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: