André Previn: Film Score Prodigy

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

WQXR listeners may know André Previn best as a conductor of the world's finest orchestras, or as a composer for the concert hall and opera stage—or even as a great jazz pianist.

But Previn began his world-class music career in quite an unusual way: as a child prodigy in the film music field. At age 16 Previn was on staff in MGM's music department, and he was still just a teenager when he received his first scoring credit in 1949. From then until the 1970s Previn was actively writing music for movies.

Some of Previn's credits are for adapting musicals such as My Fair Lady, Porgy and Bess, Gigi, Kiss Me Kate, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Jesus Christ Superstar to the screen. But his individuality, talent and prowess as a composer were most clearly on display in his dramatic and comedy scores.

On the eve of Previn's birthday (born April 6, 1929), David Garland presents highlights from Previn's colorful music for "Bad Day At Black Rock," "The Subterraneans," "Irma La Douce," "Rollerball," "Inside Daisy Clover," "The Fastest Gun Alive," "Elmer Gantry" and other films.

Below: Enjoy a slideshow of several of Previn's classic album covers, representing several different genres.

Previn Plays Kerome Kern
Previn's adaptation for the musical 'Gigi'
Previn and Russ Freeman teamed up with drummer Shelly Manne in a trio to play eight of their originals (along with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"),
A Previn/Itzhak Perlman jazz act
Previn's score to 'Irma La Douce'
Dory and André Previn's score for the kitsch classic 'Valley of the Dolls' features a variety of swinging jazz and pop tunes.

Comments [8]

Marie from Ottawa, ON

"Movies on the Radio" was one of my favourite show to listen to listen to online... I've never listened to it "live"!! Please bring it back, with its archives so I can re-listen to my favourites.

May. 20 2014 02:22 PM
Deanna Schwartz from Santa Rosa CA

Why is this program not on demand anymore? I love to listen, but can't always be home when it's on. I just hate missing it. Great show!

Apr. 12 2014 04:42 AM
susu burt from cordele ga

I and others are waitng to be a ble to hear online movies on the radio!. Is it going to be reinstated? I do hope so ...

Apr. 11 2014 04:00 PM
Mary Ellen Harlow from Vermont

I am wondering, as many are, why I can't listen to Movies on the Radio online?
I have greatly enjoyed it and am frustrated not being able to hear it as I can't listen to it in "real" time.

Could you tell us why this is the case?
If you have provided an answer, I have not seen it.

Apr. 11 2014 10:10 AM
Lewis from Rockland County, NY

Not just this week. Look at the recent archive. The listener has been deprived of this service for weeks already --- without an explanation. At least put some info up on the homepage.

Apr. 08 2014 06:57 PM
Paul Pettigrew from Perth, Western Australia

Because I live in Western Australia, the time difference means I have to use the website to playback the show.
This is the second time we've been "denied" access to on-line streaming of the show — the previous one related to Walt Disney ("Saving Mr Banks"). I suspect it relates to copyright infringement?
The lack of feedback then and now is frustrating!
During the programme, David always refers to being able to access shows on-line but never explains why, occasionally, it's just not available!!!

Apr. 07 2014 08:54 PM
Lewis from Rockland County, NY

Why can't we listen to these programs online anymore? This feature seems to have disappeared without an explanation. I, for one, cannot listen to the live broadcast and look forward to listening, at home, when I work on the computer. Please bring this feature back.

Apr. 07 2014 03:59 PM
Valentine Cawley from Malaysia

My eldest son, Ainan Celeste Cawley is a "film score prodigy"...except, unlike Previn, he was actually 12 when he scored his first film - which showed at the Vilnius International Film Festival. Yes. Previn was relatively young to begin scoring films...but by the definition of the word "prodigy", he was far too old to be called a prodigy. A more accurate description of Previn would be "gifted". They are not the same thing. Accurate journalism is important.

Apr. 04 2014 10:30 PM

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