Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Note Skates a Thousand Words: New Music for Cohen, Czisny, Wagner

I would say that the question “What music are you using?” is the skater’s version of the “Who are you wearing?” query that gets batted about at every major awards ceremony… except… lately, skaters seem to get the Who are you wearing? question too.

But they’re not really the same thing anyway. A skater’s music sets the tone for his or her career for an entire season. It can be love at first listen (and sight) for an audience, or it can grow on them over time. Occasionally, it can prompt nothing but grimaces and groans for a year (particularly if the program is a holdover from a previous season). On rare occasions, the music and program is ditched altogether—think Belbin/Agosto’s That’s Entertainment-esque FD from a couple years back that was, thankfully, replaced by the Amelie soundtrack midstream.

So anyway—I’ve started checking out what I could find about program music for the upcoming season, curious to see what’s recognizable… what’s all TOO recognizable… and what might be truly unique. This time out, I’ve got the selections for three U.S. Senior Ladies… your thoughts and input are welcome:

Sasha Cohen: SP Music: "Espana Cani" by Pascual Marquina Narro…FS Music: "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven

I’m not schooled enough to recognize the Narro piece—anyone else know it?—but I have to admit I’m intrigued with the Beethoven choice. Last lady of note that I recall using it was Suguri…

Alissa Czisny: SP music: Music from the The Mask of Zorro soundtrack…FS music: Selections from the Dr. Zhivago soundtrack by Maurice Jarre

Hmm. Of the two programs she could have carried over into the new season, I guess I’d have preferred she bring The Swan along… wonder if she’ll be able to up the ante on last year’s Dr. Zhivago?

Ashley Wagner: SP Music: Music from the Once Upon a Time in America soundtrack by Ennio Morricone…FS Music: Alexander Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

Sigh about the “Polovtsian Dances”… I can’t hum it from memory I the off-season, but as soon as I hear it again I’ll recognize it in a war-horsey way. Not my favorite. As for her SP, can’t hum that at all! But Morricone is considered one of the finer composers of our time, isn’t he? And didn’t Plushenko and Lambiel both want to use this music a few seasons ago? No, wait, that was Once Upon a Time in Mexico, wasn’t it… so confusing.

But in fact, Lambiel ended up taking the Mexico music… and look who was using the America version of Once-Upon-A-Time,
back in 2001?


Aaron said...

Cohen's music is brilliant! Espana Cani is that serious Paso Doble music you always hear at Ballroom Competitions. It has that fiery passion that Cohen owns and her free skate music is the polar opposite and gives the perfect contrast.

Not a fan of Wagner's SP music but I've seen her free skate this season and I think she uses that familiar piece well.

I'm worried about Czisny...finger crossed?

Kelli Lawrence said...

Aaron, I was thinking the contrast on the Cohen programs was similar to what she did in Torino... something colorful and lively with the folky Russian "Dark Eyes" (was that it?) for SP, and deep and romantic classical with "Romeo & Juliet"... her new combo might push that contrast even farther.

I think with Wagner I'm just going to miss "Spartacus"... so much energy she seemed to have in parts of that one, it almost looked like an old silent film that was playing a little too fast for real time-- if that makes sense!

Czisny... you and me both on those fingers ;-/