THE WHOLE PICTURE is what counts; and the composer must see it not as a composer but as a man of the theater,” wrote Leonard Bernstein, reflecting on composing the score for On the Waterfront.
Bernstein’s adventure into film scoring — marred by creative scrapes with the film’s director Elia Kazan — was unpleasant for him, and marked the conductor–composer’s first and last time writing film music (not counting already existing scores that were adapted for film) — anomaly in an otherwise naturally collaborative career. But for many composers, there’s something perpetually alluring about the medium of film.
Like a particular scent, the simplest chord progression or snatch of soaring melody from a beloved score can instantly trigger a flood of memories—both personal and cultural.
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