Everything that is wrong in Mozart in the Jungle, season 3, episode 7: „Not yet titled“
Just when you thought it was safe to watch TV again a new series of „Mozart in the Jungle“ arrives, our favorite show that apparently exists in a parallel dimension to our dimension, a dimension where classical music is incredibly popular, where the stars look good without photoshop and where the audience screams with joy every time a conductor enters a stage.
Season 3 is again loaded with the little inconsistencies and inaccuracies that we have come to love, as screenwriters try desperately to understand the world of classical music and very often get it…completely wrong!
Still, I love the show, and nitpicking these details is a lot of fun, as long as we don’t confuse „Mozart in the Jungle“ with any kind of reality. Here we go again:
1) Even though I really like the documentary style of this episode and the well-acted and realistic atmosphere on the bus there still is ONE unrealistic thing about the setup: It would be impossible to get a whole orchestra on the bus without telling them where they are going to travel, especially if there had been frustrating and difficult union talks before that particular event. Also I don’t know of any documentary ever been made because an orchestra has been on strike 80+ days…
2) eh-..and who is actually paying for that appearance at the prison? I don’t think rehab programs can afford an orchestra…
3) Kudos to the producers for choosing the great Turangalila Symphony by Messiaen for this episode! And for actually using it as the episode’s music instead of some generic film music!
4) Isn’t it a very convenient coincidence that this documentary focuses on the orchestra musicians we already know anyway, instead of some new faces? Statistically chances are very low that the documentary team would focus on exactly these musicians…
5) 9:45 again it has to be mentioned that the open air acoustic in this prison yard would be extremely bad and that amplification would definitely be needed to make it sound like it does sound on film.
6) Rodrigo says he will play excerpts from the piece. As no Ondes Martenot is seen on stage (the most prominent instrument in the Turangalila Symphony) he wouldn’t have a lot of choice actually. It seems very weird that one would want to perform anything from Turangalila without the Ondes Martenot anyway!
7) 11:00 Messiaen’s stint as a prisoner of war had absolutely nothing to do with this symphony, which was composed after the war ended, contrary to what Rodrigo says.
8) And there she suddenly is: The Ondes Martenot player. Why wasn’t she seen on stage before?
9) But then she is playing a formerly unknown version of the last movement of Messiaen’s „Quartet for the end of times“ for Ondes Martenot and piano! (the original is for cello and piano, and even though the Ondes Martenot can theoretically play the cello part it seems weird to do it).
10) 14:50 and that is NOT the end of that piece at all!
11) 21:50 For an orchestra that plays relatively little contemporary repertoire „we rehearsed very little“ seems a strange statement, especially with an unusual and demanding piece like „Turangalila“.
12) a great and unusual episode with a different kind of music for a change – thank you!