some music i would love to see daisuke skate to.
fried green tomatoes suite.
this idea was borrowed from an FSU music suggestion thread. i'm indebted to the person who came up with this idea, because it got me to re-watch one of my favorite movies. i am especially interested in seeing what dai could do with the music around
1:15, 9:35, 11:43
i would have liked to link the 'ghost train' piece from this soundtrack, but it appears to have been pulled from youtube.
off topic--i've always wanted mao or caro or akiko to skate to this music, but i love dai enough to share this music with him as well ;D
this selfish american wants dai to skate to this music. feels like a long time since someone skated to it. though my memory is a bit vague, i seem to recall a stirring boitano program years ago. around 7:26 the music is sweeping and grand. dai can bring out all the colors and shades in the piece, the more fast paced parts as well as the more majestic parts.
another fave of mine is dvorak's new world symphony. not groundbreaking--i just like to see my favorite skaters skate to music i like.
the very familiar 4th movement
the 2nd movement that was also turned into a song--akin to jupiter being turned into 'i vow to thee...'
perhaps this movement with its sense of wonderment, exploring new grounds, fits with how dai has been stretching his artistic boundaries of late, taking from ice dance teachers in france, focusing aspects of skating he hadn't favored so much earlier in his career. many thanks, once again, to deedee and others who have been so kind as to translate from other languages for all of us, whose work i've read and appreciated but rarely commented on
if the new world symphony is too much a war-horse for some (not for me--i could watch everybody skate to it, just like back in the days of compulsory dances when 'la playa' or 'la cumparsita' played a dozen times...)
i also like the mahler adagietto.
but perhaps like the barber adagio for strings it is too monotonous for a competition piece that demands tempo changes?
how about some sochi programs using music from a russian composer?
tchaikovsky's none but the lonely
tchaikovsky's symphony #6
tchaikovsky symphony #5
especially around 27:09
i admire the restraint, the tempered, reined-in expression in certain portions of dai's short program this season. but to me a skater capable of tremendous emotional projection ought to go for it and skate to a grand piece in a big competition. yes, you need 'light and shade' (thank you john nicks for helping ms. wagner to see the light), and i don't want any skater to go around making O-faces the entire time, but i like it when a skater makes the audience forget they're watching a sporting event with medals on the line, and transport viewers to a different theatre for a moment. that's why i especially like tchaikovsky's symphony #6 for dai.
with a symphony you can always take a bit from the slow section, a bit from the fast section and get all the tempo variation desired, although i admit to being very fussy about how the music is cut. that's one of the reasons i admire the david wilson and hugo schouinard (sp) team--they've cut pieces of music dear to my heart without making me cringe (gershwin's concerto in F for YNK, dvorak cello concerto for caroline zhang last season, etc.)
if dai favors beethoven, my favorite is the pastoral symphony.
i'd also be curious to see dai skate to mozart's symphony #41
chaconne in D minor by J.S. Bach
in a way, a choreographer would have to think outside the box to come up with a program for dai to such music, because the balance and orderliness of the baroque/classical periods... you might associate those characteristics with another skater rather than dai of techno-swan and bachlorette fame. with pieces like this, i get the feeling i'm just asking dai to skate to music i like, rather than music that seems 'made for dai.' but that makes it all the more interesting-- in other words, not in an olympic year-- olympic year is pastoral symphony or tchaikovsky symphony #6! :D
i saw upthread admiration for 'the planets' production, saw someone's brilliant idea that dai could play several roles such as in coppelia. borrowing from that, i'll add several different movements from mendelssohn's midsummer night's dream.
dai can skate as puck, oberon, even bottom in donkey form. i'm looking forward to conjuring up an image of large donkey ears on the ice... ^^
sorry the orchestra wasn't having its finest day during this performance, but you get the idea...
if you like Mercury's footwork during 'the Planets,' i think the scherzo section provides similar opportunities for scintillating footwork.
now that i'm in ballet mode, it suddenly occurs to me that dai reminds me of nureyev. nureyev, unlike baryshnikov, did not have the most beautifully sculpted face or physique, or perhaps, the purest technique, but he had a certain raw magnetism and ardor, a certain tension to how he danced (often on the edge of being totally over the top, in my uneducated opinion). and that gave me the idea that dai could skate an exhibition to 'le corsaire' --and show off his improved stretch and line and incredible leaps and fleetness of foot. it might even be a sort of tribute to the great dancer kumakawa, who made such an impression on dai. i only ask that dai not dress in the memorable nureyev costume. :D
that's enough for now. for a skater i love, every piece of music i like calls for him to skate to it, LOL. even le corsaire, which i probably wouldn't have liked so much if fonteyn and nureyev hadn't imprinted it on my heart.
Last edited by skfan; 05-19-2012 at 01:44 AM.
