I don’t think there’s a more thrilling sound in the world than the first explosive chords of Star Wars, with Maurice Murphy’s incredibly bright, open, generous trumpet soaring over the top of the LSO strings. The original recording was unbelievably Maurice’s first day on full contract with the LSO, and, for me, redefined the sound of brass playing in films. And it’s still amazing listening to it now.If you’ve not heard his name, you’ve absolutely heard his work, and there’s a great podcast on the LSO website when he celebrated his retirement from the orchestra, only in 2007.
So it’s a really sad day to hear that Maurice has died, and we won’t be able to hear that golden sound live in the studio or in the concert hall again. It was an incredible privilege to have Maurice in the section playing something any of us had written. He was always funny, direct, endlessly patient, never condescending despite who he was and who he’d played under, and an incredibly inspiring member of the orchestra.
You should absolutely seek out loads of his classic LSO recordings, but here’s a really precious personal memory of Maurice soaring over the orchestra in a cue from Agent Crush.
It’s an unforgettable sound.