Friday, May 8, 2020


No. 338 of the ongoing  ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at

Western culture romanticizes outlaws – think of Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde. Pirates, the outlaws of the High Seas, are portrayed as "swashbucklers" and "plunderers." They are shown on ships, often wearing eyepatches or peg legs, saying phrases like "Arr, matey" .Pirates have retained their image through pirate-themed tourist attractions, film, toys, books and plays.

Today’s montage is a collection of works from the concert hall, stage and screen that explore pirates mostly as “bad bpys” rather as the “evil men” they are… One such work, the lively overture to Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance; concerns Frederic, who is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. Bellini’s opera Il Pirata follows the melodramatic storyline of the “bad boy” Pirate and the woman he once loved, whose husband has a mission to capture him. Although the title can translate as The Pirate or The Buccaneer, César Cui’s lyric comedy Le flibustier is no swashbuckling action-drama, but an idyllic domestic comedy of mistaken identity.

A sizable portion of this week’s podcast is dedicated to the original soundtrack for Captain Blood, the 1935 Errol Flynn classic, composed and conducted by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The film chronicles the 17th-century adventures of Peter Blood, the physician-turned-pirate. Captain Blood became an immediate hit, with an Oscar nomination for the score. As Korngold's first fully symphonic film score, it marked a milestone in his career; Korngold would score six more films starring Flynn.

The Red Rover is a novel by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. The novel follows the activities of the sailor Dick Fid, free black sailor Scipio Africanus and Royal Navy officer James Wilder as they encounter the famous pirate, "The Red Rover". To close, Hector Berlioz was a great admirer of James Fenimore Cooper and commemorated Cooper’s death by renaming one of his overtures Le corsaire rouge, translated from the French as “Red Rover” — the overture is better known in its shorter form as  “Le Corsaire”.

I think you will love this music too.

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