Well that’s a darn shame! He ranks right up there with Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrman, Elmer Bernstein and Dimitri Tiomkin as one of the great score composers of all time. Hard to pick a favorite, but his work on “Chinatown” and “Patton” come two mind as two of the most perfect scores ever.
Impressive, and yes, the man knew how to compose.
I am nnow playing the Total Recall score on me iTunes as a salute. Shame, great scores.
Such a shame. But not a pity. The man left behind quite a legacy of music that will be remembered for decades to come.
A couple of years ago he was scheduled to conduct the Nashville Symphony for an afternoon of movie scores. I got my tickets and soon afterwards he was forced to back out due to his illness. Our wonderful conductor stepped in, but I’ll always regret missing out on seeing one of the great composers of our time in action.
I have been obsessed (well, almost) with Goldsmith since I was 11. Seriously. When I started spending my babysitting money on music, my first album was a Jerry Goldsmith album (“The Wind and the Lion”). I have collected his LPs and CDs ever since. I don’t know how many I have, but I think I have most of what he’s had in print (missed a few, though). It’s in the hundreds, I am sure. I alwas looked forward to buying his latest CD and looked forward to seeing what he was doing next.
In 1999 I saw a wonderful concert of his at the Hollywood Bowl. It was great and he seemed so humble and natural. And his music was great.
I always knew that the day would come when he wouldn’t be doing any more CDs, because he’d go to the Big Composer’s Room in the sky, but I hate hearing about it. I hate that the day is here. And I know he’s had a full life and has been so prolific, so it isn’t as if he hasn’t done enough. But damn. Damn damn damn damn.
RIP Jerry. I will miss you, more than anything.
Well, they all have to go eventually, I guess. (But why Goldsmith now, while Horner is still collecting undeserved Oscar nominations… grumble grumble…)
Another recent work of his worth mentioning: L.A. Confidential. A perfect marriage between the sensibilities of the period (a la Jack Webb, sort of) and our modern tastes.
Yes, Cervaise, it still pisses me off that Goldsmith only got that one Oscar (for “The Omen”) while other lesser scores kept on winning and winning and winning.
I especially felt the blow of him losing yet another Oscar when he lost for “Under Fire,” probably one of his most outstanding scores. The scuttlebut around town (or at least according to the LA Times) was that “Under Fire” was a sure thing to win, but apparently (the LA Times speculated at the time), everyone assumed everyone else was going to vote for it, so not enough people did vote for it. Or something. All I know is that I was so shocked when he did not win for that one. It was a great score.
And yes—“LA Confidential” is also a brilliant score. Other favorites of mine are (let me think . . . ) “Planet of the Apes,” “Patton,” “The Wind and the Lion,” “Criminal Law” (an unusual choice that grows on you), “Link,” (bizarre and a somewhat repetitive, but I loved it), “The Omen” (wonderful), “The Shadow,” The Mummy," “Ghost in the Darkness,” “First Knight,” “Gremlins II” (surpisingly good but strange), and on and on and on and on. I was trying to go through his list of credits on IMDb and I realized that I had just too many to pick from.
Right now I’m listening to all the tracks by him that I have in iTunes (which are quite a lot) and I just happen to be hearing the track called “Almost a Wife” from his strange and quirky score to “The Illustrated Man.” Damn. That track always stands out for me because it’s so haunting and poignant. He was (I hate that I have to write “was”) a remarkable composer.
My family and friends know there won’t me any living with me for a while. I’ll be mainlining Goldsmith scores for a long time to come (as if I didn’t play him frequently enough as it was . . . )
Any idea why NPR thinks Mr. Goldsmith’s name is Jeffrey?
yosemite, I feel your pain. Goldsmith was one of the few movie composers whose name I recognized. I loved his score for The Wind and the Lion! And the first time I saw Patton I was almost marching as I left the theater. I was still in the Army at the time, too.
Goldsmith’s rousing theme was not only the best thing, but about the only good thing in Star Trek:The Motion Picture. It also seems to be about the only thing from the first film to be used later on (as the Next Generation theme).
Startrek.com has an article on him. I completely forgot he also did the incredibly haunting music for the first Alien film!
“Ilia’s Theme” and the Klingon battle music were geat, too.
(Did you know he wrote the themes for The Waltons and The Man From U.N.C.L.E?)
Damn. He was one of my favorite film composers.
He also did the theme for Star Trek: Voyager (I’m sure someone else has mentioned that). The thing that amazed me was the theme for Voyager was up for an Emmy for best TV Theme the same year as the theme for Friends. Now, knowing how these things work, I automatically assumed that Friends would win. I mean, it’s a pop song (pop songs or scores seem to often have an edge when it comes to these kinds of awards) and it’s Friends. But, much to my amazement, Voyager won! I was flabbergasted but pleased.
Other themes he did were for Police Story (very catchy, too), the score of which I recently got on CD. He also did Room 222 and Barnaby Jones, which are played in a musical suite on one of his albums and also was played at the Hollywood Bowl concert I went to.
Baker, yes, the theme to Patton is quite something, isn’t it? I heard somewhere (or read somewhere, can’t remember), that the somewhat eerie-sounding echoing triplets on the horn symbolize Patton’s belief in reincarnation, the military march part in the theme symbolizes (obviously) Patton’s military career, and the low organ melody in the theme symbolizes Patton’s deep religious beliefs. You can clearly hear all these elements in this MP3 of the theme. (MP3 from this page.)
He put so much into the film music (as do most film composers) and the ironic thing is that for a lot of people, the musical score in a film is “transparent” and they don’t really notice it on a conscious level. We should feel fortunate that we do notice it. It’s quite a treat.
I liked the Enterprise fly and the Enterprise leaves Dry Dock.
But I still get the music from Hoosiers stuck in my head.
I grew up listening to his music. I never realized how old he was til watching The Trouble with Angels (movie from the 60’s) and seeing that he did the music for it.
Gah. When I get home, I’ll have to pull my albums and start playing/mourning.
Sad news indeed
The theme to Star Trek The Motion Picture and the subsequent films that use it, give me a wee lump in my throat when I hear it.
An astonishing output really when I read about his other work.
Goldsmith, Courage, Williams, and Montenegro did some fantastic movie and TV music composing.
A shame we lost one of the best ever.
Man, that Planet of the Apes score was a masterpiece!
Goodbye, Jerry. It’s been nice knowing you, but all good things must come to an end.
The “Twilight Zone” theme, too – surely one of the most conversationally referenced themes ever.
But that score for “Alien” grabbed me like nothing else, ever. When I was younger, that eerie echoey sonic wash, suggesting the vast empty void of space and used over the ominous title reveal, was almost too scary for me to continue watching the movie. Come to think of it, it’s still very difficult to listen to (but in a good way).
I know that Goldsmith scored some of the episodes of Twilight Zone (and excellent they were, too), but I always thought that Marius Constant did the actual theme.