The score of the selection from The Importance
of Being Earnest was found in the BBC’s music library though
the identity of the arranger, either the composer or somebody else,
can not be ascertained. However, this is a delightful, witty score in
which Frankel pays homage to Offenbach, particularly so in the opening
tune which also concludes this short piece cleverly arranged as a light
The Pastoral from The Curse of the Werewolf
is the only overtly tonal item of an otherwise quite radical film score,
considered as the first atonal film score ever. A beautiful short tone
poem not unlike Honegger’s Pastorale d’été.
(A recording of the three-movement suite is available on SILVA SCREEN
FILMCD 175, also re-issued on FILMXCD 309.)
The Night of the Iguana, based on Tennessee
Williams’ play, was (and still is) a great movie boasting a brilliant
cast including Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr among others.
Frankel wrote one of his most accomplished film scores. For the most
part, the music is dark, introvert, tense though sparsely scored. However
the delightful vignette Mexican Washer Women provides for some
welcome contrast. Some of the music was available on LP (MGM E-4247
nla) but this is the complete score preserved by the composer. Undoubtedly
one of his finest achievements.
Frankel had preserved some of the material written
for Trottie True possibly in view of compiling a short
suite from it but he apparently never did so. The music for this light-hearted
comedy is very similar to that for The Importance of Being Earnest,
and is full of jolly, tuneful, hummable tunes such as the opening Gaiety
Galop or the closing Trottie True Trot, a near-cousin of
the celebrated Carriage and Pair from So Long at the Fair.
Both this score and that of The Importance of Being Earnest
are wonderful examples of Frankel’s musical humour.
Dimitri Kennaway arranged the Lullaby from The
Years Between for strings. (This short piece was published as
a piano solo played in the original soundtrack by Eileen Joyce.)
For Footsteps in the Fog starring Stewart
Granger and Jean Simmons, Frankel wrote another predominantly serious
and tense score that nevertheless includes the delightful Drive in
the Countryside. The score abounds with beautiful themes such as
The Lily Watkins Theme or the darker Lowry’s Secret. Dimitri
Kennaway here faced a difficult task while reconstructing the music
for very little of the original score has survived and the present reconstruction,
mostly done by listening repeatedly to the soundtrack, represents about
half of the original score. A remarkable job by all counts.
CPO have put us in their debt for their remarkable
and committed championing of Frankel’s music. The present release, a
most welcome sequel to their superb
recording of Frankel’s big score for The Battle of the Bulge,
is again well played, well recorded and well documented, and thus is
warmly recommended. Not for film bluffs only.
See alsoDimitri Kennaway The
Making of Music for the Movies
See also earlier
release of Frankel Film Music which picked up a Midem2002 Award
for Film Music