Sunday, July 25, 2004

I Was Sorry to Learn about This

Jerry Golsdmith died on July 21, 2004. He studied under the master movie composer Miklos Rosza (Ben Hur, King of Kings, Dragnet, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, etc.). Goldsmith composed moving, memorable, hauntng scores for all genres of film . His work includes the music to The Hindenburg, Hoosiers, Alien and Aliens, L.A. Confidential, Rudy, Not Without My Daughter, The Russia House, Rambo, Outland, Masada, MacArthur, Patton, The Boys from Brazil, The Wind and the Lion, Chinatown, Papillon, The Planet of the Apes, The Blue Max and Lillies of the Field.

He wrote music (including some themes) for lots of television shows, too. Such as Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Police Story, Barnaby Jones, The Waltons, Room 222, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Dr. Kildare, Twilight Zone, Wagon Train and Perry Mason.

He won only a single Oscar, for his frightening score to the silly and execrable movie, "Omen." (I remember being able to dissolve my high-school friends into fits of laughter by hissing, "Dandy Christ! Dandy Christ!").  In a way, that's fitting:  Goldsmith wrote lots of wonderful music for lots of really dumb films I haven’t mentioned in my lists.

Goldsmith’s influence lives on, IMHO, in the work of composers like James Horner (Braveheart, Apollo 13, The Perfect Storm). I will really miss hearing his compositions. I hope someday they’ll release all of them on CD, not just medleys and snippets as with some scores, but all of them. Especially his score to The Hindenburg which is just beautiful.  Rest in peace, Jerry Goldsmith, and may I attend one of you concerts in Heaven.

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