Film Scores


Everybody has their favourite film score music. I first saw El Cid as a young man (some twenty years after its first release, I should add) and remember tears streaming down my face as the dead Charlton Heston rode out of the gates of Valencia into legend, and this film score has been my favourite ever since. Miklós Rózsa was a very fine classical composer in his own right. His Theme, Variations and Finale was performed in the very first concert that Leonard Bernstein conducted at the Carnegie Hall in 1943 with the New York Philharmonic. But it was film score music which became Miklós Rózsa’s genre. Nic Raine and I believe a Czech orchestra have recorded a suite from Miklós Rózsa’s original score. There’s quite a bit of it posted on YouTube. Yes, a bit overblown, but the memories come rolling back. I actually still think that this is the best film score ever composed. The film did star the gloriously beautiful Sophia Loren.

I find many film scores unmemorable, even those which I felt were very good and appropriate while watching the film. This may indicate that they did their job well, i.e. they underlined what was happening but didn’t intrude.

Two which really haunt the memory for me are Satajit Ray’s score for the Merchant-Ivory film Shakespeare Wallah and Giuseppe Rosati’s score for Visconti’s first film Ossessione. I find them going through my head for days after I watch those films.

And who could forget that recurring saxophone and vibraphone tune in Jaques Tati’s Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot? The music by Alain Romans.



2 Responses to “Film Scores”

  1. I enjoyed the article very much. As a guitarist, having recorded and arr. Miklos Rozsa’s music for various ensemble and guitar duo, I am enclosing a link that you may find of interest.

    There is much more beyond this.
    Feel free to contact me

    The link to the CD is as follows:

    THE MIKLÓS RÓZSA COLLECTION: MUSIC FOR GUITAR presents the music of Miklós Rózsa in an entirely new light, adapting the pieces for two guitars, in arrangements based faithfully on the composer’s original scores by guitarist Gregg Nestor. THE MIKLÓS RÓZSA COLLECTION: MUSIC FOR GUITAR contains selections from EL CID, THAT HAMILTON WOMAN, YOUNG BESS, MADAME BOVARY, A WOMAN’S VENGEANCE, PROVIDENCE, BLOOD ON THE SUN, GREEN FIRE, MOONFLEET, TIP ON A DEAD JOCKEY, LYDIA and CRISIS. In addition to selections from Rózsa’s large filmography, this release contains two classical works, Kaleidoscope, Op. 19c, composed for his children in 1946 and his Sonata For Guitar, Op. 42, composed in 1986.

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