Every year at this time I get together with Classical KUSC host Brian Lauritzen to talk about the Oscar nominees in the Original Score category. We play excerpts from all five and talk about both the nature of each score and its odds of winning (hint: three of the five nominees have a strong shot!). Lauritzen inevitably poses interesting and sometimes provocative questions, and it’s always fun. This year the segment will air on the classical station’s Arts Alive magazine on Feb. 13. Tune in — or listen anytime here at www.kusc.org.
Classical KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen asked me to join him on stage at Disney Hall last night to help preview the L.A. Philharmonic concert that included Leonard Bernstein’s fabulous suite from On the Waterfront. We talked about the circumstances of Bernstein’s hiring and his remarkable grasp of writing dramatic music for film (his one and only attempt at it). James Gaffigan conducted, and it was a thrilling performance (the concert also included Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3). Brushing up on my Waterfront lore (using the book chapter I wrote and the Criterion disc commentary I had done), I discovered that I had once written about this score for the Los Angeles Times! Here’s that piece.
I’ve had a long and productive relationship with Classical KUSC in Los Angeles. I love hanging out in the studio with Gail Eichenthal, Brian Lauritzen and Mark Hatwan, some of my favorite radio people. Brian interviewed me about this year’s nominees in the Oscar music categories on KUSC’s Arts Alive program.