November 12, 2019

Our Favorite Jerry Goldsmith Story

Film composer Jerry Goldsmith, died July 21, age 75. The following is excerpted from a 1997 interview with The Jewish Journal.

“In the score for ‘First Knight,’ the final battle scene was temp-tracked with the ubiquitous ‘Carmina Burana.’ The director said, ‘We’ve got to have a chorus singing in this big battle of six or seven minutes.’ I didn’t know what a chorus was going to do. He said, ‘Don’t even bother writing it. We’ll just use the ‘Carmina Burana.’ At that time, it seemed rather a great idea, because I was so pressed for time. Actually, it was a combination of my agent and my wife who said: ‘Don’t do it. Don’t take the easy way out. Do it right.’ So I said, ‘OK, I’ll do music for it, but the chorus has to say something.’ So I sat there for hours with the director, who’s also Jewish, and I said, ‘Give me some words for the chorus to sing, and I’ll get it translated into Latin, and we’ll be off and running.’ So we picked the Shema. So if you listen to the big battle scene, it’s the Shema translated into Latin with orchestra and chorus.”