The Seckerson Tapes: Benjamin Wallfisch | Classical music reviews, news & interviews
The Seckerson Tapes: Benjamin Wallfisch
The conductor and film composer sticks up for movie music
Benjamin Wallfisch was born into an extraordinarily musical family. His father Raphael Wallfisch is a cellist of international repute and his grandmother Anita Lasker-Wallfisch would not be alive today had her cello not served as a refuge for her soul while she was an inmate at Auschwitz. Benjamin did not play the cello but instead graduated from piano to baton in pursuit and fulfillment of his musical passions.
He also fell in love with the cinema and while watching ET take his leave of Elliot in the closing sequence of Steven Spielberg’s classic movie he realised how much of the emotion of that sequence came directly from John Williams’s score. Ben wanted, needed, to do the same and after a seven-year apprenticeship to movie music ace Dario Marianelli he was payed the greatest compliment of all when he orchestrated and conducted what was to be Marianelli’s Oscar-winning score for the movie Atonement.
He now has 43 movie scores under his belt and his latest for Summer in February starring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens is sure to haunt the airwaves for some time to come. His concert pieces are mounting up, too, and when he’s not conducting a Shostakovich violin concerto he might be caretaking his own. In this audio podcast he vigorously refutes the notion that movie music is in some way a poor relation of the music that daily fills our concert halls and indeed is quick to explain that speed of composition is as vital for him in his concert pieces as in his movie scores. That way lies the spontaneity he so passionately seeks.
If you would prefer to download and listen offline, please download
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more Classical music
Splendid singing of English jewels, plus a Nico Muhly premiere
The RSNO have a new concert hall. The lead acoustician explains why it sounds so good
Viennese piano music, a singer-songwriter's debut opera and experimental sounds from Kansas City
A welcome re-airing of James MacMillan's striking opera/passion/ritual
A reinvented minimalist classic is let down by poor sound quality
Great pianist, great company: the classiest and most generous of celebrations
What are the elements that make up Einaudi's music?
Organic grandeur stops short of engagement
Historically informed Czech repertoire, weighty music from a 20th century giant, and three sets of piano variations
A compelling revival for a song cycle out of the blue
Military incursions in vivid masterpieces by Haydn and Nielsen
Six out of seven pieces going nowhere: no pizzazz about this jazz/classical melée