Elliot Goldenthal

Frida [Music from the Motion Picture]

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There is always a question, when a composer works on a project set in a culture of which he or she is not actually a part, a project intended for an audience that goes beyond that culture, how closely the composer should hew to the music of the culture itself. Broadway composers, for example, often have employed musical motifs and an instrument or two indigenous to the setting of a musical set in, say, Siam or Czarist Russia, while the overall score would betray its roots in 20th century American show music. Elliot Goldenthal, a New York-based composer who often works with his romantic partner, director Julie Taymor, follows a more contemporary trend to go native in his score for Taymor's Frida, a biopic about the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). On this soundtrack album, a third of the tracks are actual Mexican folk songs performed by Mexican artists. For the rest, Goldenthal presents a score based on traditional Mexican music. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi