Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lawrence of Arabia (50th Anniversary Silva Release) by Maurice Jarre - Review

Lawrence of Arabia (50th Anniversary Silva Release) by Maurice Jarre - Review

Epic to End All Epics
by Edmund Meinerts

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA needs no introduction for film or score. Director DAVID LEAN’s ambitious portrayal of the exploits of British army officer Thomas Edward Lawrence during World War I is perhaps the defining “epic film,” released at the height of the genre’s popularity in 1962. It comes with all the prerequisites of the genre: a star-studded ensemble cast, an enormous production budget (for the time), a larger-than-life performance from the legendary Peter O’Toole, stunning cinematography in exotic locales – and, of course, a musical score that could be used as the dictionary definition of “sweeping”. In retrospect, of course, MAURICE JARRE is recognized as one of the great film composers of years gone by, so it’s hard to fathom that he was a virtual unknown at the time (it would be almost like hiring GABRIEL YARED to score a modern-day epic…oh wait…). After English composers WILLIAM WALTON and MALCOLM ARNOLD turned the assignment down, JARRE was a last-ditch solution, a man with only limited orchestral experience now faced with the task of writing a lengthy, expansive score for a vast Hollywood production. The question of whether he rose to the challenge has been decidedly answered by the score’s deservedly-legendary status.

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