Music By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the Phillip Roth novel, The Dying Animal, Elegy stars Ben Kingsley as David Kepesh, a charismatic professor whose other preoccupation lies in bedding his more adventurous female students. Kepesh has one rule he employs throughout his numerous trysts – never let any woman get to close. But all caution is thrown to the wind the day Consuela Castillo (Penelope Cruz) walks into his classroom. To say that Kepesh has become obsessed with this new encounter is an understatement. Fantasies of betrayal and anger born of jealousy drive Consuela away, leaving Kepesh a ruined man. Will her return to his life two years later mark a happy return or a tragic reunion?
The soundtrack of Elegy contains music performed by various artists. Much of the music is classical in nature featuring works by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Erik Satie as performed by pianists David Troy Francis and Kiril Bolshakov. Both David Troy Francis and Kiril Bolshakov perform their classical pieces with as much fervor as the original composers. In addition to classical music, Elegy contains many jazz pieces as well. Most notable amongst the jazz music are Chet Baker’s Early Morning Mood, Loneliness Ends with Love by Al Lerner and Margaret Whiting and Distant Rumor by Scott Sënn. There are also a couple of Latino songs thrown in the mix perhaps as an ode to the character of Consuela.
On a whole, I truly enjoyed the classical pieces found in the Elegy Soundtrack the most. The jazz was fun to listen to, but the classical music presented such beauty to this soundtrack that all else spoils in comparison. I do have one or two complaints about the soundtrack. There were two tracks that seemed to, simply put, not fit at all. Both tracks, Les Ondes Silencieuses and Horizon Variations , are composed and performed by Cecile Schott. Whereas most of the Elegy Soundtrack is a soothing musical experience, these tracks filled with electronica are rather grating on the soul of the listener and don’t seem to belong with the rest of the music on the album.
The classical pieces selected for this album are simply beautiful. The jazz represented on the album contains a very bluesy flare that will bring one back to the very beginnings of the genre. The Latino tracks, Déjame Recordar , 45,000$ (Guapa Pasea) and Ay Que Sospecha Tengo are catchy and rather fun to listen to. Whether you are a fan of classical or jazz music, you will find the Elegy Soundtrack well worth the money, making quite the enjoyable addition to your music collection.