Thank you so much for your suggestions and especially for your time for this, skfan!
Originally Posted by skfan
For 'Fried green tomatoes', Tom Dickson comes to my mind for choreographer. He surely can make it an innovative and interesting program with this music.
I loved Appalachian Springs!
First time for me to encounter Aaron Copland as an composer, though I have listened to the 'Simple gifts' part and loved it a couple of times in the past, without even knowing the name of this music or who composed this beautiful piece. Thank you, skfan, for introducing new world of the music to me.
And as I explored youtube and found this one by Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss:
Could be a great choice for Gala program for a female skater such as Ashley or Gracie, I think.
As for Dovorak's 'From New World Symphony', I would love him to skate to the 2nd movement mainly, with the 4th movement as an opening of his LP including quad(s), if 4th is a bit too familiar, as you say, to some people.
I agree with you, Tchaikovsky's symphony No. 6 will be a great choice for LP in the Olympic season!
And I love Beethoven's Pastoral myself, because of this 5th movement for its gracefullness.
As for great composers such as Beethoven and Mozart, why don't skaters or choreographers pick up music more often from these masterpieces?, I always wonder...
David Wilson as a choreographer can do a justice and wonder with these classical masterpieces! Listening to these music, now I miss Jeff and his skating full of gracefulness so much.
If David is going to do choreo for Dai next season again, I would love him to do Dai's LP with the classical music.
Oh, but I am not so sure, skfan, if I am for your idea of Daisuke as a doncky on the ice, though...
Thanks to everyone who kindly posted verious vids of skating programs, beautiful music and excellent ballet, my Saturday afternoon has turned out to be lovely and very fruitful.
Thanks a million again, everyone, for all your suggestions and ideas for music, and most of all, for your explanations! Without your explanations and/or its reasonings, this thread would not have turned out so great, interesting and inspiring!
And for that matter, I sincerely (seriously!) hope Daisuke and his choreographer (future choreographers for Dai, too) will be able to look into this thread.
Last edited by deedee1; 05-19-2012 at 08:38 AM.
SKfan, I love your suggestions.
Your suggestion of Mendelssohn made me think of his octet, which he wrote at about the same time as he wrote the incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream--at the age of SIXTEEN (astonishing, prodigious genius). Here's the first movement:
There's a slow second movement, and then this fast third movement:
I actually think the first movement has a more useful tempo for skating, though it's longer and would have to be cut even for a long program.
I love the idea of Appalachian Spring, which after all was written as a ballet (for no less than Martha Graham and her dancers). There are two orchestrations of it, I believe: the full orchestra and a smaller ensemble that was probably the original version.
Another lovely Copland piece (apologies for the brief commercial preceding it, but this is the nicest orchestral version of it) is "The Promise of Living" from his opera The Tender Land. (There are also choral versions on YouTube.) I actually discovered this piece from a skating program! The one time I know of its use was when Sandra Bezic and Brian Boitano collaborated on an ice show that I got to see, years ago.
Last edited by deedee1; 05-20-2012 at 02:28 AM.
thank you Olympia and deedee1 for the kind words and the education. i especially love the 1st movement of the mendelssohn octet.
There isn't as much American music to draw from (in terms of classical, I mean), and it's not as widely known. For one thing, though good American orchestras play lots of music from the European tradition, I don't think a lot of American classical music is in the international repertoire. But we do have Gershwin and Copland, and our skaters (and coaches) should hunt through their works a bit more. Gordeyeva, with and without Grinkov, used quite a bit of Gershwin.
Originally Posted by deedee1
One lovely American work that's very obscure is the Fantasy on a Hymn Tune by Justin Morgan (slow but maybe useful if carefully cut or blended with something else). The composer, Thomas Canning, didn't write a lot else. It's obviously inspired by Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis.
Probably best-known American symphonic music is movie music, by people like Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. (I think James Horner is British.) Certainly American skaters use a lot of that, but even there, they could be more creative and not use just what came out this year. One of my favorite American sound tracks is the one to The Right Stuff by Bill Conti. Definitely a guy's music, though (go, Sally Ride!) I'd love to see a strong lady skate to it. There's even some Polonaise rhythm at the end of it, surely one of the most infectious, toe-tapping rhythms in the world. Imagine that last full-orchestra segment for footwork!
Back to classical, there's not much nineteenth-century stuff; I've never heard any Edward McDowell that got my blood going, for example, and I think he was supposed to be our top guy. But there are some good passages from Louis Gottschalk; a favorite of mine is the last movement of his symphony, "A Night in the Tropics." You may notice that I tend to like syncopation.
I'm not at very familiar with Duke Ellington, but there are people who would vote for him over Gershwin as the best American composer ever. He'd certainly be splendid for skating. Here's one of his best known compositions, with himself at the piano, "Take the A Train." This one has vocals, but there are orchestral arrangements. (The A Train was the subway line that got people from midtown New York City to Harlem with no stops in between.)
