What is the name of this music from Au Revoir Les Enfants?
November 26, 2005 12:02 AM   Subscribe

What is the name of this music (40 second 940 kb mp3) from Au Revoir Les Enfants?

This music is by two boys on piano, one covering the rhythm and the other playing the melody. There's an air raid on and they've avoided the teachers (and, as a result, having to sit in the shelter for hours staring at the wall or reading books by flashlight); that unsupervised freedom and the music has them laughing.

The credits list only two pieces of music. One is "Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28," composed by Camille Saint-Saëns; amazon.com has an excerpt on this page (one in Real Player and another in Windows Media). That excerpt doesn't sound like this piece I'm looking for, but, then, this excerpt doesn't strike me as particularly capricious either.

The other piece of music credited in the film is "Moment musical no 2," Written by Franz Schubert, with Ami Flammer on violin. I think that one is also not what the boys are playing (there's no violin), but I tracked it down anyway. There's an excerpt on this page (again, amazon.com, Real or Windows Media). Unsurprisingly, it doesn't sound like this piano piece.

Does anyone know what piece this is they're playing (that is, if they're not improvising)? I'd love to get a copy of the full track, without laughter and dialogue and sirens and so forth over it.
posted by Tuwa to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
The last part makes me think it's a version of Straight, No Chaser by Thelonius Monk. The semblance could be coincidental, though. Anyway, it's some kind of 12-bar blues.
posted by speicus at 1:03 AM on November 26, 2005

That style is definitely boogie-woogie, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was just an improvisation.
posted by chrismear at 4:44 AM on November 26, 2005

yeah it's boogie-woogie (just google for that and the film name - unfortunately nothing in the google hits says what the piece might be).

my understanding (i'm slowly learning about jazz, but don't really have a clue) is that monk is more bop than boogie-woogie, but i think they are connected (at least at first - "hot" rather than "cool"), and boogie woogie is also connected to the blues (like ragtime plus blues...?). i'm probably getting this completely wrong. wish i could find a good clear history of jazz online....
posted by andrew cooke at 6:12 AM on November 26, 2005

Here's someone selling the soundtrack on eBay. Maybe you could drop the seller a note and ask him for the track listing.
posted by gfrobe at 7:52 AM on November 26, 2005

Most things that I remember reading about Monk have categorized him as bop and post-bop, but since I wouldn't know boogie-woogie if it punched me in the gut and took my wallet, my recollection doesn't amount to much.

gfrobe, that's a good idea, thanks. I've got the track listing now and am poking around amazon.com looking for samples to match up. I expect I'll take a trip to the library tomorrow--one of the tracks ("Impromptu D.935") has me piqued.

Still, since this seems to be a boogie-woogie track, "Impromptu" is almost certainly also not what I'm looking for--according to the wikipedia article, Schubert would have died about 90 years too early to have composed the track the boys are playing. So it's probably just an improvisation--but at least I know now there's a new patch of music I'm interested in. (This is the second of my AskMe questions people have answered with "boogie-woogie.")
posted by Tuwa at 2:32 PM on November 26, 2005

I can tell you right now that this isn't by Schubert.
posted by chrismear at 3:18 PM on November 26, 2005

Sorry, to make up for being a dick, the quintessential piano boogie woogie people you're looking for are Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis. Get something by them, and you'll find a lot of music that sounds very similar to the bit from Au Revoir....
posted by chrismear at 3:38 PM on November 26, 2005

That's all right, chrismear. And you're right. Nothing off the tracklist was this piece.

Thanks for the tips. Ammons and Johnson are both names I keep hearing; it's past time for me to look into their work.
posted by Tuwa at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2005

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