On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Motion Picture Academy joined forces to present an evening-long celebration of film music, highlighting this year’s five Oscar-nominated film scores. But that was only the second half of the concert (featuring conductors John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, Carter Burwell and Thomas Wilkins). The first half took a fascinating look at various literary ideas (love, fear, courage, the chase, etc.) and how composers have musicalized those ideas over the years. Here is an overview of the concert; I was privileged to write the program notes for the evening.
This was among the few film- and TV-music nights at the Bowl this summer I was not involved with, even peripherally. So we got to go and just enjoy. Here’s a recap with a little more musical detail than you will find in most reviews of the weekend celebration.
The Philharmonic participated in the “Pacific Standard Time” initiative by doing three nights of film music, titled “The Hollywood Sound” and conducted by Thomas Wilkins. I did the pre-concert lectures, which involved briefing listeners on the composers (Korngold, Herrmann, North, Bernstein, Goldsmith, Williams) and the music they were about to hear. And on one night I joined Wilkins on stage to talk about the role of film composers as part of L.A.’s musical heritage.