Maurice Jarre – Doctor Zhivago Original Soundtrack Album LP.

Doctor Zhivago Original Movie Soundtrack by Maurice Jarre vinyl album
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Doctor Zhivago The Original Soundtrack Album. Composed and conducted by Maurice Jarre.

Doctor Zhivago is one of the highest grossing films of all time. Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, it’s a love story set in Russia during the first half of the twentieth century.

This big screen adaptation of Pasternak’s novel follows the characters through the First World War, the 1917 Russian Revolutions and the Russian Civil War.

The movie won five Academy awards including one for best original score. At over 3 hours long, plenty of music was needed to accompany the film!

Maurice Jarre was chosen to compose the music for Doctor Zhivago having previously worked with director David Lean on Lawrence of Arabia. This collaboration set Jarre on his way to becoming one of the masters of the movie score.

Doctor Zhivago. Original Movie Trailer (1965).

The Original Movie Soundtrack.

The soundtrack is primarily a classical music score inspired by traditional Russian folk songs and Soviet era ballads and marching music. The MGM studio orchestra is accompanied by balalaika players in parts to give it a more authentic sound.

Incidental music to scenes throughout the film forms the original soundtrack, much of which are variations of one particular piece known as Lara’s Theme.

Jarre and Son.

Maurice Jarre, if you hadn’t guessed, was the father of electronic music genius, Jean-Michel Jarre.

I originally became aware of Maurice because of his son. I was intrigued to find out where Jean-Michel had got his creativity from so started looking into Jarre senior’s impressive back catalogue. The Doctor Zhivago OST was one of the first of those I bought.

In actual fact, Maurice Jarre split up with his wife, leaving her and the five year old Jean-Michel in France when he moved to America. The young Jarre didn’t see his father again until he was 18. So apart from any inherited natural ability, it’s unlikely that Jean-Michel Jarre got his musical talent from his dad after all!

Musical Equipment Used On The Doctor Zhivago Soundtrack.

One thing father and son do have in common is their fascination with electronic instruments. Maurice Jarre was an early proponent of synthesizer music and made use of several electronic instruments on this soundtrack. He continued to experiment with new technology throughout his career.

“The recording was accomplished with the largest and most unique combination of musical instruments ever assembled in a Hollywood studio for this purpose. Conducting is Mr. Jarre himself, and for the ten-day session, he used a full symphony orchestra of 110 pieces, a special group of 24 balalaika musicians, a section of Japanese instruments, including a Shamisen (a long-necked banjo, with a little tom-tom on bridge), a Koto (7-foot Japanese harp), a 6-foot gong valued at 3,000 dollars, organ, novachord, electric sonovox, harpsichord, electric piano, tack piano, and zither. For portions of the score, the instrumental music was augmented by a chorus of 40 voices. A total of 20 microphones were used to record the full score for 6-channel stereo, and a total of six sound men were involved.”

From the back cover of the Doctor Zhivago Original Soundtrack Album MGM LP.

Maurice Jarre Doctor Zhivago Original Soundtrack LP back cover

Doctor Zhivago Original Soundtrack Album. MGM Records LP (1966) back cover.

Album Tracks.

Maurice Jarre – Lara’s Theme From “Doctor Zhivago”.

Maurice Jarre – Overture From “Doctor Zhivago”.

Album Tracklist.

  • A1 Overture From “Doctor Zhivago”
  • A2 Main Title From “Doctor Zhivago”
  • A3 Lara Leaves Yuri
  • A4 At The Student Cafe
  • A5 Komarovsky And Lara’s Rendezvous
  • A6 Revolution
  • B1 Lara’s Theme From “Doctor Zhivago”
  • B2 The Funeral
  • B3 Sventytski’s Waltz
  • B4 Yuri Escapes
  • B5 Tonya Arrives At Varykino
  • B6 Yuri Writes A Poem For Lara
Find yourself a copy of this record on Discogs.

Full Soundtrack Playlist.

Doctor Zhivago The Original Soundtrack Album. Full album playlist.

If you like film soundtracks check out this one from ’80s horror flick The Howling.

Listen to this and other classic albums on our Spotify Playlists.