Ruin and Memory – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Movement II: Largo (from the film, Pieces of a Woman)

Last night was pizza and movie night for my sweety and me; it’s our Saturday thing. We worked together in the kitchen and even had a slow and wonderful “kitchen dance” to yesterday’s song. We tried a new recipe for the crust; it was thinner and a bit chewier… we both liked it.

After indecisively surfing various sites for a movie, we consulted our list of other people’s recommendations. We chose the Netflix production Pieces of a Woman (2020), directed by Hungarian filmmaker Kornel Mundruczo (b. 1975). We hadn’t checked out trailers or the plot, so we were slightly surprised by the storyline. While very sad, it was quite well done (though we both thought the first part went on too long).

Once we were past the first bit, the film and characters drew me in. I only took a little notice of the music until a slow orchestral work played during a scene with the female lead running in a light snowfall. The piece plays again at the end of the film. The Shazam app identified the music as the second movement or largo from Ruin and Memory, a piano concerto written by the Canadian composer and conductor Howard Shore (b. 1946).

A musician from age eight, Shore’s specialty is film soundtracks. He has collaborated with Canadian director David Cronenberg (b. 1943), scoring most of his films. Shore also teamed up with Scottish singer, songwriter and activist Annie Lennox (b. 1954) on a song for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). He was also the original music director for the long-running TV series Saturday Night Live.

Today’s selection, the middle movement from the piano concerto, is contemplative and melancholy, with occasional tempo, drama and mood changes, becoming more hopeful toward the end. It is a perfect fit for the running scene and the film overall.

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 for Ruin and Memory – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, II: Largo from the Howard Shore YouTube topic channel. Ludwig Wicki (b. 1960) conducts the Scoring Berlin orchestra, with Holger Groschopp (b. 1964) on the piano.

With my best wishes,


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