Picture Perfect with Ross Amico

Friday at 6 pm

A weekly survey of film music, from the Golden Age of movies and current-day movies.

Defer to the natural wisdom of the animal kingdom on Black Friday, with music from “Born Free” (John Barry), “National Geographic’s ‘Grizzly!’” (Jerome Moross), “Hatari!” (Henry Mancini), and “The Jungle Book” (Miklós Rózsa).  An hour with Shere Khan is preferable to mall traffic, this Friday at 6 pm. 

It’s a cornucopia of Thanksgiving music, with selections from “Friendly Persuasion” (Dimitri Tiomkin), “Our Town” (Aaron Copland), “Plymouth Adventure” (Miklós Rózsa), and the building-the-barn sequence from “Witness” (Maurice Jarre).  Count your blessings – there’s not a turkey among them, this Friday at 6 pm.

Together, Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock produced a string of commercial and artistic successes, most notably “Vertigo,” “North by Northwest” and “Psycho.”  But the two collaborated on no less than nine films, including “The Birds,” for which Herrmann acted as sound consultant.  Tune in to hear selections from the other five – among them, Herrmann’s reworking of Arthur Benjamin’s “Storm Clouds Cantata” for “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and the rejected score for “Torn Curtain,” a project that ended the Herrmann-Hitchcock association.  Hitch yourself to Herrmann, this Friday at 6 pm.

Good writers captivate so completely with their words, it’s easy to imagine that they must lead very colorful lives – all the more so when they are given the big screen treatment.  Music adds an extra dimension to the lives of the Brontës in “Devotion” (Erich Wolfgang Korngold), Iris Murdoch in “Iris” (James Horner), the Bard of Avon in “Shakespeare in Love” (Stephen Warbeck), and Samuel Clemens in “The Adventures of Mark Twain” (Max Steiner).  Writers are such characters, aren’t they?  Everything’s writ large, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: November 1 - Lives of the Saints

Oct 31, 2019

For this All Saints’ Day, enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of piety, with music from “The Song of Bernadette” (Alfred Newman), “Saint Joan” (Mischa Spoliansky), “A Man for All Seasons” (Georges Delerue), and “Quo Vadis” (Miklós Rózsa).  The saints go marching in, this Friday at 6 pm.

With Halloween lurking around a dark corner, we take a page from the undead.   Get your blood up with music from film adaptations of vampire novels, including “Interview with the Vampire” (Eliot Goldenthal), “Dracula” (John Williams), “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (Henry Jackman), “Horror of Dracula” (James Bernard), and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (Wojciech Kilar).  Watch out for those papercuts, this Friday at 6 pm.

With Halloween right around the corner, enjoy selections from John Williams’ music for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”  La-La Land Records has compiled every last note as heard in the films, alternate takes, source music, trailer music and teaser ads, and a never-before-released concert suite – eight hours of music on seven CDs – remastered in a limited edition boxed set of 5000 copies.  Get ready for an hour of pure magic, this Friday at 6 pm.

Director Brian De Palma has frequently been criticized for his adherence to “genre trash,” but audiences certainly remember his movies.  With Halloween right around the corner, enjoy music from suspense and supernatural thrillers, “Obsession” (Bernard Hermann), “The Fury” (John Williams), and “Carrie” (Pino Donaggio), along with that for the crime-busting adventure “The Untouchables” (Ennio Morricone).  De Palma takes the palm, this Friday at 6 pm.

Prepare to get all fired up.  Rekindle your affection for dragons with music from “Dragonheart” (Randy Edelman), “Dragonslayer” (Alex North), “How to Train Your Dragon” (John Powell), and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Howard Shore).  Feel the burn, this Friday at 6 pm.

