and the overall soundtrack. The sensual tango "Alcoba Azul" was written for her by Goldenthal, as were my favorites "Benediction and Dream," and "Burn it Blue" performed by Downs and much lauded Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso. I discovered the marvels of Ms. Downs voice and style while watching/listening to Frida for the first time, and have been a major fan ever since. Goldenthal integrates both song and score harmoniously. English and Spanish lyrics are featured in the album booklet.
The recording quality of the songs is excellent. There are 24 tracks and the play time is 52 minutes. I wish it were longer! Enhanced CD features include musical film excerpts, as well as a video conversation between Goldenthal and star Salma Hayek and text interviews with the composer and director Taymor.
This CD is a real winner!
Burning in my mind
Felipe Follador dos Santos | Curitiba, Brazil | 03/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was quite impressed when Elliot Goldenthal got the Golden Globe for original score, he was running against big composers such as Elmer Bernstein and Philip Glass. Then again at the Oscars he managed to win over Thomas Newman and John Williams. Well I can't say anything about the music in the movie, because "Frida" hasn't opened in Brazil yet, but I bought either way (I always buy nominated scores). What I can say is that the mexican spirit indeed is in Elliot's compositions. I was astonished with some very unusual tracks like "La Cavalera" and "Solo Tu", which captures your senses in a strange way. Some tracks have the sample of the theme song "Burn it Blue" which was beautifully sung by Caetano Veloso and Lila Downs. The lyrics are quite beautiful so is the composition. It isn't only a score CD, it has also some mexican artists that collaborated to create an atmosphere that takes your imagination through the mexican scenario. Salma Hayek herself sings in a song called "La Bruja" a rendition of a very popular song from a group called "Los Vegas" that sing with her as well.
Highlights (speaking about the score itself) go to "The Journey", "Still Life" and "Burning Bed".
It is wonderful and you'll be flabbergasted."