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David Raksin

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OPINION
August 17, 2004
Re "David Raksin, 92; Longtime Film Composer Had Hit Song 'Laura,' " Aug. 10: David Raksin was a living time capsule from the golden age of film music. His passing Aug. 9 has saddened all of us who admired and loved him. I first met David when I attended his film music class as an undergraduate at UCLA in 1980, and he was one of the first established composers to take an interest in my music. His kindness, support and encouragement never wavered in all the years hence. To me, one of his most endearing attributes was his irrepressible delivery of zingers and one-liners regarding everything and everyone he considered qualitatively awful, either aesthetically or morally.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
August 17, 2004
Re "David Raksin, 92; Longtime Film Composer Had Hit Song 'Laura,' " Aug. 10: David Raksin was a living time capsule from the golden age of film music. His passing Aug. 9 has saddened all of us who admired and loved him. I first met David when I attended his film music class as an undergraduate at UCLA in 1980, and he was one of the first established composers to take an interest in my music. His kindness, support and encouragement never wavered in all the years hence. To me, one of his most endearing attributes was his irrepressible delivery of zingers and one-liners regarding everything and everyone he considered qualitatively awful, either aesthetically or morally.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2004 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
David Raksin, the noted film composer for "Forever Amber" and "The Bad and the Beautiful" whose hauntingly memorable theme song for the 1944 film noir classic "Laura" became one of the most recorded tunes in history, has died. He was 92.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2004 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
David Raksin, the great film composer who died this week, once told me about traveling to Russia in the 1980s with his avant-garde colleague John Cage and the musicologist, conductor, lexicographer and all-around musical maven Nicolas Slonimsky. When they arrived at the airport in Moscow, there was a problem: Cage didn't have a valid visa.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 1992 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Top Music Maker: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers bestowed a lifetime achievement award Monday night on composer David Raksin at the seventh annual ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards. Raksin has written music for more than 100 films, from "Laura" to "Al Capone," and his television scores include "Ben Casey" and "Wagon Train." Sally Kellerman hosted the black-tie gala at the Beverly Hilton.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1998
Thank you for Josef Woodard's interview with Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Laurence Rosenthal and Leonard Rosenman ("Scoring Some More Respect," June 14). Respect begins at home, however. One shudders to think of the editorial hatchet-job that was performed to cram the ideas of these four illustrious composers into a two-page article. Each of them merits more than that space in his own right, and The Times is long overdue in this regard. JANE BROCKMAN Santa Monica
ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 1989
I am offended by Atkinson's characterization of the music of Mel Powell. According to Atkinson, "Powell writes the sort of horribly dissonant music that should be confined to bad horror films." In my opinion, a critic who writes that sort of horribly ignorant review should himself be confined--to musical matters that will not unduly tax his meager mind and minimalist ears. DAVID RAKSIN Adjunct Professor Music and Public Administration USC
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 1989
I wish to correct a minor error in Leonard Feather's July 30 column. In this otherwise excellent piece about the singers Adelaide Hall and Marion Montgomery, he referred to "the American pianist Richard Rodney Bennett." Bennett actually is British and a renowned composer with symphonies, operas, chamber works and films ("The Orient Express," "Nicholas and Alexandra," etc.) to his credit. DAVID RAKSIN Los Angeles Raksin is composer of the popular standard "Laura" and is an adjunct professor of music at USC.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 1986
How interesting to see what Podhoretz reveals about himself in his article. He ends with a particularly fine example of what one has learned to expect from him: " . . . the cancerous spread of pacifist inclinations that now pervade our political culture." If, according to this view, the "cancerous" illness is pacifism, does it not follow that the author considers war to be the "norm"? (No pun intended, although the temptation is strong.) What is to be said about a mind capable of such distortion?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 1993
On March 5 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Society for the Preservation of Film Music honored Jerry Goldsmith--the recipient of 16 Oscar nominations in a career spanning four decades--with its 1993 Career Achievement Award. Among hundreds attending were Joe Dante, Paul Verhoeven, David Raksin, Henry Mancini and Elmer Bernstein. As far as The Times is concerned, this is not worth a line of type. However, we did learn March 8 in a Calendar front-page article accompanied by two color photos that disco is back.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2004 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
David Raksin, the noted film composer for "Forever Amber" and "The Bad and the Beautiful" whose hauntingly memorable theme song for the 1944 film noir classic "Laura" became one of the most recorded tunes in history, has died. He was 92.
