Monday, March 8, 2010

Film Music

When Michael Giacchino won the Oscar last night for best original musical score for the animated film Up, I cheered. Why?

Music has always played an important role in my life. My family loved music so I was surrounded by it as a child: Motown, Beatles, show tunes, even operettas.

My dad was a pretty good singer in his heyday (in the Frank Sinatra mold) who also sang in the choir at our church. In time, so did I.

I guess it was fate that I married a church musician. And our sons Kevin and Dave love music. Kevin is a fan of rap. And Dave has turned into a budding musical genius: singer, pianist, composer. And Yes, he cantors at our church.

So you can well imagine that I've long been attuned to film music. Of all the genres of music that I love (including classical, jazz, Broadway, and folk), I adore a good film score.

Here is a sprinkling of some of my favorite composers and some of the films they scored:

Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown

Ennio Morricone's The Good the Bad and the Ugly

John Powell's Bourne Identity and Face/Off

John Barry's Bond movies especially OHMSS and Thunderball

Elmer Bernstein's The Magnificent Seven

Joe Hisaishi's Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away

Bernard Herrmann's The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Jason and the Argonauts, and Obsession

Miklos Rozsa's Ben Hur and Eye of the Needle

Dimitri Tiomkin's Lost Horizon and The Thing

Franz Waxman's The Bride of Frankenstein

John Williams' Jaws and Superman

Of all the above, my heart's favorite is Herrmann, who died suddenly in 1976, the year he did the scores for Scorsese's Taxi Driver and DePalma's Obsession. On today's film music scene, there are a lot of great composers, including Marco Beltrami, Carter Burwell, Howard Shore, James Newton Howard, and Alexandre Desplat.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, March 8, 2010

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