The famous 20th-Century Fox Fanfare by Alfred Newman (who lived in Pacific Palisades) will give a big “TA-DA” to open the show and prepare for Max Steiner’s whopping Oscar-winning main title music to Gone with the Wind (scored and recorded in Culver City), which has a big “TA-DA” of its own.

The “TA-DA” in Victor Young’s imaginative score to Shane (scored and recorded on Melrose Ave. near Vine St.) is in fact a deliberate reference to Wagner’s operas so as to evoke this Age of Chivalrous Knights and Crusades-like interpretation of the classic Western.

For Miklos Rosza (who lived in the Hollywood Hills) to express antiquity in his “TA-DA” to the colossal score to Ben-Hur, he removed the “major-minor third” distinction that defines musical tonality after the Renaissance, and replaced it with “neutral fourths” giving this Oscar-winning music its ancient Roman monumentality.

A mere three miles from the concert venue to the title locale in “Sunset Boulevard”: a unique classic film whose three-note “TA-DA” is blasted out by the low instruments with a near gothic horror that gives way to chase music, a fragmented creepy tango, a budding romance on the Paramount Studios backlot, the creepy tango again now played full-out with ghastly, demented style, and then a thundering conclusion for another Oscar-winning masterpiece.

No more “TA-DA” when modernism comes to film music in Bernard Herrmann’s whirling, dizzying 3-minute-and-4-second title music to Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”. Bombast and spectacle have no place in the tender beauties of Elmer Bernstein’s (resident of Ojai) score for To Kill a Mockingbird. Suffused with the delicate qualities of the music of Ravel and Satie, this magical movie begins not with a blaring “TA-DA”, but with the sounds of a child picking out notes at the piano underneath the Universal Studios trademark. Middle-Eastern percussion, British military marches, and the Song of the Desert pervade the immense score that Malibu resident Maurice Jarre wrote for 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia.

They finish with where it all started; the landmark score to The Adventures of Robin Hood written in 1937 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (who lived in Toluca Lake). This is what people decided Hollywood should sound like, so for an encore, they will play the famous score that is its legacy composed some forty years later.

Sunday, March 24 at 4 p.m.


The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center

11th street and Santa Monica Boulevard, SM, CA

Submitted by Brian Stone


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