Get ready to go ape.  It’s a survey of all five scores for the original “Planet of the Apes” movies, restored and remastered by La-La Land Records and reissued in a limited edition boxed set of 5000 copies.  Composers include Jerry Goldsmith, Leonard Rosenman and Tom Scott.  It’s a wild journey across the Planet of the Apes.  Yes we have no bananas, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: September 20 - Elegiac Westerns

Sep 19, 2019

The obsolescence of the gunfighter.  The free-ranging cowboy fenced off by barbed wire.  Horses replaced by automobiles.  The land of limitless possibility and moral certitude, subdivided and spoiled by industrialization.  Once-heroic figures ride slowly into the sunset, or are killed, their qualities unrecognized, perhaps even willfully rejected, by those who come after.  Tune in for selections from “Cheyenne Autumn” (Alex North), “The Shootist” (Elmer Bernstein), “The Wild Bunch” (Jerry Fielding), and “Monte Walsh” (John Barry).  Autumn comes to the Old West, this Friday at 6 pm.

The 30-year romance of William Alwyn and Doreen Carwithen culminated in the couple’s marriage in 1975.  Combined, during their heyday in the 1940s and ‘50s, they wrote the music for over 100 films.  Alwyn, in particular, scored such high-profile projects as “The Crimson Pirate,” “A Night to Remember,” and “The Swiss Family Robinson.”  Although groomed for a career in film, Carwithen was not given the same opportunities.  She scored only six dramatic features.  The rest were documentaries and shorts.  We’ll sample their work, 50/50, this Friday at 6 pm.

What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!  The next best is an hour of music from barbarian movies.  Tune in for selections from films inspired by the writings of pulp master Robert E. Howard, including “Red Sonja” (Ennio Morricone), “Kull the Conqueror” (Joel Goldsmith), and “Conan the Barbarian” and “Conan the Destroyer” (both Basil Poledouris).  Nothing hurts us, except pain, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: August 30 - Labor Day

Aug 29, 2019

Celebrate Labor Day with music from movies about the working stiff, including selections from “The Molly Maguires” (Henry Mancini), “Modern Times” (Charles Chaplin & David Raksin), “Metropolis” (Gottfried Huppertz), and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (Frank Churchill & Larry Morey).  It’s home from work we go, this Friday at 6 pm.

Expand your palette with music from movies about the great painters, including “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (Alex North), “Moulin Rouge” (Georges Auric), “The Picasso Summer” (Michel Legrand), and “Lust for Life” (Miklós Rózsa).  Prepare for a brush with greatness, this Friday at 6 pm.

With two weeks left in August, there’s still time for a quick European vacation.  Tune in for selections from “A Summer Story” (Georges Delerue), “Smiles of a Summer Night” (Erik Nordgren), “My Father’s Glory” & “My Mother’s Castle” (Vladimir Cosma), and “Cinema Paradiso” (Ennio Morricone).  Music is the universal language, this Friday at 6 pm.

Taste the lash, and prepare to be keelhauled!  Stand tall against tyrannical sea captains, with music from “The Sea Wolf” (Erich Wolfgang Korngold), “Moby Dick” (Philip Sainton), “The Caine Mutiny” (Max Steiner), and “Mutiny on the Bounty” (Bronislau Kaper).  Strawberries will be pilfered and arms distributed among the crew, this Friday at 6 pm.

We’re off to the antipodes for an hour of music from films set in the Australian bush, including “Bitter Springs” (Ralph Vaughan Williams & Ernest Irving), “Quigley Down Under” (Basil Poledouris), “Walkabout” (John Barry”), and “The Overlanders” (John Ireland).  It’s Oz without the munchkins, this Friday at 6 pm.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold is the focus of this summer’s Bard Music Festival, to be held at Bard College in upstate New York, Aug. 9 to 11 and Aug. 16 to 18.  For this special broadcast, Bard president, conductor, and co-artistic director Leon Botstein will comment on the festival and the composer, who started out as a child prodigy and the toast of Vienna and went on to become one of the seminal figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  There’s gold in that there korn, this Friday at 6 pm.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” it’s music from movies inspired by Apollo 11, the Space Race, speculative fiction, and conspiracy theory.  Take flight with music from “First Man” (Justin Hurwitz), “The Right Stuff ” (Bill Conti), “Capricorn One” (Jerry Goldsmith), and the original, rejected score for “2001:  A Space Odyssey” (Alex North).  Prepare for lift-off, this Friday at 6 pm.

