9. Lawrence of Arabia
score by Maurice Jarre
With Lawrence of Arabia, both the film and its score are so iconic as to have transcended themselves and become synonymous with the Middle East in the Western cultural imagination. When we imagine the Arabian Peninsula, we see Omar Sharif emerging from mirage and we hear the main theme of Jarre’s score, as sweeping as history itself, as subtle as the unknowable depths of Lawrence’s own psyche. And why not? The work, in both cases, perfectly evokes our archetypal image of the vast desert, and therefore our most essential thinking about ourselves – boundless, mysterious, beautiful, brutal, noble, deadly, and incomprehensible.
Essential tracks – Overture, Miracle