All posts under 9 on the 9th

9 Favorite Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin


With the recent release of SAE’s splendid soundtrack for CYRANO DE BERGERAC, I figured this month’s “9 on the 9th” post was the perfect time to celebrate the music of four-time Academy Award winner Dimitri Tiomkin. Known primarily for his scores for countless westerns and epic films of the 1950s and ’60s, Tiomkin is a polarizing composer with many film music fans. And it’s easy to see why. Tiomkin’s early career as a concert pianist no doubt contributes to the long, continuous music full of loud, dramatic orchestral flourishes and…

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9 Favorite Science Fiction Film Scores, Vol. 1 – Space

Star Wars movie image Han, Chewie Luke

Like many boys who liked to read, my genre of choice during my teenage years was science fiction. And since one of my earliest memories of the outside world was the moon walk, it will come as no surprise that I was enthralled by tales of life in space, stories that were heavy on the scientific end of things. Planets were just there as jumping off points to get you back into space. The more time that was spent aboard ship in the inky dark, the better. And to this…

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9 Favorite Foreign Film Scores


With decades of international cinema at my disposal, picking nine favorite foreign film scores feels like a foolish and pointless gesture at best. And yet I’m giving it a shot. Because so much of my foreign film viewing over the years has been relegated to Oscar-nominated films (once again, never an indication of quality), I readily admit that I’m severely deficient in this area. I originally thought of making the list country by country (i.e., French film scores one month, Italian the next, etc.), with separate monthly posts devoted to…

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9 Favorite Animated Film Scores


I have a dear friend in Austin who refuses to see animated films. I’ve tried for nearly 25 years to convince him of their worth but he refuses to pay money to go see a “cartoon.” We don’t even discuss it anymore. I think he’s a fool and I’m sure he thinks the same about me. But I love animated films. Why? Stunning artwork, great stories, the often stellar vocal work, but most importantly, the music. The classic set of orchestrations and sound that animation requires catapults me right back…

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9 Favorite Film Scores of Maurice Jarre

Lawrence of Arabia

In celebration of the imminent release of Tadlow’s new re-recording of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, I’m devoting this month’s “9 on the 9th” post to three-time Oscar-winner Maurice Jarre. I’ve always had a love it/hate it relationship with much of Jarre’s music. I often put him in the same category as Dimitri Tiomkin. When he’s good, he’s very good. But at times the music overwhelms a scene or seems completely out of place, drawing unnecessary attention to itself. I can do without most of Jarre’s purely electronic output in the ’80s….

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9 Film Scores You Should Know…But Probably Don’t


In this month’s “9 on the 9th” post, I decided to forgo the usual composer format and highlight some film scores that may be unfamiliar to many film music fans. I heartily recommend the nine scores below. And instead of playing favorites this month, the titles are listed in alphabetical order. ABOVE AND BEYOND (1953) [audio:aboveandbeyond.mp3] The story of Col. Paul Tibbetts (Robert Taylor), the pilot who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, is one of the underrated films of the 1950s. What could have easily been given the typical…

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9 Favorite Film Scores of Thomas Newman

Finding Nemo

There’s no denying that¬†Thomas Newman is one of the finest film composers working today. Along with father Alfred, uncles Lionel and Emil, cousin Randy, and brother David, film music runs in his blood. But with an instantly recognizable style filled with interesting orchestrations and exotic instrumentations, Newman has carved out a niche all to himself. With 10 Academy Award nominations to his name, Newman remains embarrassingly Oscar-less. But like the other members of that talented musical dynasty, Newman’s music has more to do with quality than awards recognition. While you…

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9 Desert Island Film Scores


Ah, the time-honored tradition of “desert island discs”–the discs, in our case the film scores, you simply can’t live without.¬†Forget the fact that there probably won’t be any electricity. Or that heat, humidity, sun, sand, wind conditions and barometric pressure will all play a part in just how long your discs will weather your solitary tropical existence. Some people choose ten, some five, others somewhere in between, or more or less. I’m doing nine because I wanted a topic for this month’s “9 on the 9th” post. My selections are…

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9 Favorite Film Scores of Elmer Bernstein


Few composers in the history of film music are as prolific as Elmer Bernstein. Nearly every film genre has benefited from a Bernstein score. From his early days experimenting with jazz to Westerns and epic dramas, from comedies to intimate character studies, Bernstein’s music enriches and elevates every film it accompanies. As with all the composers featured in the “9 on the 9th” series, narrowing down the list to nine was difficult. Just look at some of the scores that had to be left out–THE GREAT ESCAPE, GHOSTBUSTERS, SUMMER AND…

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9 Favorite Miklos Rozsa Scores


I just recently finished Film Score Monthly’s massive, and massively entertaining, 15-CD Miklos Rozsa Treasury (1949-1968). So who better to focus on for this month’s “9 on the 9th” post than this multiple Oscar-winner. If you listen to Rozsa’s music with any regularity, you’ll notice many of the same harmonic progressions and rhythmic motifs. Much of his writing, especially for brass, is stiff and unforgiving. But Rozsa was often given very serious subjects to score, and he treated the music with the same respect he did his concert writing. And…

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