Jerome Moross (1913-1983) - orchestrating and westerns:

During the 40s and 50s Jerome Moross gained many credits as an orchestrator of film scores including Hans Christian Anderson for example. He orchestrated for several of the big composers of the day including Aaron Copland, Franz Waxman and Hugo Friedhofer, and was also friends with Bernard Herrmann.

Jerome Moross - The Big Country soundtrack CD It was this solid grounding in the business of film music which built the skills and created the opportunities for Moross in providing original music for film and TV. It was as a composer of sweeping Western themes that Moross made a name for himself, and this association led to much film and TV work in this genre. "The Big Country" in particular is instantly familiar. Although Westerns were very common at that time, it might seem that Moross suffered from the composer's equivalent of that actor's disease known as typecasting, but a quick look at his filmography shows that this is not the case.

Jerome Moross - The War Lord soundtrack CD Not much of his music is available on CD but "The Big Country" is available in at least two versions (remastered from the original mono recording and recorded by the Philharmonia Orchestra) and with various CD covers. The main theme is of course very powerful and immediately grabs the attention. Wisely Moross keeps the main theme for the important title tracks. He hints at the title theme in a few other tracks but often in such a subtle way that you are not aware of it and it just helps to makes the whole score coherent - an excellent listen for both Western fans and soundtrack collectors. Some other scores by Moross are also available, but you need to search the markets. Links are given below for the excellent soundtrack for "The War Lord".

Films by Jerome Moross:

    Various Composers - The Magnificent Westerns
  • Hans Christian Anderson - as orchestrator
  • The Jaywalkers - co-composer
  • The Valley of the Gwangi
  • The War Lord - a great score full of knightly nobility
  • The Proud Rebel
  • The Cardinal
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Big Country - the theme for which Moross is best known and rightfully so, given the way that it effortlessly portrays in music the mental image conveyed by the title

TV themes by Jerome Moross:

  • Gunsmoke
  • Wagon Train
  • Wagon's Ho! - theme lyrics by Frederick Herbert
  • "Grizzly" National Geographic Special - many other composers worked on these, and Elmer Bernstein created the National Geographic theme

Jerome Moross Recommendations:

The Big Country and some of Moross's TV western themes can be found on many "favourite western themes" CDs, and his music for the National Geographic "Grizzly" special is also available. A comprehensive web-site dedicated to Moross and his music can be found at Here are links for some of the soundtracks featuring the composer's music: