Spotlight Articles And Features
The Goldsmith Project Part III
With The American Youth Symphony
Composer and conductor David Newman
generously gave up time to be interviewed on the occasion of the third and final
concert with the American Youth Symphony celebrating the career of Jerry
Could you talk about the incredible 3 year Goldsmith project you are about to
complete in March 2011?
We at the American Youth Symphony were looking for a project to do with a well
know Los Angeles composer. We thought Jerry's music really fitted the bill. He
is arguably the greatest of the contemporary film composers of the late 20th
century. His music sounds wonderful in the concert hall and much of his best
work needed to be curated and re engraved. All aspects of the project that we
were interested in.
You’ve worked with some world class orchestras from around the world how
impressed have you been with the players of the AYS?
The most gratifying element of this project has been the superb playing by the
orchestra. We have the luxury of having 6 rehearsals for each of these concerts.
I doubt Jerry ever got more than 2 and most of the time would have had to make
do with 1 rehearsal. It's amazing what you can accomplish with terrific players
and a large amount of rehearsal. You really hear the music for what it is.
difficult has it been to select key moments in Jerry Goldsmith’s career and
properly represent what he achieved over those many years?
It was very difficult. We had to make decisions. We had 45 minutes for each of
the 3 concerts. We missed a lot of the Action Adventure - "The Mummy", "The
Edge", "Air Force One" - also, "LA Confidential, Chinatown, "First Knight",
"Medicine Man" (one of my favourites), "Magic" (really one of my favourites),
"The Secret of Nimh, etc... there are just too many to mention. We did perform
quite a bit and much of it was new and had to be either orchestrated from
sketches or reconstructed. All in all I think we chose well.
Goldsmith project has highlighted key decades in Jerry Goldsmith’s career. Which
period do you think was Jerry Goldsmith’s ‘golden’ era that he developed the
most and wrote the finest music?
think that Jerry wrote great music for all periods but his early period probably
afforded him the most autonomy. His work with Schaffner was truly outstanding.
Obviously being part of a legendary family of music makers you were no doubt
exposed to film music quite early in your life. But what was your earliest
recollection of Jerry Goldsmith?
I first became aware of
Jerry's music when I started playing violin in the studios in 1976. That is
where I really saw what a truly outstanding composer he was. I could watch from
the ground up "so to speak".
was it like meeting
Jerry Goldsmith for the first time?
met Jerry on several occasions, but the most important to me was when my agent,
Richard Kraft, reintroduced us again much later in his life. I had already been
working as a film composer for some time. Jerry and his wife Carol were so warm
and friendly to me and to my wife Krys. Jerry and I became very good friends,
frequently socializing. I never met a more down to earth person. This is a very
unusual quality in someone who has such a prodigious gift. I know that Jerry was
very grateful to my father for helping him early on in his career. I think he
wanted to "pass that along" and we had genuine affection for one another.
particular scores composed by Jerry Goldsmith impressed you the most and meant
the most to you?
the First Star Trek movie - the love theme ---and the Main Theme to MAGIC. These
were so important to me. Simply beautiful, complex, moving melodies and
absolutely first rate orchestration.
feel since Jerry Goldsmith passed away the quality of film music has declined
and film makers are demanding more and more generic rock based scores. What are
your feelings on the subject?
The world has indeed changed. You can't score contemporary films the way Jerry
did. I don't think this is disastrous, just different. I do believe that music
has a less critical role in today's films.
Since working on the Goldsmith Project have you noticed a new interest in Jerry
just notice how our musicians respond to the music and to the physical, mental
and emotional act of playing it. The way they played the PLANET OF THE APES
suite - it was simply awe inspiring. What fantastic music, played within an inch
of its life. This makes all the work worth it. (These concerts are extremely
time consuming and frankly expensive to do. There is so much music prep - almost
seems like it never ends.)
Finally could you update fans on your own activities after this event?
I will be conducting a mini
tour of the movie WEST SIDE STORY with live orchestra. July in Los Angeles, Sept
in New York and Nov in Chicago.
you to both David Newman and Janneke Straub at the American Youth Symphony
or call (310) 470-2332. Royce Hall is located at 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles,