All posts under Maurice Jarre

9 Favorite Film Composers

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*+-As I approach my 50th birthday on the 19th, I’ve naturally been taking stock of my life so far and looking back at the good, bad and the ugly over my first half century. Arguably the most consistent element among the ups and downs is my love of film music. So, in a purely selfish move to celebrate my birthday month, many of this month’s blog posts will feature elements of wonderful film music memories from my first 50 years. This month’s “9 on the 9th” is a particularly dangerous,…

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CD Review: Notre Dame de Paris – The Music of Maurice Jarre

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*+-As more and more film music concerts are being performed, there will be opportunities to showcase the concert music of film composers and the need for concert arrangements of film music that goes beyond the expected war horses. An engaging new compilation 2-CD set on the Tadlow label, Notre Dame de Paris—The Music of Maurice Jarre, features suites from two of Jarre’s concert works as well as world premieres of further symphonic suites culled from his film music and assorted selections from Jarre’s lesser known film scores. The album begins with…

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CD Review: Villa Rides! – The Western Film Music of Maurice Jarre

Villa Rides!

*+-Legendary Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa has always been a colorful presence in film, even appearing as himself in some early silent films. From Wallace Beery’s portrayal in the Oscar-nominated VIVA VILLA! (1934) to reports of Johnny Depp in the upcoming WILD ROSES, TENDER ROSES, the larger-than-life bandit seems made for the big screen. But nowhere has Villa had such a rousing musical accompaniment as that of Maurice Jarre‘s score for VILLA RIDES! (1968). The film doesn’t take itself seriously and the actors—featuring a surprisingly understated performance by Yul Brynner and fine supporting performances…

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9 Favorite Film Scores of 1962

Lawrence of Arabia

*+-August is my birthday month. Back in school it sucked because kids never bothered to remember your birthday during the summer. As a young adult, I used to have a mental list that I’d check off each year as friends wished me a happy birthday (or not). (Pathetic.) Now, due to the marvel of Facebook, complete strangers (who are still friends) send me birthday greetings! And my ego is just delicate enough that that makes me happy. (Equally pathetic.) So rather than wait for the 19th to roll around (hint,…

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CD Review: Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

*+-Few films are as majestic or engrossing as David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. With a running time of nearly four hours, the film is filled with indelible cinematic images, memorable set pieces, and a spectacular, star-making performance by Peter O’Toole. For us film music fans, it’s all about the music and few films scores make the immediate impact that Maurice Jarre‘s does. Now a new recording from Tadlow Music corrects the numerous inconsistencies of previous recordings and brings this fantastic score to new light. The original soundtrack album, woefully incomplete (as…

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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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A Passage To India

A Passage To India

*+-David Lean provided a triple threat for his final film, A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984), serving as director, screenwriter and editor. But by serving in too many roles, he lost sight of the “big picture.” Lean had been trying to purchase the rights to E.M. Forster’s novel for years, and was only able to secure them once Forster (who detested the cinema and thought no one could do the story justice) died. While Lean still provides trademarks moments of lovely imagery for the big screen, the film is overly long…

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I Know I’m Not Ordinary

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*+-It’s one of the most famous examples of film editing in movie history. Peter O’Toole blows out a match and the scene cuts to a desolate, empty landscape and a hazy orange sky. We hear the faint, exotic sound of a zither, as if music begins to wake along with the dawn. One by one, the instruments of the orchestra join in. As the morning sun peaks above the horizon, the music crescendos until Freddie Young’s amazing cinematography fades into the pristine, windblown dunes of the desert. on the big…

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Maurice Jarre (1924-2009)

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*+-Three-time Academy Award-winner Maurice Jarre died today at age 84 from cancer. And it is his music that we celebrate in remembrance. Jarre had his first international hit with his Oscar-winning score for Lawrence of Arabia in 1962. But he wasn’t the original choice to score the entire film. William Walton and Malcolm Arnold both passed on the assignment.  Then producer Sam Spiegel informed Jarre that there were going to be three composers working on the film: Russian composer Aram Khachaturian for the Arab music, Benjamin Britten for the British music, and…

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