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'where Eagles Dare'

Ron Goodwin

Ron Goodwin was born in 1925 in Plymouth. He was a professional trumpet player with the Harry Gold band and composed arrangements for the Ted Heath and Geraldo Big Bands. Much of his output was backing music for films, television and radio. He is best known for his film scores, and as musical director for many major films.

The music was composed for the 1968 film, which featured Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton and a host of other stars. It starts with one snare drum, then two, and finally a bass drum. After this the orchestra makes its entry. This somewhat unusual start was the composer's response to the fact that the film commences with rather noisy aircraft. He felt that there was no point in composing anything the least bit melodic, as it would be drowned by the noise. Ron used to say to his audiences that "once we had got rid of the aircraft, I could bring in the whole orchestra and frighten everyone out of their seats".

With thanks to Ron Shillingford who provided material for this note.

Programme notes for BHSO performance, May 2004
Written by Steve Armitage
Steve plays Second Violin, and is the Orchestra's Chairman

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