An orchestral composer I love is Howard Hanson, a post-romantic composer (meaning he used tunes! Yay! I mostly dislike dissonance). His Second Symphony, called "the Romantic" has lovely passages.
Ferde Grofe was what we used to call a "light classical" composer. He was best known for his Grand Canyon Suite. Janet Lynn once used a section from it in a pro program.
And the last thing I can think of at the moment is the beginning of Virgil Thomson's The River, which incorporates a lovely traditional setting of the 23rd Psalm, "My Shepherd Shall Supply My Need." The theme breaks out at about 2:09, and I think it's glorious. There are other traditional and traditional-sounding melodies woven through it. This was written for a documentary about the Mississippi River, I believe.
Golly, I love this thread! It's giving me music fever. Who else can we think of?
Last edited by Olympia; 05-20-2012 at 12:17 PM.
Love this thread, so impressed with everyone's ideas and insights, it shows just the extend of Daisuke's versatility to allow us to play around with so many possibilities.
Just want to reply to Olympia. I have been an avid collector of film soundtracks since the late 80s. I consider James Horner the quintessentially modern American classical composer since John Williams, and a natural successor in their volume of commercially influential work. And like him they are both really great at creating haunting lyrical motifs (Field of dreams, Braveheart, Glory, Titanic, Beautiful mind, Legend of the fall, Mask of Zorro etc.) in their compositions and spend the rest dressing up in different variation of lustrous rich acoustic string sounds to build up that epic quality, and contrast of the quiet sensitive moments. Something Williams and Horner are really big master of, including continue to rip their own work on and on again. Something all established composers inevitably ends up doing with overwhelming commissioned work due to that established sound. Especially John Barry - a British composer famous for his James Bond works, Out of Africa, everything after this have similar sounds. Since Horner and William, I am sad to see the trend of non traditional classical acoustic instruments used in most of today's OSTs, and the sounds tends to be more artificial electrical instrument/software post production sounds.
I would also consider the Newman family of composers responsible for cornering 'American cultural phenomenon' sounds. Randy Newman start with his fantastic work on possibly one of the greatest 'American Dream' soundtrack of all time for 'The Natural', 'Avalon', and his younger cousin Thomas Newman followed up with a dash of electric piano tinkling modernism in 'American beauty', 'Meet Joe Black', and stuck with his troupe of political, socially aware film makers, Sam Mendes, Steve Soderbergh, Mike Nichols, Todd Field etc, that he has since became the thinking man's version of Randy Newman. I also adore most of Dave Grusin's work (and his collaboration lee Ritenour), who's Jazzy Bluesy sounds get a distinctive independent streak type of sounds different from most American greats that favours European string instruments, perhaps should be more widely appreciated.
John Wiliam is a true maestro of big orchestral, rich lustrious sounds (lots of Wagner, Strauss, Tchaikovsky with a touch of Ravel, Mahler) that paint fantasy, imagination, epic, bigger than life cinematic themese and makes them even richer. Horner's scoring 'Willow' however is one of the best adventure fantasy score ever wholly underrated that can stand on head on shoulder with William's monumental Superman, ET, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Golden 1980s-2000 of his career. Work post 2000 tends to be a bit more experimental and more abstract but still distinguishable as Williams.
It is interesting to note, British Composer have always had a big presence in Hollywood, as well as the odd French(Desplat, Jarre, Serra) and Italian (Rota, Morricone..superb). Hans Zimmer, George Fenton, Rachel Portman, Nyman (who passed away too early), Craig Armstrong, Harry Gregson-Williams, David Holmes, David Arnold, John Barry, Nick Glennie Smith and John Powell (both mentored by Zimmer) to name a few.
To bring it back to Daisuke, I would love him to maybe go either entirely Classical European, or consider the often neglected Asian realm perhaps explore something Japanese? There are so many great work outside the Hollywood Film scores and soundtracks. I really love Kozuka's choice this year having a brand new bespoke recording of Joe Hisaishi's (Japan's equivalent of John Williams) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind that is just right for a skating program. Something I also knew Kozuka would be entirely wrong for (never thought he had the right finesse or musicality to do that music justice where emotion and empathy are crucial ingredients) despite making a great choice and is an honorable failure. Perhaps Daisuke would consider taking similar approach to celebrate the work of Hisashi. Possibly Porco Russo, Departures (absolutely love this OST and the film) or Laputa Castle in the sky (one of the top 3 OST he has composed imo), althought the latter might suite Hanyu better!
Here's Hisaishi's Departures and its amazing Cello
Last edited by os168; 05-20-2012 at 05:04 PM.
Oh, that piece is lovely! Thanks for the link.
