Classical 91.5

*not* coming soon to a theater near you

Oct 2, 2017

Credit Keystone-France/Getty Images

Your friends at WXXI are planning next year's Classical 91.5 Presents film screenings at the Little Theatre.

If you have a suggestion of a movie featuring a classical soundtrack, please zap it to  classical@wxxi.org or make a comment below.

A few months ago, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea for the series -- a mini Stravinsky film festival!

We'd start, I thought, with Coco & Igor, or Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, a 2010 release about the stormy affair between the great fashion designer and iconic composer.  

Then I sat down and watched the movie myself.  

The first scene images the riotous opening night of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring.   The guy in the mustache is Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen in the role of Stravinsky.  The woman in dangling earrings is Anna Mouglalis as Coco Chanel, filmed in a scene based on historical records of what actually happened in Paris on the night of May 29, 1913.

That was the high point.  After that stunning sequence, the movie devolves into a series of reptilian sex scenes that critics panned for their chilly, flat attempt at eroticism.  It was, in my opinion, a generally bad film, not worthy of our series at the Little Theatre.

But I love Stravinsky, and I absolutely adore this short documentary about the composer which I first watched on a Thanksgiving afternoon with my parents and the late WXXI host Mordecai Lipshutz.  Much of it was shot in Toronto.  

See the real Igor Stravinsky become enchanted by the lute of Julian Bream.   See Stravinsky conduct and sail across the Atlantic  and . . . 

Enjoy your own personal Stravinsky mini-film festival, which we will NOT be showing at the Little Theatre anytime soon.

The last screening in this year's Classical 91.5 FM Presents series is November 18th.  It's Brief Encounter, a 1945 British romantic drama film about a woman whose conventional life becomes increasingly complicated because of a chance meeting with a stranger.  Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto is woven throughout.

Igor Stravinsky once  said, "To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also."

I hope you'll join us in person on November 18th.    Listen with us.  

Stravinsky would approve.