What is that music?

January 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm (Ballet, Film and television, Music, Mystery fiction, The British police procedural)

Here are two separate musical encounters: the first, a new and welcome experience; the second, an equally welcome return.

The first one began with a video of the great Natalia Osipova.  At the time of this film, she was seventeen years old; now in her mid twenties, she is a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet. Click here to see Natalia Osipova performing Liturgy.

Of course, I loved Osipova’s dancing. And I loved her choice of music. Then, much to my astonishment, I heard that music again in a most  unlikely place, or so it seemed to me: the opening credits of the police drama Southland:

Intrigued by this odd confluence, I did some digging and found out more about Cancao do Mar, or Song of the Sea. The vocalist is Dulce Pontes. According to  Wikipedia: “Her songs contributed to the 1990s revival of Portuguese urban folk music called fado.” Here is a video realization of this haunting melody.


It’s been a long wait, but the BBC film versions of Reginald Hill’s venerable Dalziel & Pascoe novels are finally available on DVD. We first viewed these on the A&E network many years ago and have not seen them since. This would account for our having forgotten who composed the soundtrack. As soon as we fired up the first disc and heard that music, we looked at each other and smiled…

Yes, it’s the work of Barrington Pheloung, whose legato saxophone riffs and notes of embedded code were so powerfully identified with in the Inspector Morse series – Ah yes, Inspector Morse and John Thaw, of blessed memory:

(My heart aches, whenever I hear that music…)


  1. kathy d. said,

    I fortunately got one set of dvd’s from the library with three episodes…liked it so much. My eyes never left the screen. Fun and I laughed out loud several times, always a good sign. Wish more would be available here.
    I did just find a set on dvd’s starring Inspector Maigret, Simenon’s character. Cannot wait.

  2. Elizabeth said,

    Wow! I just discovered your blog a few days ago and I love it! It is very interesting and informative. And it looks like we have similar taste in our reading 🙂


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