Elfman’s Music from “Batman” Live!

by JC Alvarez
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When director Tim Burton brought to the big screen the feature-length adaptation of Batman starring Michael Keaton, the film revolutionized the way that Hollywood looked at comic-book hero franchises. Burton borrowed from so many iconic and contemporary elements of the Dark Knight’s mythology that for fans of the genre it was as if a whole new world had opened up, but in the same way that John Williams score defined the sense of wonder of a galaxy far, far away and inflicted fears of wading too deeply into the water, Batman benefitted from its own memorable theme.

Tim Burton had been collaborating with composer Danny Elfman for several of his major motion pictures, so it was a natural fit with the two visionaries teamed up to evoke the dangerously dense Gotham and the powerful melodies that would herald that arrival of the Caped Crusader. This summer the composer toured the country in live symphonic splendor in the musical masterful evening Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton. The two-hour live show recorded in New York City’s Lincoln Center is coming to PBS on Sunday, Oct 30 @ 9pm.

The elaborate program features the musical themes from many of the Tim Burton film’s Elfman provided the soundtrack for, including Batman and its blockbuster follow-up Batman Returns. Each thematic moment in the setlist is accompanied by footage specially crafted by Burton to illustrate perfectly alongside Elfman’s composition, and that is none-more evidenced than in the section dedicated to Batman and its sequel. On a large projection screen behind the orchestra, the theme plays while a chorus speeds along with Vicki Vale and the Batman in the muscly Batmobile.

Without a doubt Danny Elfman’s score and soundtrack elevated the Batman movie to entirely new heights. The oddly creepy melody that he created for our hero’s set of rogues including the Joker, Catwoman and the Penguin, brought a new depth of realism to these otherwise 2D characters. When Michelle Pfeiffer

For fans this is a scene burned into our conscious and to see it presented in this live musical interpretation is remarkable. Don’t miss the taped performance premiering on PBS, Sunday, Oct 30 @ 9pm. Check your local listings.

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