I have always been fascinated by the music used in film and the people who created it. I think the scores that made the greatest impression on me at the start were the Errol Flynn swashbucklers, with music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Sea Hawk. I’ve always loved the main them Korngold created for The Prince and the Pauper, which he eventually rolled into his Violin Concerto in D. In the same piece, he quoted themes from 3 other films he scored: Another Dawn, Juarez, and Anthony Adverse.
I always wondered what kind of works they would create away from the confinements of a film. I was curious of their versatility. I believe it has only been recently that these composers are being recognized and given more credit for their artistic abilities and creativity. I found in nearly every case, that these composers were well-trained, often very sophisticated musicians. For me, Korngold’s work inspired me to look into the work of other film composers. I learned about Miklos Rozsa, Alex North, Franz Waxman, and Bernard Hermann. I learned about the contributions to film music of some of the biggest names in music for the concert hall: Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Georges Auric, Malcolm Arnold, William Walton, and John Corligiano. Even Benjamin Britten, Dimitri Shostakovich, and Serge Prokofiev wrote scores for film. Miklos Rozsa taught classes in film composition. Ironically, John Williams was one of his students.
When considering themes for these choral concerts, at first, I wasn’t sure there would be enough choral music written by the film composers. Of course, there were the choral pieces written originally for the films, such as Rozsa’s work in King of Kings and Ben Hur. Presenting the choral works from film is not where I wanted to go exactly. I wanted to explore, not only their choral work in film, but also their independent concert choral works. The research has been challenging, fascinating, and exciting
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Reflections on concerts, composers and music...