There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The late Georges Delerue’s ’60s film music, composed for leading nouvelle vague directors (Godard, Resnais, Malle), led him to Hollywood, where he scored Julia, Platoon, and other prestigious productions. But he will perhaps be best remembered for his 11 collaborations with François Truffaut, an association that began with Truffaut’s second feature, Shoot the Piano Player (1960), and continued until the director’s next-to-last movie, The Woman Next Door (1981). This Nonesuch anthology of 23 freshly recorded excerpts from nine of those films is part of the initial release of the label’s “Film Music Series,” which also includes discs devoted to scores by Alex North (A Streetcar Named Desire), Toru Takemitsu (Woman in the Dunes), and Leonard Rosenman (East of Eden). Delerue’s music encompasses a broad spectrum of styles ranging from pop (Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me) to classical (Day for Night), but his specialty was delicate, neo-impressionist writing for small string and woodwind ensembles. The highlights of this anthology are five extracts from Truffaut’s masterpiece, Jules and Jim, including the sprightly “Main Title” cancan and “Vacances,” the airy waltz that accompanies shots of the film’s ménage à trois-ing protagonists bicycling through the French countryside. Meticulously performed and recorded, this handsomely packaged collection includes an assortment of evocative stills, an affectionate remembrance by Delerue’s friend and colleague Daniel Carlin, and a characteristically gassy essay by Truffaut hagiographer Annette Insdorf. One doesn’t have to accept Insdorf’s inflated claim that “the symbiosis between these two Frenchmen is unequaled in film history” (what about Bernard Herrmann’s collaborations with Welles and Hitchcock?) to find Delerue’s music enchanting.Joel E. Siegel