David Raksin's Laura

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Composer David Raksin scored many films, but none quite so indelibly as Otto Preminger's 1944 film noir classic Laura. Raksin's haunting theme for the movie perfectly suited its story of mystery and obsessive attraction, and went on to become one of the great standards of American song. Host David Garland relays Raksin's fascinating story behind this music, and presents highlights from this and a few other Raksin scores, including the Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy vehicle Pat and Mike. David Raksin's scores are smart, sophisticated, and redolent of the mid-20th Century Hollywood era.

Playlist

David Raksin - Hilda Crane - Hilda and Mother - Intrada

David Raksin - Laura - The Laura Suite: Theme and Variations - 20th Century Fox Film Scores

David Raksin - Pat and Mike - suite - Film Score Monthly

David Raksin - A Lady Without Passport - Josef And Marianne - Film Score Monthly

David Raksin - Kind Lady - Checkmate/End Title And Cast - Film Score Monthly

Laura Trailer:

Clips of actress Gene Tierney, accompanied by Frank Sinatra's recording of "Laura":

"Pat and Mike" trailer (worth noting: Katharine Hepburn takes down future action star Charles Bronson at about 1:27 in, also the studio's anachronistically modest claim that it's a movie you'll "like.")

Comments [3]

Jeffrey Tucker from Palm Springs, CA

Absoltuely wonderful! "Laura" is one of the most hauntingly beautiful scores ever written for a supremely stylish and sophisticated film noir. It has always been my favorite song since I first heard it as a child. Much later I saw the movie and read the novel, then understanding how perfectly the score fits the heroine, the detective, and the story. David Raksin's music is superb. His other great score is that for "The Bad and the Beautiful." It defines glamour music at its very finest. Thank you for playing the entire suite from "Laura"! I've enjoyed it immensely!

Feb. 01 2012 04:06 PM
frank collins

Thanks again Mr. Garland for a memorable evening of the music of David Raksin. However from time to time on your show you fail to mention the conductor and orchestra playing this music. You told of how Mr. Raksin came up with the theme for Laura, glanced lightly that "he called Newman". You didn't mention that the music was scored and conducted by Alfred Newman. Newman took that recurring theme and embelished it with many variations including some thoughts of his own. Thanks again.

Jan. 23 2011 11:23 PM
Michael Meltzer

I sold pianos for over twenty years in New York City, and demonstrated most of them by showing the classical things each piano could do, then relaxing everybody by playing "Laura."
I probably owe Mr. Raksin a lot of money.

Jan. 22 2011 03:51 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.