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Playlist: 20 Years Of Great Cinema Tuesdays Film Scores

Gene Kelly
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Gene Kelly, dancin' and singin' in the rain.

Music has been linked to moviemaking since the birth of the cinema. Before recorded sound, live musicians would accompany silent films to enhance the mood of a scene, and to this day, the right score can elevate a film, and a great score can sear itself on your heart.

This year, Texas Public Radio is celebrating its 20th anniversary of bringing great movies to the big screen in San Antonio with our annual Cinema Tuesdays series. The very first year, in 2001, TPR featured some amazing films with great scores such as Nino Rota’s score for Federico Fellini’s “I Vitelloni,” and Ennio Morricone’s lush, romantic score for “Cinema Paradiso,” a love letter to the cinema if ever there was one. Audiences marveled to Gene Kelly’s steps in “An American in Paris,” and laughed with Greta Garbo in “Ninotchka.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has currently shuttered theaters across the nation. No one knows exactly when we’ll be back to the movies—though we hope it’ll be in time for this summer’s Cinema Tuesdays series opener, currently scheduled for May 26 at the Santikos Bijou. As of this writing, we’re still planning on it. (Season passes available here.)

In the meantime, I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of great musical moments from the past two decades of Cinema Tuesdays features. You’ll hear lush romanticism, world music, a bit of jazz… and some of the songs associated with the movies, too, such as Elton John’s “Amoreena,” which plays over the opening credits of “Dog Day Afternoon,” or “From Her To Eternity,” performed onscreen by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in “Wings of Desire.”

I’ve also included some of my favorite classical pieces used in films we have screened, such as the “Gymnopedie No. 1” by Erik Satie (“My Dinner With Andre”) and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which underscores the tragic romance of David Lean’s “Brief Encounter.” See how many pieces you remember… and if you can't place a particular song with its movie, or you’re curious to see the whole list of every TPR Cinema feature we’ve shown, email ncone@tpr.org. I'm happy to hear from you.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some happy listening while you’re practicing good social distancing!

Listen using the embedded player below or follow this link to the playlist: https://spoti.fi/2Je8iBz

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.