Monday, March 30, 2009

Maurice Jarre


"One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head and that only I can hear."

Jarre's final waltz played yesterday.
He was a prolific film composer with a long and varied list of credits. Even some of his lesser accomplishments were well known, as he created the scores for Fatal Attraction, Is Paris Burning?, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Jacob's Ladder, and Ghost. He worked with a wide range of directors over the years, including Alfred Hitchcock (Topaz), Wolfgang Peterson (Enemy Mine), John Huston (The Man Who Would Be King), and Franco Zeffirelli, who pegged him to score his landmark television miniseries Jesus of Nazareth. He worked frequently and successfully with Peter Weir (Witness, Year of Living Dangerously, Dead Poets' Society) but he achieved award-winning acclaim working with David Lean. Jarre's Oscars were all awarded for Lean films: Lawrence of Arabia, Dr Zhivago, and The Passage to India.

It's a bit eerie that Jarre died this past weekend, while my thoughts were all on my mother and her death 26 years ago (I wrote about that in the previous entry). Jarre had a huge popular hit with his "Lara's Theme" from Dr Zhivago, which was probably my mother's favorite piece of film music. She rarely had the time to sit down and play the piano, but when she did, she usually played "Lara's Theme". Both my sisters played the song as well, much better than I ever did. I studied it the one year, in the third grade, in which I took piano lessons, and against all odds, a video was made of my efforts. So allow me to close this obit with my performance of "Lara's Theme: Somewhere My Love." (Oh, by the way, when I was a kid, I went by the name "Alexander")