Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maurice Jarre dies at 84

The music of Maurice Jarre, who has died aged 84: Lawrence of Arabia, which was among his iconic collaborations with David Lean. It's rather extraordinary, to put it mildly, as the opening titles begin with four and a half minutes of pure music - see above. He composed Dr Zhivago, A Passage to India, Dead Poets Society and many more. It's perhaps a signal of how the status of film music has changed in the past half-century that Jarre's death was reported on BBC TV's Breakfast news yesterday (normally they only talk about such matters as the latest red tape around school dinners).

Full obituaries are appearing around the world. Here is one from the Los Angeles Times, which includes a quote from John Williams: 'According to composer John Williams, Jarre "is to be well remembered for his lasting contribution to film music. His collaboration with director David Lean produced truly enduring music that is beloved by millions, and we all have been enriched by his legacy."'

Over at One More Take, broadcaster/film maker/conductor Tommy Pearson shares his personal memories of Jarre and invites everyone to do likewise.

And here is a full obit from The Guardian. "Music is how I will be remembered," said Jarre. "When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head and that only I can hear."