Soundstage L.A.

Dan Goldwasser Showbiz

Tonight David and Gaby and I went to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to see “Soundstage L.A.”, a concert of film music conducted by David Newman. The theme of the evening was film scores from movies that take place in Los Angeles. Of course, that meant most of them were noir, dark, and gritty. Starting with Waxman’s Sunset Boulevard, we then moved into Elmer Berstein’s The Grifters. After that we heard music from Rebel Without a Cause by Leonard Rosenman. The knife-fight sequence hadn’t ever been performed live before, and it was really cool to hear. The first half ended with a newly written suite of music from Alan Silvestri’s score to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which was just awesome. Definitely a great way to close it out and take us into intermission.

When we came back, the stage had been transformed: four pianos with the tops off, four harps, the string section, and a solo trumpet. The piece: Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown Unbelievably cool. The trumpet soloist was amazing, and seeing the four pianists strumming the exposed strings was enough to give me chills. After that, there was a small break as they reconfigured the stage once more. David Newman spoke a little bit at this point, talking about the music he picked, and a little about his experience in Hollywood. He then introduced the next cue, a fugue from Bronislau Kaper’s Them!, which has nothing to do with Los Angeles, but he wanted to play it because it was a fun diversion.

From there, music from David Raksin’s The Bad and the Beautiful was performed in all of it’s lushfulness. Ending the concert was Miklos Rozsa’s classic noir Double Indemnity. It was one of those things where the score works better in the film, and the concert ended on a rather somber and slow note.

Notables sighted at the concert were film music historian Jon Burlingame, Varese Sarabande record executive Robert Townson, and David Newman’s director (and actor) Danny DeVito (and wife Rhea Perlman).