This essay represents the first organic study about Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004), an emblematic American film composer from the second half of the 20th century. A brilliant conductor, Goldsmith conducted his own music as well as the works of other composers, such as his mentor Alex North. He worked with several great ensembles, most notably the London Symphony Orchestra. His personality is examined within the cinematic production system in which he operated for about fifty years, collaborating with directors like John Huston, John Frankenheimer, Franklin J.Schaffner, Roman Polanski, Joe Dante, Richard Donner, Paul Verhoeven and many others. He was under contract with most major Hollywood Studios, especially Universal and 20th Century-Fox. A multiple Academy Award nominee, he won one Oscar, in 1976, for his score for horror masterpiece “The Omen”. This study examines some of the aspects of musical composition in film (orchestration, relationship with directors) in relation to such movies as “Planet of the Apes”, “Patton”, “Chinatown”, “The Wind and the Lion”, “The Omen”, “Logan’s Run”, “Alien”, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, “Poltergeist”, “Gremlins”, “Legend”, “Total Recall”, “Basic Instinct”, “L.A. Confidential”, “Hollow Man”.
In appendix: an overview of the “rejected scores” issue and the composer’s catalog of works.
Translated in English by Cecilia Martini
Available in ebook