I'm happy to consider Horner American! He's one of my forever favorites. I love all the Horner sound tracks you mention, and also The Rocketeer (which American medalist Aren Nielsen used for a wonderful long program the year he won a U.S. bronze, I think) and the two Cocoon movies. I know some of the other composers you mention and will look up the others. One thing I like about both John Williams and James Horner is that they do their own orchestrations. I believe that Danny Elfman does not. (Neither does Paul McCartney, come to that. And he wrote a cantata!)
I agree with you that movie music isn't the best choice for Daisuke, though. I'd go with European classical music or Asian music as you would. Lots of good suggestions in both these areas on this thread! When he comes out with his new programs for the upcoming season, I wonder whether his choices will all make us feel as if we are responsible for his career success.
Wicked Yankee Girl
For that matter, Boitano used Copeland for his failed Lillehammer Olympic LP, AFAIR? So Copeland has been used by at least one American skater. He used Appalachian Spring/Lincoln Portrait by Copeland.
His Olympic LP was to "La Strada."
Originally Posted by Olympia
I love os168's suggestion of "Laputa" though - probably my favourite Miyazaki movie/Hisaishi score.
I didn't mean that Daisuke shouldn't skate to movie music or that he had never skated to movie music. Sorry if I was unclear. (I loved his "La Strada.) I just meant that he's a subtle and sophisticated enough skater that he could reach for music that isn't as well known to the general public these days. Most people are up on at least some movie music. I'm sorry to say that at least in the U.S., classical music is an unknown country to the majority of people. I live in hope that this situation will change!
No matter what music he chooses, I just want him to make the program that will make that music to retire. Like Blues for Klook. I doubt someone else would ever want to try anything better with it.
Doris, thank you so much for all vid links! , I am a bit late to say this, though...
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
Toller Cranston greatly influenced Mrs. Utako Nagamitsu, Dai's long time coach, for her direction as a professional coach.
On her last year as competitive skater, she went to Sapporo to watch all the competitions of figure skating at the Olympic Games in 1972, which was her FIRST encounter to any sort of international competitions in her whole life.
She said in the interview that she attended every practices and competitions from the day 1, and she was so much excited, delighted to get to see the world's top skaters for the first time, and enjoyed every minute of it.
What's the most remarkable with this, I thought, is the skater who caught her notice and attracted the most was Toller Cranston.
Asked why it was Cranston who placed only 9th at Mens comp, and not Jannet Lynn the Bronze Medalist who was called as 'fairy on the ice' and adored the most by lots of Japanese back then, Mrs. Nagamitsu simply answered, "Why? He danced!, in spite of being a male skater."
It was indeed an interesting article for me to get to know Utako sensei as once-competitive skater, as a coach and as a person. We see lots of articles focused on skaters, but not so often focused on their coaches, do we? Maybe I should do translation of this article later in Dai's other thread...
Thanks again Doris, for the vids.
Last edited by deedee1; 05-23-2012 at 11:00 AM.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Toller was absolutely amazing. There are those of us for whom he is still among the most incredibly special skaters of all times.
He was much more interesting than Janet (who was a lovely, lovely skater,).
Some of Toller's amateur competitions and exhibtions still exist!
1973 Skate Canada
His Skate Canada 1975 SP to Graduation Ball was fab. Here is a two part program on him:
1974 SP & LP, Toller commentating
That's especially interesting to me because the first two skaters that I noticed when tuning in to skating on my little black-and-white TV a few years later were Toller Cranston and John Curry. Though I love ladies' skating, not a single lady captured my attention the way these two guys did. (I just missed Janet Lynn's career. The skaters I saw were Dorothy Hamill, Dianne de Leeuw, and Cristina Errath, among others.) In something I read by Toller once, he cited his two favorite lady skaters as Janet Lynn and Laurence Owen, the 16-year-old 1961 U.S. champion who died with the rest o the American team in the plane crash. Both of those ladies were considered artistic for their day.
Originally Posted by deedee1
Toller often had a low standing because of school figures. Equally often, he would place very high in the free skate, often winning it. I think that his contributions to skating were disproportionately large compared to his international medal count. I think he had one or two world bronzes and the one Olympic bronze. But he was one of the forerunners of skating that was both artistic and athletic. Almost all the men who have come after him, and certainly most of the Canadian skaters, owe something to him. He wasn't all art, either. Like Curry, his jumps were high and strong, and if you look at the short program from Skate America that Doris recommends, you'll see that his footwork was both original and commanding. This guy could skate! I'm so glad he had a long pro career. I got to see him live twice in professional shows, and he was amazing in person.
Doris, thanks for all the links! I can see an affinity between Toller and Daisuke. Both of them are great technicians and charismatic performers to whom the music is supreme.
Last edited by Olympia; 05-23-2012 at 01:01 AM.