Lawrence of Arabia (soundtrack)

Lawrence of Arabia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is the soundtrack album composed by Maurice Jarre for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. The soundtrack garnered critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Music Score—Substantially Original in 1963.

Lawrence of Arabia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
StudioShepperton Studios
LabelColpix Records

Background edit

When choosing a composer for the film, director David Lean assumed that Malcolm Arnold—who had scored Lean's 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai—would compose for Lawrence of Arabia.[1] When producer Sam Spiegel screened a rough draft of the film for Arnold and composer William Walton, however, the composers reportedly disliked the film, calling it "terrible" and "a travelogue that would require hours of music".[2][3]

Spiegel then engaged Broadway composer Richard Rodgers to compose the film's soundtrack and young French composer Maurice Jarre—who had recently scored Sundays and Cybèle—to orchestrate it. Reportedly, Rodgers did not review any footage to compose themes for the film, and Lean and Spiegel were both extremely dissatisfied with his work, with Lean calling it "rubbish" and "nonsense". Jarre, meanwhile, had composed a piece called "The Theme from Lawrence of Arabia", which Lean liked so much that he asked Jarre to score the entire film.[2][3][4]

Production edit

Jarre had six weeks to compose the film's soundtrack.[1][3][5] Because of the tight schedule, instead of orchestrating his own film music as he was accustomed to, he invited Gerard Schurmann to orchestrate.[6] Jarre had originally brought Adrian Boult on to conduct, however, as Boult had no experience pacing the tempo of music to fit the action onscreen, Jarre conducted.[3][5] Spiegel, wanting to keep as many prestigious names on board as possible, insisted that Boult's name still be listed in the film credits as having conducted.[4] Jarre, however, is listed as the conductor on the record.[2][5]

The soundtrack was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra,[7][8] which consisted of 60 strings, 11 percussionists, two grand pianos, two harps, and three ondes Martenots.[9][10] It was recorded at Shepperton Studios.[3][4]

As in The Bridge on the River Kwai, which employed Kenneth Alford's "Colonel Bogey March", Lean wished to incorporate another Alford march in Lawrence of Arabia: "The Voice of the Guns".[3] The march is used in the overture as well as in fragmentary motifs throughout the film.[2]

Legacy and accolades edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic      link

At the 35th Academy Awards, the soundtrack won the Academy Award for Best Music Score—Substantially Original.[11] At the 6th Annual Grammy Awards, it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Original Score from a Motion Picture or Television Show and the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Theme.[12]

The score is considered to be one of the greatest scores of all time, ranking third on the AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores list in 2005.[13] In 2013, it ranked sixth on the ABC Classic FM Classic 100 Music in the Movies.[14]

Russian figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova used the overture from the film's soundtrack for her free skate during the 2019–20 figure skating season.[15]

Track listing edit

Side 1
1."Overture (Intro: "The Voice Of The Guns")"4:14
2."Main Title"1:54
4."Nefud Mirage"2:20
5."Rescue Of Gasim And Bringing Gasim Into Camp"5:46
Side 2
1."Arrival At Auda's Camp"2:01
2."The Voice Of The Guns"1:58
3."Continuation Of The Miracle"2:13
4."Suns Anvil"3:04
5."Lawrence & Body Guard"2:04
6."That Is The Desert"2:51
7."End Title"1:05
Total length:33:21

References edit

  1. ^ a b Riley, John (2 April 2019). "Maurice Jarre: Composer who won three Oscars for his work with David Lean". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Phillips, Gene (2006). Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0813124155.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Brownlow, Kevin (1996). David Lean: A Biography. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0312145781.
  4. ^ a b c Silverman, Stephen M. (1989). David Lean. New York: H.N. Abrams. ISBN 9780810935501.
  5. ^ a b c Maxford, Howard (2000). David Lean. London: Batsford. ISBN 9780713486803.
  6. ^ Schurmann, Gerard (July 1990). "A Reply to Maurice Jarre About Lawrence of Arabia". The Cue Sheet. Vol. 7, no. 3. The Film Music Society.
  7. ^ "London Philharmonic Orchestra". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "The London Philharmonic Orchestra in pictures". Classic FM. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  9. ^ Quinn, Michael. "Review of Maurice Jarre - Lawrence of Arabia". BBC Music.
  10. ^ "What is actually... the ondes Martenot?". Berliner Philharmoniker.
  11. ^ "THE 35TH ACADEMY AWARDS: 1963". Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  12. ^ "1963 GRAMMY WINNERS: 6th Annual GRAMMY Awards". Grammys. The Recording Academy.
  13. ^ "AFI's 100 YEARS OF FILM SCORES". American Film Institute.
  14. ^ Noble, Guy (22 March 2013). "Classic 100: Music in the Movies". ABC Classic FM. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  15. ^ Berlot, Jean-Christophe (19 November 2019). "Alina Zagitova pushes artistry while younger Russians focus on jumping prowess". NBC Sports. Retrieved 14 October 2023.

External links edit