Yumeji’s Theme (from the film, In the Mood for Love)

Today, on Classical Sunday, I’m featuring music by the bass player and leader of the Japanese new wave rock band, EX. Former bassist/leader, that is.

Shigeru Umebayashi began composing film scores in 1985 after the breakup of EX. As I opened up a previously-watched title (“Flight from the City” — and, if you haven’t checked out that post, please do… the video is breathtaking), one of Umebayashi’s pieces came up in the suggestions sidebar. I listened and was immediately entranced.

“Yumeji’s Theme” comes from the soundtrack for In the Mood for Love (2000) by Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai. The piece, originally scored for the 1991 independent film Yumeji, sounds to me as though it has a Slavic influence. The music is a melodic, beautiful composition for solo violin and orchestra, and I am grateful for serendipity leading me to it.

The piece is short — just two minutes, thirty seconds, but is delightful all the same. One of the non-official video versions loops it about five times.

A little research tells me that, on this recording, Virgil Boutellis-Taft plays violin, accompanied by Jac van Steen conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Their version is available in the iTunes Store.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio from the Shigeru Umebayashi YouTube topic channel:

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