Original score composed and conducted by Vladimir Cosma.
Aria performed by Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez.
The 1981 Jean-Jacques Beineix film Diva is a dizzying cornucopia of delights, with a strong sense of urban cool and a cast of characters whose alternating detachments and obsessions hint at the legacy of pain and loneliness that helped form them. Its score, composed by Vladimir Cosma, is inseparable from the film, which, after all, is about music itself, and the ways that it links to desire and longing. From the beautiful arias of Wilhemina Wiggins Fernandez (who plays an opera singer in the film) to the eerie, achingly beautiful instrumental pieces composed by Cosma to set the mood for images of rain-slicked streets, Taiwanese music pirates, teenaged Vietnamese thieves, jaded middle-aged art sages, motorbikes and car chases, the score for Diva remains one of Cosma's masterpieces, a perfect companion to a film that became an international underground hit. This edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the film -- which has held up remarkably well considering it was initially a commercial and critical flop. Cosma's score seems steeped in gritty '80s punk mojo, while remaining completely stylish and refined. Eight new tracks are included and thorough liner notes, including interviews with Beineix and Cosma, make this an album worth picking up. ~ Stacia Proefrock