Cinematically-Influenced Ear Worms for Your Friday Afternoon

Yesterday, as I sailed blithely along to the harmonious strains of the complete cello concerti of Luigi Boccherini, a Peter Weir film broke out.

…I love it when that happens.

The piece in question is the Passa Calle from LB’s “La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid.” And here it is:

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I recommend the entire quintettino, of course, which is available over on YouTube. If you’re looking for the aforementioned breakout moment, it’s 7:55. (And yes, Jordi Savall and his Le Concert des Nations take it at absolutely break-neck speed; that’s not your grandmother’s “allegro vivo,” is it? You’re taking your life in your hands, but be not afraid. It’s worth it.)

By way of a reminder, here’s the absolutely brilliant way Weir uses it to tie things up at the end of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. The silence that falls as the ship sails towards the horizon is genius. (And because I’m a bit of a completest, here’s the recording that is featured in the film itself. I think.)

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While we’ll on the subject of reminders, I’m reminded by this little exchange that the film is fantastic. Violent and a bit grim? Yes. A somewhat peculiar amalgamation of several different voyages from Patrick O’Brian’s equally (nay, even more) fantastic series? Surely.

But don’t let those little things poison the waterhole. It’s a great movie. As Steven Greydanus puts it at the end of his wonderfully (and justifiably) glowing review:

Although Weir adapts freely from his source material, borrowing bits from various books and only broadly following the outline of The Far Side of the World, the result is faithful to the spirit of O’Brian’s works, and few but the most exacting fans will have reason to complain. For those not familiar with the Aubrey-Maturin books, no cinematic adaptation of any book in recent memory is as likely to make viewers want to go out and get the book. Master and Commander is that good.

BONUS: Our own “Why I Am Catholic’s” Frank Weathers mentions O’Brian’s books in both Part 1 AND Part 2 of his Conversion Story. Score!

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.


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