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Last night seeing "The King's Speech" -- I expound on the experience on the, ahem, Leonard Pennario Web log -- I was struck by their choice of music. The original music seemed to me as your usual piano-based movie score, so bland you hardly noticed it. Perhaps it was that way on purpose.

But boy, when the King gave his speech, they gave you that glorious Allegretto from Beethoven's Seventh.

Is there any better music in the world? That Allegretto, it builds to the point where it gives me a kind of vertigo. It is as if the sky and the ground are switching places.

And when the King of England, played by Colin Firth, was speaking as an exercise while listening to music, the music was the heated, breathless overture to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro."

Again you are thinking: Is there any better music in the world?

Then at the end of the movie they bring in the slow movement from the "Emperor" Concerto. I started to cry. It had nothing to do with the movie. It is just that I always cry when I hear this music. It is as if it pulls the tears out of me. It is nothing I can control.

You also hear Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. And part of Brahms' "German Requiem."

A strange aspect of all this is that "The King's Speech" deals with the rise of Nazism, this evil force. That is the king's big challenge, having to confront the prospect of war with Germany. So it says something that there is all this German music. Maybe it is supposed to bring out both sides of the German people. Maybe it reflects that the British royal family was German, and the confusion and sadness of that.

Then again, maybe it is just that this music belongs to the whole world.

I think that is the explanation I like best.
10 years ago | Read Full Story
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