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Laurent Korcia: From Film Score To Fiddle
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Laurent Korcia: From Film Score To Fiddle


It's summertime. Let's go to the movies.

(Soundbite of music)

HANSEN: Ah, the killer first notes of a thriller. But I'm more in the mood for an epic saga.

(Soundbite of music, "Speak Softly, Love")

HANSEN: No, maybe not. How about a poignant foreign film?

(Soundbite of music, "Cinema Paradiso")

HANSEN: This score to "Cinema Paradiso" and more gives us the movie experience without actually leaving the radio. They're performed by award-winning French violinist Laurent Korcia on his new CD called "Cinema." It's a compilation of classic movie scores of the past 100 years. Not only that, he is in our Washington studio with me listening to this music.

(Soundbite of music)

HANSEN: Bonjour, bienvenue, welcome to the program.

Mr. LAURENT KORCIA (Violinist): Hello.

HANSEN: Did you first hear Ennio and Andrea Morricone's score to "Cinema Paradiso" in a theater, in a cinema?

Mr. KORCIA: Yes, I did. I liked to watch movies and I'd go to movie theaters often. And Morricone's is just a giant of film music world.

HANSEN: When did you decide that you wanted to record his score, his piece for a CD and using your arrangements and your violin?

Mr. KORCIA: Because, as you said, it's 100 years of music in the cinema. There has been so much great composers that composed for cinema, from the classic Shostakovich, Prokofiev and to the people like Max Steiner, Waxman, Korngold, Bernard Herrmann and Morricone and so many others.

HANSEN: So many to choose. One of the heroes of early cinema was Charlie Chaplin, and you include his score, "Smile."

(Soundbite of music, "Smile")

Mr. KORCIA: I absolutely adored Charlie Chaplin for everything he did. And his melodies have so much charm and it's very sentimental and kind of naïve music but so charming and touching.

HANSEN: And it goes right to your heart as a violinist.

Mr. KORCIA: Yes, yes, of course, yes.

HANSEN: What was your approach to playing it knowing that Charlie Chaplin was a violinist?

Mr. KORCIA: Yes. Well, my intention was not to make out of this thing something spectacular or with so much improvisation. I mean, because I felt that it will keep the simple element and also I tried to be as transparent as I could be.

(Soundbite of music, "Smile")

HANSEN: I have heard that you play "In the Mood for Love" with your bow upside down.

(Soundbite of music, "In the Mood for Love")

Mr. KORCIA: Well, the reason was I was searching for a bizarre sound. I didn't want the sound for this melody to be too clean or too clear or too violinistic. Playing like that, you know, it changes the balance of the bow. And I saw at the time that it could be interesting for the sound. But I'm not sure. I still think the same now.

HANSEN: Really? You're second guessing yourself. I can understand what you're saying because "In the Mood for Love" is a popular song that has been played over and over and over again and it can become too sweet.

Mr. KORCIA: Yeah. This music is very, in a sense, very (unintelligible) and light and in the same time a bit dramatic. And there are some very magical moments in music for the theme.

(Soundbite of music, "In the Mood for Love")

HANSEN: You can choose the song that we play at the end. What would you like?

Mr. KORCIA: Out of this recording?

HANSEN: Correct.

Mr. KORCIA: If I would choose something, in fact, I would like to - not me -but I would like you to hear "Intermezzo."

(Soundbite of music, "Intermezzo")

Mr. KORCIA: It comes from a movie done by Ingrid Bergman in 1939, and it was a remake of a 1936 movie done in Sweden. And the story is about a concert violinist who fall in love with the piano teacher of his daughter. And the music is just great. And the original score is played by (unintelligible), who was incredible violinist. And so I would like you to discover that music if you don't mind.

(Soundbite of music, "Intermezzo")

HANSEN: To hear more music from Laurent Korcia, go to Thank you. Merci bien.

Mr. KORCIA: Merci. Thanks.

(Soundbite of music, "Intermezzo")

HANSEN: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

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