But there were two composers I always came back to — John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith.
Jerry Goldsmith died in his sleep on Wednesday night, aged 75. Never have I felt so affected by the loss of a complete stranger — this is someone whose music I grew up with, loved and adored, and now there will be no more from this most predominant and prestigious composer. I had the privilegeto see himconduct the LSO at the Barbican last year, where he was in good spirits and fine form — I had hoped to see him conduct again, and I hope that the LSO will consider doing another session like the 75th Birthday concert they gave with Dirk Brossé conducting. It may not be the composer with the baton, but at least we could get to hear Jerry’s music live and up close. [update: the LSO are doing a free open-air concert at Canary Wharf on the 29th of July (this Thursday) at 19:30, featuring Jerry’s end titles from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, along with works by Horner, Williams, Zimmer and more. And it’s free!]
Stand out works from Goldsmith for me have to include:
Star Trek: The Motion Picture — the score that truly gave Star Trek it’s signature theme, full of grandeur and mystery, and missing the overworked brassy noises that some scores at the time filled themselves with after the advent of John Williams and Star Wars. The version chucked out at the start of every episode of The Next Generation doesn’t do it justice — only the original will do.
Air Force One — drafted at the last minute after Randy Newman’s score was rejected close to the end of post production, the maestro cranked this fantastic score out in two weeks with the help of Joel McNeely.
L.A. Confidential — so unlike anything Goldsmith had done before, yet filled with signature notes, this score reeked of period music (which it was designed to bridge) and gave a further sense of drama and urgency to the already taut movie.
Basic Instinct — such a bad movie, but such a revelation of a score. Another soundtrack which helped elevate the emotion scene by scene, and while kowtowing to the odd slasher movie trick (rising crescendos, crashing cymbals) still comes out as a classy piece of music
Jerry Goldsmith — 1929-2004. “If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will because it is good.” Godspeed, Maestro.