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Oscar fail: the orchestra

February 29, 2016 by norman lebrecht

16 comments.


by Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press:

Completely out of tune: Just when you think the Oscar orchestra has done the worst play-off ever (for the winning director of a short doc on honor killings), it decides to play Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries” through most of  the acceptance speech of best director winner Alejandro Inarritu’s back-to-back win for “The Revenant.” It was really hard to concentrate on Inarritu’s moving remarks on prejudice with the Wagnerian brushoff in the background.

oscars


Comments (16)

  1. Holly Golightly says:

    Oh when are these narcissistic and shallow ‘progressives’ going to stop lecturing us all? Listen up you Hollywood ‘stars’ – you make entertainment, mostly for the lumpen proletariat, and you think this gives you the right to tell the few intelligent people who tune in for 5 minutes that you know what’s best for the world!!?? Seriously? Leo: you’ve made money dressed us as a neanderthal crawling through the slime and making grunting noises. It’s not a Nobel Prize in Physics, man!! They’re not going to put you in charge of the NASA Space Program. It’s all make believe.

    Reality check: you make noise with all the crashing, banging, whirring, fizzing, exploding, screeching, whining and clattering that the modern computer is capable of. And for this you think an “Oscar” category is warranted? Give me a break!!

    Just get out there in your frocks and suits and speak nicely to the people who keep you in a job and try to reduce your pontificating to a minimum. You are a product bought and sold so please don’t pretend to be otherwise. The fact that you earn more than the managing directors of most companies with capitalization in the billions means that you were born lucky, not brilliant.

    And the Oscar orchestra’s version of Wagner seems to be another sobering reminder of how stupid it all is.

    1. Milka says:

      Don’t they sell golightly in Australia ??? “Lumpen proletariat” is enough to
      cause a skipped heart beat !!! Marx in Australia ……….wow !

      1. Holly Golightly says:

        You’ve obviously recognized yourself in that mix. Well done.

  2. PJ says:

    I’ll be looking forward to next year’s rendition of “Ride of the bumblebees” then.

    1. Huw says:

      👏 Bravo, PJ.

      Or in the interest of being P.C. 👏🏿👏🏾👏🏽👏🏼👏🏻

  3. Itsjtime says:

    Oh my goodness. It took me three lines to realize that the first post by HGL was more inane than the oscars could possibly have been.
    I personally prefer more of a grown up awards ceremony, where the performers are more apt to be free in their joy of acceptance and are less apt to use the platform for politics.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=geV-LLGL9sU

    1. Holly Golightly says:

      That you “prefer” anything about a Hollywood awards ceremony is disturbing enough in itself!!!

  4. John Kelly says:

    I was rather hoping Slipped Disc would report that Ennio Morricone had finally gotten an Oscar for one of his scores, but I suspect that would have been less clickworthy a story………………

    The whole Oscar exercise is of course a ridiculous self-adulatory charade on the part of the US film industry. The people who get upset the most are those who think the awards are merited as opposed to lobbied for. And then yes, there’s the pontification from some of the winners. Mind you, I’d sooner listen to them than most of the political candidates in the multi-year contest for the US Presidency…………….(speaking of self adulation)

    1. NYMike says:

      Hear, hear! And it’s a good payday for the LA studio musicians doing the broadcast.

  5. Peter Danish says:

    Oh Norman! You completely buried the lead! As Charles Randolph was thanking his wife, Israeli actress Mili Avital, in Hebrew — he was cut off by the orchestra playing WAGNER. Bet you never expected to see THAT in an Oscar telecast did ya?

    1. norman lebrecht says:

      News to me… tks!

  6. Stephen Endelman says:

    Last nights music was a mess. Know one he hell what was going on. There was not logic or structure to the choices. Wagner was a terrible mistake. Saturdays SCL music event was far more fun.

  7. Miss Jessel says:

    The notion that the orchestra ‘decided’ anything at all about what they had to play during the Oscars ceremony is perhaps the most dunderheaded piece of musical criticism I have ever read- in a fiercely competitive field.

    1. Gerhard says:

      Spot on!

  8. Nick says:

    The Wagner was used not only as the cue to cut short Inarritu’s acceptance remarks. It was used EVERY time a winner overran the scheduled time slot. Utterly ridiculous choice of music!

    But when we’ve been used in past years to a cringe-inducing litany of thanks being spouted to studio executives, distributors, financial backers, wives, husbands, partners, children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, agents, managers, publicists, “God” – even cats on one occasion – as having contributed to an individual’s Oscar win, it is surely a blessing that winners are given a specific time for their remarks. My advice to the producers of the increasingly boring awards ceremonies is to have nominees prepare a list of thanks in advance and then scroll it across the screen as a win is announced. Speeches could then be reduced to 10 seconds and the whole event mercifully shortened.

    And my bravo also to the extraordinary composer, Ennio Morricone!


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