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Classical Notes

Click on Classical: The most influential film composer of our time, a royal-patron wish list, and Dylan sings Rachmaninoff

Posted at 8:23 AM on May 19, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Click on Classical

Bob Dylan Shadows in the Night 2.jpg

Every Monday morning at 9:15, I join John Birge to talk about the stories on our website. Here's what we'll be discussing today.

When you think of movie music, names like Korngold and Hermann and Williams come to mind — but Garrett Tiedemann argues that the most influential composer in film today is the man who scored The Dark Knight, Inception, and, yes, The Lion King. You'll have to click here to learn this composer's name, but Garrett points out that he's virtually defined the sound of the big-budget action blockbuster today, and — like so many great composers — he's a great teacher, mentoring the composers of music for Shrek and the Transformers series. Those may or may not be your favorite movies, but if you're a fan of film music, you should know this composer's name.

Meanwhile, Gwen Hoberg daydreams about having a royal patron — like Wagner, Haydn, and Handel did. What would you do if you had a royal patron who was dedicated to supporting your musical endeavors? Gwen's tongue-in-cheek "patron wanted" ad offers her services as an arranger of Top 40 hits in the style of Liszt, among other musical pursuits she would happily undertake if provided with underwriting.

Also this week, Bob Dylan released a new single. Why is that newsworthy for classical music fans? Because the song's melody was written by Rachmaninoff. That's right, Dylan released his version of "Full Moon & Empty Arms," a 1945 song best-known in a version by Frank Sinatra. Co-writer Ted Mossman made a specialty of appropriating melodies from the classical repertoire and turning them into pop songs; in this case, he cribbed the theme from the third movement of Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto. Listen to Dylan's take on it here.​