Friday, September 4, 2009
Erich Kunzel (1935-2009)
Early in my childhood, I discovered that I liked music. This was long before I could afford a record collection of my own. With that in mind, I ventured to the local library for all the free music I could rent. The library had a large selection of soiled and scratched CDs and tapes. As used as they were, they were very much valuable to me.
I explored the world of music at that library; trying different genres, new composers and musical styles.
One summer evening, I found a music compilation. I read what remained of the disc's packaging. It was entitled Round-Up, a western oriented CD with a mix of classical and film music. I had heard of some of the film titles on the disc, but I was unfamiliar with the Cincinnati Pops and their conductor, Erich Kunzel. Despite my uncertainties, I decided to check out the album.
I took the disc home and put it into my brother's stereo, as I had no unit of my own. The Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel's adept baton resounded from the speakers.
I was particularly enthralled by their performance of "How the West Was Won". It changed my perception of vintage film music. I went out and rented not only "How the West Was Won", but other scores from classic films. I explored more of Kunzel's albums, which lead me to more classic scores, and my palette for film music has never been the same.
Erich Kunzel's numerous works did much to further my interest in music. Although he is no longer with us, I will not soon forget his extraordinary talent.