NEWS
May 16, 2000 | PATT DIROLL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What's a nice Jewish girl like Judith Krantz doing in a place like Chanel? Buying, bubbeleh . . . and with all those bestsellers to her name, not on sale either. Krantz always wears Chanel . . . probably to bed, for all I know. Krantz's 10 novels have kept her in Coco's logo, starting with her No. 1 bestseller "Scruples," which came out in 1978. Now the Material Girl of the nip-and-tuck set is telling all in her autobiography, "Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2000
What a relief! Just as I was beginning to worry about our local affinity for mediocrity in the domain of art, along comes another self-anointed taste-monger from New York (where else?) to give us the word from on high (Saturday Letters, March 11). And as though his credentials are not meager enough, Marshall Izen asks how we can have "remained silent" about Mark Swed's "inept, inadequate, poorly written, musically questionable music criticism." I have worked in music for more than seven decades, and to me anyone who displays the ignorance and arrogance to characterize the critical writing of one of the best in his profession in such terms reveals himself as unworthy of our attention.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 1999
Last Saturday, reader Brent L. Trafton suggested that music critic Mark Swed should be fired. I doubt that any really informed person would agree. As a composer-conductor and university professor with more than 70 years' experience, I can attest that Swed is held in high esteem by my colleagues. He is considered to be one of the best critics now writing on music in our country, a view shared in New York and abroad. He is particularly admired because of his ability to place the music he hears into context with its history and the historical present.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1998
Thank you for Josef Woodard's interview with Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Laurence Rosenthal and Leonard Rosenman ("Scoring Some More Respect," June 14). Respect begins at home, however. One shudders to think of the editorial hatchet-job that was performed to cram the ideas of these four illustrious composers into a two-page article. Each of them merits more than that space in his own right, and The Times is long overdue in this regard. JANE BROCKMAN Santa Monica
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 1997 | CHRIS PASLES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If you're going to do a concert of film music, this is the way to do it. Beef up the orchestra and show film clips. Preferably these should be scenes the music was written for, but montage sequences with careful coordination between sight and sound will work well too.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 1992
I'm writing to congratulate Martin Bernheimer, to thank him for his review of the latest atrocity from Philip Glass and to cede to him the preeminent position among those of us who have what it takes to appraise Glass' work as it deserves to be treated--a berth formerly (possibly) occupied by me ("The Met Says, 'Hello, Columbus,' " Oct. 14). I managed to endure "The Voyage" for about 45 minutes. I hoped for some kind of forward step, some evidence to indicate a possible answer to the unsettled question: Is Glass not able to realize that his "music" is bloody awful, or is he simply fraudulent--or both?
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 1999
Last Saturday, reader Brent L. Trafton suggested that music critic Mark Swed should be fired. I doubt that any really informed person would agree. As a composer-conductor and university professor with more than 70 years' experience, I can attest that Swed is held in high esteem by my colleagues. He is considered to be one of the best critics now writing on music in our country, a view shared in New York and abroad. He is particularly admired because of his ability to place the music he hears into context with its history and the historical present.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 1997
Mark Swed refers to Bernard Herrmann, Alex North and David Raksin as part of "a new generation of talented and sophisticated American composers" discovered, cinematically, "by the '50s and '60s" ("They Shoot, They Score," July 27). While his reference is not wholly inaccurate (North's first principal film score was "A Streetcar Named Desire," released in 1951), Herrmann's major contributions to film was established in the 1940s with such scores as "Citizen Kane," "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 1993
On March 5 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Society for the Preservation of Film Music honored Jerry Goldsmith--the recipient of 16 Oscar nominations in a career spanning four decades--with its 1993 Career Achievement Award. Among hundreds attending were Joe Dante, Paul Verhoeven, David Raksin, Henry Mancini and Elmer Bernstein. As far as The Times is concerned, this is not worth a line of type. However, we did learn March 8 in a Calendar front-page article accompanied by two color photos that disco is back.
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