Ernest Gold: Theme music to EXODUS

April 8, 2007

I remember loving this music profoundly as a boy. Is this really movie music? Yeah, I guess technically it is. But where are the roots for this? It’s not so far from TV music in the late 50s and early 60s, but is there a classical predecessor of this? Khachaturian? Holst?

Great opening title sequence by Saul Bass. Visit Blogdecine to see Bass’s complete film credits on YouTube.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

PK April 9, 2007 at 1:56 pm

This melody haunted me as well (love the Eddie Harris version). I always associate the slippery major/minor business as eastern European, also used very effectively by Nina Rota. It creates a bittersweet that easily morphs as the on screen emotions call for.

ramasaig April 10, 2007 at 12:08 pm

I haven’t heard the Exodus theme played for years, but it’s always stuck in my mind. Then I heard Brahms Sextet in B flat major, op 18, second movement. Could that have been the source ?

Roger Bourland April 10, 2007 at 10:40 pm

PK: I don’t know any REALLY SERIOUS Rota music. It always has a peasant or folksy feel.

ramasaig: I don’t know that piece, I ‘ll look for it and get back to you.

Don DG May 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm

The theme is an almost perfect match with one in a fairly obscure work from 1958, just three years before the movie came out: Quincy Porter’s “New England Episodes.” It’s interesting that ramasaig hears something similar in the Op. 18 Brahms Sextet; it leads me to wonder if perhaps both composers, Porter and Gold, had that melody rattling around in their subconscious and happened to draw upon it at about the same time. On the other hand, the match is so much closer between Porter’s and Gold’s themes than between either of theirs and Brahms’s, I suspect that Porter is indeed the true source. As Porter was still alive when Gold published the theme from Exodus, I am surprised that Porter let Gold get away with it.

Roger Bourland May 15, 2008 at 5:56 am

I keep an eye out for the Porter piece. Interesting news. THx.

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