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Classical Notes

Film music--a strong maybe

Posted at 10:04 AM on February 24, 2006 by John Zech
Filed under: Musical philosophy

I listened to Andy Trudeau's excellent piece on Oscar-nominated composers Alberto Iglesias and John Williams, (see Don Lee's previous entry) and I was struck at what excellent music it was--for the movies!

I kept missing the pictures, though. The textures and sounds and the wistful waltz by Williams were nice, but I didn't feel like they said much, as music, on their own. We have quite a number of film score albums in the library, and it's pretty hard to even find excerpts from a lot of movies that actually hold their own if you haven't seen the movie.

Some of the exotic instruments and textures used so well by Iglesias in his score for "The Constant Gardener" would probably fit better on "The Current" than on a classical format.

So let me ask this: Should the home for New Music and new composers be on "The Current?" A lot of people would say it already is, and that the new music coming out of the many bands they feature is really as thoughtful and important as anything coming out of the American Composers Forum.

Are the two equal? Is a composition by Libby Larsen commissioned by a symphony orchestra of any greater intrinsic value than something by, say, Iggy Pop or Fifty Cent? Depends on the piece, I suppose, but I would say it is.