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.

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.

Picture Perfect: July 19 - To the Moon and Beyond

Jul 18, 2019

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 21 - Franco Zeffirelli

Jun 21, 2019

Franco Zeffirelli died on June 15 at the age of 96.  The flamboyant director favored big emotions and grandiose subjects, making his biggest mark in Shakespeare and opera.  Tune in to recall his artistry through music from “Romeo and Juliet” (Nino Rota), “Jesus of Nazareth” (Maurice Jarre), “Hamlet” (Ennio Morricone), and “The Taming of the Shrew (Nino Rota),” 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.

Beauty patches are back this week.  It’s an hour of lace and licentiousness, with movies set during the reign of Charles II.  Tune in for music from “Restoration” (James Newton Howard), “The King’s Thief” (Miklós Rózsa), “The Draughtsman’s Contract” (Michael Nyman), and “Forever Amber” (David Raksin).  Everyone, giggle into your handkerchiefs and wear ribbons on your shoes, this Friday at 6 pm.

It’s another hour of Biblical epics, but with an interesting twist.  Rather than go directly to the Gospels, these are all films inspired by bestselling historical novels.  Tune in for music from film adaptations of Lloyd C. Douglas’ “The Robe” (Alfred Newman), Thomas B. Costain’s “The Silver Chalice” (Franz Waxman), Pär Lagerkvist’s “Barrabas” (Mario Nascimbene), and General Lew Wallace’s “Ben-Hur” (Miklós Rózsa).  It’s the New Testament made new, this Friday at 6 pm.

With Passover and Easter right around the corner, we’re entering the peak season for Bible movies.  This week on “Picture Perfect,” it’s an hour of music from epics inspired by the Old Testament – including “Samson and Delilah” (Victor Young), “Solomon and Sheba” (Mario Nascimbene), “Sodom and Gomorrah” (Miklós Rózsa), and “The Ten Commandments” (Elmer Bernstein).  Chariots!  Tunics!  Histrionic acting!  It’s going to be epic, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect: April 5 - Mythological Mash-up

Apr 5, 2019

Release the Kraken!  The focus this week is on classical mythology.  Okay, so the Kraken is Scandinavian…  Tune in for selections from “Helen of Troy” (Max Steiner), “Clash of the Titans” (Laurence Rosenthal), “Hercules” (Pino Donaggio), and “Jason and the Argonauts” (Bernard Herrmann).  You won’t want to myth it, this Friday at 6 pm.

All aboard!  From the beginning, trains have provided good escapist fun at the movies.  Tune in for transporting selections from “Murder on the Orient Express” (Richard Rodney Bennett), “The Train” (Maurice Jarre), “Strangers on a Train” (Dimitri Tiomkin), and “The Great Train Robbery” (Jerry Goldsmith).  Trains are the ticket, this Friday at 6 pm.

Prophecies must be fulfilled, order restored, and the land made whole!  Join the quest for music from fantasy films, with selections from “The Dark Crystal” (Trevor Jones), “Willow” (James Horner), “The Lord of the Rings” (Leonard Rosenman), and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (Howard Shore).  It’s a hero’s journey from Jim Henson to Mount Doom, this Friday at 6 pm.

March 15th lives in infamy as the anniversary of the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.  After declaring himself Dictator for Life, Caesar was set upon by members of the Roman Senate and stabbed 23 times.  Toga is the dressing for a Caesar salad of films set in Ancient Rome, including “Julius Caesar” (Miklós Rózsa), “Cleopatra” (Alex North), “Gladiator” (Hans Zimmer), and “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (Dimitri Tiomkin).  Rome wasn’t built in a day; it falls in an hour, this Friday at 6 pm.

Before André Previn became an acclaimed conductor of symphonies, he stood before some of the greatest sight-readers in the world, who made up the Hollywood studios’ crackerjack orchestras.  From “Lassie” to “My Fair Lady” to “Rollerball,” Previn worked on over 50 films.  He was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 4.  We’ll explore a neglected aspect of this supremely talented musical polymath, with selections from “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” “Irma la Douce,” “Dead Ringer,” and “Elmer Gantry,” this Friday at 6 pm.

Less than a week after Hollywood’s Biggest Night, take a look behind the film industry’s glamorous veneer with music from “Sunset Boulevard” (Franz Waxman), “The Bad and the Beautiful” (David Raksin), “The Stunt Man” (Dominic Frontiere), and “The Artist” (Ludovic Bource).  Nothing is as important as that perfect shot or the next big hit.  What price fame?  Stars are born and careers fade, this Friday at 6 pm.

Picture Perfect - February 22: Oscar Party 2019!

Feb 21, 2019

And the winner is… us!  The Academy Awards are always an excellent excuse to cast a nostalgic look back on Oscar history.  We’ll sample from all five of this year’s nominees for Best Original Score, but also revel in music from some of the most honored and beloved classics of all time.  Whether or not the movies’ best days are behind them, we’ll find plenty to celebrate with THREE HOURS OF QUALITY FILM MUSIC, on a special expanded edition of “Picture Perfect” – this Friday only from 4 to 7 pm.

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