Page 2 - Maurice Jarre Lawrence of Arabia
P. 2

Program Notes

         The dramatic and brilliantly colored score for the motion picture "LAWRENCE
OF ARABIA" introduced a new young French composer, Maurice Jarre, to American
audiences. Working with the usual symphonic instrumentation plus additional
percussion and two new electronic instruments at that time: the onde martinote and the
cithare, he had created a musical setting of the utmost power and beauty, setting off the
exotic story of T. E. Lawrence perfectly, and complementing the visual picture with a
tonal one of tremendous impact.

         This arrangement for symphonic band is built upon two of the three main
themes: the Arabian motif, with its blazing color and almost-barbaric effects; and the
Lawrence theme, a haunting, poignant melody that reflects both his love of the desert
and his internal, psychological conflicts. The music opens with the Arabian motif,
developed at length from the timpani figure in the woodwinds, saxophones and a single
cornet, and then sweeps up into the full band, to be played as broadly and lyrically as
possible. To complete the musical form, the Arabian theme returns, and after a brief
reminder of the Lawrence theme combined with it, brings the music to a dramatic

                    Notes to the Conductor

The conductor is urged to consider the following points carefully in preparing this music
for performance:

         1. The percussion is as important as the rest of the band, especially in the
opening section; and must always play cleanly and with a clear sound that will "ring"
clearly through the musical texture at every point ... without, of course, completely over-
powering it.

         2. The tempo at the beginning and up to measure [27] as well as at the return to
Tempo I° later on, should be played only as fast as the timpani can play its complex
figures clearly and cleanly. The timpani should play with hard and medium-hard felt
sticks only.

         3. The suspended cymbal should be as large as possible, and struck only with a
medium-hard felt mallet. The pair of cymbals, on the other hand, should be as small as
possible, as to produce a light "shimmering" sound, to approximate the true Arabian

         4. The tom-toms should be as far apart in pitch as possible; the idea being to
make them sound like a small pair of timpani. Hard felt sticks should be used

         5. A metal beater should always be used on the triangle.
         6. The tempo, beginning at measure [27] should not be too slow; the music here
should give a broad effect, but never drag. Watch the dynamics, phrase and expression
marks carefully in order to obtain the most lyrical effect possible.
         7. The B-flat cornet parts should be played on actual cornets, and the trumpet
parts played on trumpets for maximum color differentiation in the upper brass.
         8. The timpani "interjections" from measure [27] through the return to Tempo I°
should always be heard clearly, as a sort of "reminder-motive" of the Arabian theme
throughout this section.
Careful attention to detail will result in a brilliant, rousing performance of this exciting

                                                                                       ALFRED REED
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