This post is the first of an occasional series called Hidden Gems, in which I will bring to light some lesser known/under-appreciated works in the classical repertoire. It is partially inspired by Timothy Mangan’s “Neglected Symphonies” series.
It’s probably fair to say that film scores are one of the most widely heard forms of classical music today. Of course, to call a film score “classical” in the first place has been the subject of much debate over the years (maybe I’ll add my two cents to this discussion at some point) but regardless, one can’t deny the enormous presence that movie music holds in popular culture. (Just ask any random person on the street to sing the main theme from Star Wars and more likely than not, they’ll probably be able to do so!)
However, what average moviegoers don’t often realize is that a number of beloved film composers have also written music for the concert hall, totally absent from the medium of film. Many of these works vary greatly in style and form, with some departing completely from the composer’s “cinematic sound.” Even so, mostly all of them tend to be less familiar to listeners than their film score counterparts.
Let’s explore a few and bring some to light…