Monday, March 17, 2008

What's Happened to the Great Film Scores?

There's a piece in today's Times about film music which is basically a lament for the the glory days of the genre. It asks what has happened to the great film composers like Jerry Goldsmith et al. I must admit that I hadn't noticed any real drop in the standard of film music. Is it just because the passing of time allows the great ones to remain in the public's collective mind and the others to fall away, much like all music? Of course today there's more use than ever of classic tracks on a film score, which is a great moneymaker for all concerned. I've only been to the cinema twice in the last fifteen years so I'm hardly best placed to comment on the music, although arguably the breakthrough of quality music onto the radio is probably what decides which film scores take on a life of their own. The two films I've seen were American Gangster a couple of months ago - brilliant film, with some great 70s funk music in the score. The other was 1492 with the amazing Vangelis score - one of my favourite scores of all time.


r morris said...

A few more recent good scores:
Schindler's List
Out of Africa
Chariots of Fire
I'm not sure Titanic's score is of the caliber of the top two, but it was distinctive and if you like Celtic music, was good.

Richard Evans said...

A lot of current film music seems to rely an awful lot on Holst-style fanfares and a lot of kettle drums for dramatic effect. Compared to the great film-score composers of old such as Lalo Schiffrin, Alfred Newman (Randy's pa), John Williams etc there really isn't much good original music around today. And take a look even further back to the likes of Muir Matheson and Vaughan Williams and Walton who all did fabulous film music.

Home Theater said...
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Richard Evans said...

Looks like you've got some Brazilian spam, Richard. Is that any different to Argentinian corned beef?

Richard Havers said...

RWV and Walton are two of my favourite film composers. Using Walton's Spitfire Prelude and Fugue in the battle of Britain was inspired.

Thanks for the heads up on the Brazilian menace Rich