John ADDISON (1920-1998) The Film Music I was Monty's Double - March (1958) [2:58] * Centennial Main Theme, (arr. Patrick Russ) (1979)
[4:09] * Swashbuckler Suite (1976) [5:46] A Bridge Too Far (1977) [10:24] The Maggie - Song of the Maggie, (arr. Shaples) (1953)
[2:31] Reach for the Sky (1956) [4:07] Strange Invaders (1983) [9:28] The Man Between 'Berlin Story' (1953) [2:10] Tom Jones Overture (1963) [4:45] The Charge of the Light Brigade Suite (1968) [7:19] Brandy for the Parson Opening Titles; End Titles (1951)
[3:03] * Torn Curtain Main Titles, (orch. Edward B.
Powell) [2:22] Touch and Go Mirror Waltz (1955) [2:41] * Sleuth (1972) [3:08] Carlton-Browne of the F.O. March, (arr. Ronald Hanmer) (1958)
[1:49] * Murder, She Wrote Main Theme (1984) [2:10]
rec. Watford Colosseum, 4-5 October 2006. DDD CHANDOS CHAN10418 [70:50]
The Chandos British
film music series reaches John Addison who usually orchestrated
his work, and conducted his own music at the recording sessions
of his film scores. Addison is perhaps best known, rather unfortunately,
as being Bernard Herrmann’s replacement composer for Hitchcock’s Torn
Curtain, a Cold War thriller. The ‘Main Titles’ is included
in this collection, bleak music with a sourly jaunty theme
and an equally jaundiced saxophone solo over brutal timpani
and snare drum ostinati.
Much of Addison’s
music was for war films. Probably the best-loved is his splendidly
swaggering march for A Bridge Too Far, one of those
tunes that persist in the memory. Gamba, here, includes a 10+-minute
suite from the film that, in addition to its heroism, has material
of yearning and delicacy set against the general horror of
the action. Addison’s I Was Monty’s Double score contrasts
bluster with a wry perkiness. Reach for the Sky inspired
another grand march, music that soars and quite realistically
evokes the aerobatics and heroism of RAF pilot Douglas Bader
and his fellow World War II pilots. Carol Reed’s The Man
Between was a rather seedy production about profiteering
in post-war West Berlin. Addison’s music was accordingly bleak
with a despairing saxophone solo. Rather more disappointing, TheCharge
of the Light Brigade’s music was an amalgam of national
anthems and contemporary martial music with Addison’s often
wry commentary; a quite different score to Max Steiner’s memorable
music for the earlier Errol Flynn version.
Addison was equally
at home with comedy. The Maggie is a wonderfully cheeky
romp with material suggestive of an old music box and tipsy
dance measures. Fielding’s bawdy masterpiece Tom Jones inspired
some very witty Addison music that swerved between music-hall
silliness and neo-classical counterpoint for its mock-seriousness.
Imaginative effects cleverly underscore Tom’s pranks but the
music also elicits sympathy for the characters. Brandy for
the Parson was a charming little B-feature romp about a
young couple ignorant of the contraband on their holiday yacht.
Addison’s music is redolent of their voyage and the south of
England countryside through which the couple flee from customs
plus rather tipsy material for the contraband. The charming
old-fashioned Mirror Waltz from Touch and Go might have
come from the pen of Ivor Novello in its sweet nostalgia. The Carlton-Browne
of the F.O. and Sleuth scores inspired more droll
studied ribaldry, the former having material somewhat reminiscent
of Eric Coates. Murder She Wrote needed something to
suggest the detective Jessica Fletcher. Addison responded with
a dainty minuet contrasted with more hedonistic stuff.
the history of a Colorado town from the 18th century
to the present day and it inspired an energetic extrovert score
redolent of wide open vistas contrasted with homespun material
reminiscent of Aaron Copland. This score would not have disgraced
the pen of Steiner or Tiomkin, and the Swashbuckler music
has the cut and dash and wit and romanticism of Korngold’s
scores for Errol Flynn. Strange Invaders was another
film with an American setting; this time set in a small Illinois
town … signified by material not far removed from Waxman’s Peyton
Place score. It was a parody of sci-fi thrillers with moody
music for the alien invaders that would not have shamed John
Williams or Bernard Herrmann. The BBC Concert Orchestra play
up all its thrills.
One of the very
best of Chandos’s British film music series with Gamba and
the BBC Concert Orchestra on top form.
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