Saturday, May 12, 2007

Movie scene of the week 6th to 12th of May '07: Awe-stricken Salieri facing Mozart's genius, in "Amadeus"

Milos Forman's "Amadeus" is for now my absolute favourite (really and really my number 1!) movie of all times (I presented a while ago on this blog my current top 25). The 8 Oscars (and other 3 Academy Awards nominations) , plus numerous other prizes at various film festivals all around the world, that this movie won, are really just the least amount of recognition it deserves. One of my favourite scenes from this masterpiece (and one that in several ways matches this past week...) is the fragment depicting Salieri's (involuntary) reaction of astonishment when faced with perfection, with "absolute beauty", with the divine nature of Mozart's new works (the 'core' part I aim for here starts after approx. 3'30'' in the YouTube clip linked above). A brilliant, simply brilliant acting here by F. Murray Abraham, as Antonio Salieri (certainly deserving the Oscar for his performance throughout all of "Amadeus")! Here's the part of the script rendering Salieri's feeling of pure awe:

Astounding?! It was actually... it was beyond belief. These were first and only... drafts of music. But they showed no corrections of any kind. Not one! He'd simply written down music... already finished... in his head. Page after page of it. As if he were just taking dictation. And music... finished as no music is ever finished. Displace one note... and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase, and the structure would fall. It was clear to me... that sound I had heard in the Archbishop 's palace... had been no accident. Here, again, was the very voice of God! I was staring through the cage... of those meticulous ink strokes... at an absolute beauty...

But let's get to the music from the core of the scene (and YouTube really helps in here- I just love it!). The music from the scores that Salieri is reading with such marvel is, in chronological order, fragment from: Concerto for flute and harp in C major, K 299 (2nd Movement, Andantino) - listen to all the 2nd mvm. here; Symphony No 29 in A major, K 201 (1st Movement, Allegro Moderato)- listen to all the 1st mvm. here; Concerto for two pianos, No 10, in E flat, K 365 (3rd Movement)- listen to all the 3rd mvm. here, in an awesome performance by Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea!!!; Symphony Concertante, K 364 (1st Movement)- listen to the first part of the 1st mvm. here; and Great Mass in C minor: Kyrie, K 427- listen to this astounding piece here. There is also a 3-CD set that contains all Mozart's pieces (partly) played in the movie (and that I obviously have for quite a while now...).

The movie scene of the previous week.

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