With Bastille Day right around the corner, surge to power on the allegedly diminutive shoulders of Napoleon Bonaparte.  We indulge in small pleasures with a little music from “War and Peace” (Nino Rota), “The Pride and the Passion” (George Antheil), “The Duellists” (Howard Blake), and “Napoleon” (Arthur Honegger).  It will be a satisfying show by any measure, this Friday at 6 pm.

The star-spangled glare of American music doesn’t just end with the fireworks.  This week, on “Picture Perfect,” we’ll bask in the pyrotechnic after-glow of Independence Day with an hour of film music by Aaron Copland.  Enjoy selections from “The City,” “The North Star,” “Something Wild,” and the Academy Award winning score for “The Heiress.”  It’s music for the silver screen by the Dean of American Composers, this Friday at 6 pm.

Every time you support The Classical Network, you make a kindly extraterrestrial’s heart glow.  Every time you don’t contribute – you risk activating the destructive power of Gort!  It’s the final day of our end-of-the-fiscal-year membership campaign.   Please do your part to ensure universal harmony by calling 1-888-232-1212, or by donating online at wwfm.org.  Then enjoy music from “Cocoon” (James Horner), “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (Bernard Herrmann), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (John Williams).  We come in peace, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: June 14 - City Slickers

Jun 14, 2019

City mice go the country this week.  Displaced cops, dilapidated farmhouses, and cowboy fantasy camps form the bases for “Witness” (Maurice Jarre), “On Dangerous Ground” (Bernard Herrmann), “George Washington Slept Here” (Adolph Deutsch), and “City Slickers” (Marc Shaiman).  Whether you’re on the lam or on the lamb, the fresh air will do you good, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: June 7 - Godzilla Returns

Jun 7, 2019

Strictly speaking, Godzilla is not a dinosaur.  But who cares, really – especially when his return to theaters spawns a playlist made up of selections from “Godzilla” (Alexandre Desplat), “The Land Before Time” (James Horner), “One Million Years B.C.” (Mario Nascimbene), and “Jurassic Park” (John Williams)?  It’s not exactly chamber music, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect - May 31: Poetry in Motion

May 30, 2019

On Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, it’s a look at poetry in the movies, with music from “Dead Poets Society” (Maurice Jarre), “Lady Caroline Lamb” (Richard Rodney Bennett), “Il Postino” (Luis Bacalov), and “Cyrano de Bergerac” (Dimitri Tiomkin).  It might be better; it could be verse.  The powerful play goes on, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: May 24 - The Civil War

May 24, 2019

Memorial Day has its roots in Decoration Day, a time to honor those who gave “the last full measure of their devotion” during the War Between the States.  We acknowledge the heroism and sacrifice of ordinary Americans placed in extraordinary circumstances, with music from “Gettysburg” (Randy Edelman), “Gone with the Wind” (Max Steiner), Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” (Jay Ungar), and “Glory” (James Horner).  A house divided against itself cannot stand.  Preserve the union of history and entertainment, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: May 17 - Everything's Super

May 16, 2019

More powerful than a locomotive!  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  It’s music from “Batman” (Danny Elfman)!  “The Incredibles” (Michael Giacchino)!  “The Avengers” (Alan Silvestri)!  And “Superman: The Movie” (John Williams)!  Punctuation receives a cold blow to the jaw, as supervillains are consigned to the Phantom Zone, this Friday at 6 pm!

Before American composers like Jerome Moross and Elmer Bernstein made the western distinctly their own, the task of scoring the genre fell largely to European émigrés.  Hear different perspectives on how the West was won, with music from “They Died with Their Boots On” (Max Steiner), “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” (Dimitri Tiomkin), “The Furies” (Franz Waxman), “Tribute to a Bad Man” (Miklós Rózsa), and “Once Upon a Time in the West” (Ennio Morricone).  Set your pocket watches.  The next coach leaves this Friday at 6 pm.

And they’re off!  On the eve of the Kentucky Derby, the focus is on music from movies about horse-racing.  Tune in for selections from “The Black Stallion” (Carmine Coppola), “The Reivers” (John Williams), “Seabiscuit” (Randy Newman), and “Hidalgo” (James Newton Howard).  Start your weekend with a mint julep, this Friday at 6 pm.