On Saturday night, the Colorado Symphony presents Singin’ in the Rain, part of Goberman’s Symphonic Night at the Movies series. Audiences are in for a treat as the entire orchestra performs the film’s classic score, written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, live.
In anticipation of his visit to Denver, we asked Mr. Goberman a few questions about movies and music.
You’ve developed orchestra programs for all types of films, from Bride of Frankenstein to Psycho. Why did you choose Singin’ in the Rain?
Singin’ in the Rain is one of the truly great musicals, no question about it. It’s remarkable in that it’s entertaining all the way through. It’s a classic film, but it also has a whole contemporary feeling. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of laughs. It’s remarkable to have that much fine while you’re watching a film. And the music is just so good. That’s the most important thing. It’s major symphonic music.
Some people might not associate a night at the symphony with the things you just mentioned: Having fun and laughing.
I like to think that there will be a few people who will really be hearing an orchestra for the first time. I love the idea that somebody who is a film buff or just wants to have a good time will come away and say, ‘Wow. I had no idea what a great orchestra this is.’”
It’s all about entertainment. The 1,000 or so people sitting there should be entertained and involved. When you have a great film and an orchestra of this quality, it’s easy to do. It becomes a performance of a film instead of just a screening. There’s a vitality to the live performance.
Of course, live performance of music is part of the history of film.
Right. There’s never been such a thing as a silent film, ever. The difference with the stuff that I’ve done, Symphonic Night at the Movies and the other film series, is that with silent film, the music was not important. Very often it was just drawn from other sources. Here we’re dealing with music that was written for the movie. They were constructed together.
Who are some of your favorite composers for film?
The best film composer is Prokofiev; the score for Alexander Nevsky is the best film score ever written.
Also Korngold, Rósza, all major symphonic composers [of the 20th Century] wrote for films. Bernard Herman, for Hitchcock was certainly a major composer. I feel strongly that, for the most part, you can’t just play the music that they wrote. You need to see the pictures that they wrote the music for. The music doesn’t have any form. A program like Symphonic Night at the Movies is a way of hearing the music that makes it much more important and absorbable.
Singin’ in the Rain: A Symphonic Night at the Movies is presented Saturday, January 11 at 7:30 pm, Boettcher Concert Hall. Click here for more information.