Old Hollywood (composed March 2014) is an orchestral work that boasts cinematic grandeur and opulence musically stylized from the Golden Era of Hollywood movie film scores. It is a work of modest scale and manageable ambitions, dealing with unspecified storylines that abound in tightly woven love themes, serious matters and tensions that build to gripping climaxes, neither overreaching nor understanding its agenda. Its ear for simplicity and raw emotion and emotionally charged music unpretentiously rides gracefully and takes interesting directions.
The language is tonal and its particular familiar luxuriantly orchestrated scoring has a soothing dialect. Dissonance is more of a theatrical rather than a musical tool. Its spirit lies in its constant, though never hectic motion with music taken from the vernacular. It is purely pleasurable music that engages and develops its materials economically and is eager to communicate. Through various moods, it proliferates the right emotional tone and shapely lyrical phrase to highlight compelling performances and compositional skill in a kind of original and highly imaginative overture to the essence of film scoring that shows a softening manner, tough angular expressionism and operatic, conservatively styled and eminently singable elegant music that is sophisticated and technical in creating the right musical atmosphere.
Captivating in its alluring artistic craftiness, the score’s piquant instrumental color, harmonic lushness and confident idioms, make the tonal characterizations fit neatly into the next, building character and drama through orchestral pyrotechnics and varied styles. It shows a mastery in clarity and color in its writing and is gratefully written in a streamlined, well-paced rightful telling in an affecting, alternately serious and lyric tone poem to a powerfully emotional fluency.