"Knowledge of music… knowledge of literature… knowledge of… knowledge of… you’re an interesting man, there’s no doubt about it."

Our librarian friend (really, all of you should have a librarian friend) Rebecca Hunt alerted us to the news that Maurice Jarre has died at the age of 84. Jarre composed (and, uncredited, conducted) the score to David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, a film regarded with sacred awe here at Soho the Dog HQ—in addition to Lean (the score to Doctor Zhivago was also his) Jarre penned scores for Luchino Visconti, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, George Miller, and even the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker trio (Top Secret!). Jarre won three Oscars and also accrued a fair amount of abuse—Irwin Bazelon’s film-music book Knowing the Score has some petulantly nasty things to say about Jarre. To me, that falls under the same banner as criticism of Ringo Starr—he’s the drummer in possibly the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time, he must be doing something right. (For the record, I like Ringo’s drumming a lot. Now I’m off topic.) Anyway, here’s Jarre conducting the Lawrence overture—one of the all-time great distillations of classical-music exoticism.

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