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the project

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:25)
A lone man serenades his lover while standing underneath her window. A couple is dancing cheek to cheek while their favorite song is playing on the radio. Former lovers lock eyes across a smoky room to the strains of a tinny piano. These common romantic images show the important link between music and romance, a link that movie producers have been aware of for a long time. Music is able to express the ecstasy and despair of romance without having to awkwardly describe these emotions in words. That is why The Romantic Approach is a unique recording—it includes music written by some of America's finest composers that expresses the full range of emotions felt while being in or merely wanting to be in a romance.

For example, Duke Ellington is a master at conveying the first rush of heat felt when meeting the gaze of an attractive person for the first time. His jazz–influenced Village of the Virgins is a very sophisticated and passionate piece. In contrast, George Gershwin's Lullaby expresses a more innocent attraction, reminiscent of shy glances rather than bold stares.

In many romances, feelings of love are not returned or there are obstacles to be overcome. John Cage's Dream conveys all the longing of an unfulfilled romance. The piece begins slowly, almost as if the musician is too weak to perform, but at times accelerates in a flurry of notes as some memory comes rushing back to the dreamer. Similarly, the solitary blare of the trumpet on Quiet City by Aaron Copland imparts a lonely quality to the piece. This song will make you hold your lover close as you imagine a city full of anonymous people looking for the relationship you and your lover share.

The feeling of being swept away is also a part of every good romance, and Elliott Carter's Elegy is the perfect manifestation of this experience. When listening to this beautiful work, great historical romances such as that of King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson are called to mind. The intense beauty and power of love are also excellently portrayed in Samuel Barber's Adagio. There is a sad element to this piece as one remembers that romance is precarious and fragile.

True to the Romantic tradition, the music on this compilation centers around the sounds of bowed strings. From the multitracked viola used in Cage's gentle and haunting Dream, to the string quartet arrangement of Gershwin's Lullaby, to the massed string orchestra of Copland's evocative Quiet City, the sonorities of bowed strings provide continuity through the whole collection. These works and several others round out this fascinating collection of American music that takes as its theme the adventure of romance.


1 Quiet City by Aaron Copland 8'41"
2 Lonely Town (Pas de deux) from On the Town: Three Dance Episodes by Leonard Bernstein 3'22"
3 Hymn from Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 2 by Henry Cowell 3'22"
4 Elergy by Elliott Carter 4'12"
5 Adagio from String Quartet by Samuel Barber 7'18"
6 Dream by John Cage 7'25"
7 Lullaby by George Gershwin 7'10"
8 A Night Piece by Arthur Foote 7'56"
9 3rd Movement from Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano by Peter Schickele 4'43"
10 Village of the Virgins from "Suite from the River" by Duke Ellington 4'17"
11 Painted Desert from Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé 5'25"
12 The Unanswered Question from Two Contemplations by Charles Ives 5'43"
  Total Time: 69'43"