Osvaldo Golijov
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Youth Without Youth (2007): Reviews
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I missed Francis Ford Coppola's film "Youth Without Youth" when it was released late last year. But Golijov's score (which reflects Herrmann's influence) works beautifully as pure music. A warmly nostalgic lyricism pervades the 11 sections of the suite, scored for soft strings peppered with accordion, cimbalom and Persian spiked fiddle. Faint echoes of Astor Piazzolla and Gustav Mahler add to the dreamlike aura of this episodic if absorbing music. The "Youth Without Youth" Suite, like Golijov himself, testifies to the vitality of today's multi-cultural new music. It was performed with precision by an ensemble of mostly young freelance musicians under Brad Lubman.

—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Recruited by the godfather himself, Francis Ford Coppola, the CSO's Mead composer-in-residence Golijov had to capture the Eastern European bygone era of World War II in the film "Youth Without Youth" (2007). Golijov's a natural at visualizing foreign locales (see "Ayre" and "Ainadamar") and developing sound worlds for them. By bringing on board the Persian-stringed kemancheh and a Romanian cimbalom, his trademark multicultural pen distinguished an otherwise lush string score. (Both instruments were warmly played by Kayhan Kalhor and Kalman Balogh, respectively.)

Golijov's score juggles several styles but its prevailing wistful mood holds together from start to finish. Guest conductor Brad Lubman sharply directed the MusicNOW ensemble through clips of a Mahler-esque adagio, a shrieking Kubrick nightmare, and even an episode with swelling strings and crashing cymbals, as if included for a lesson in sweeping cinematic kitsch. Golijov's a melodist at his core and pleasurable tunes frequently popped up, including a memorable bittersweet lament on Michael Ward-Bergman's hyper-accordion

—Bryant Manning, Chicago Sun-Times