“ROBINSON CRUSOE” AND MUSIC
Rightly or wrongly, I have always linked Gulliver’s Travels
and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Both were originally
written about the same time; (Crusoe in 1719, Gulliver around
1700) both arose out of shipwrecks; and both are children’s
classics, though not originally intended as such. And both have
For Robinson Crusoe perhaps the major musical spin-off came
from across the English Channel. Offenbach’s operetta
of that name appeared in 1867 and had made its way to the UK
by the 1880s. It became a pantomime subject for which Henry
Tilsley, doubtless among others, wrote music. Another stage
work with Crusoe connections, at any rate in its title, was
Robert Stolz’s musical farce of 1922, Robinson Crusoe’s
Isle, though this was best known under its alternative title
Whirled Into Happiness.
Robinson Crusoe became a nursery tune, which was arranged for
chorus, as were many others by first Frank Kidson and Alfred
Moffat, then by Thomas Wood.
I have no information about radio or TV adaptations but there
have been several Crusoe films at least two of them quirky;
Robinson Crusoe And The Tiger, a Mexican film (1969, music by
Raul Laviste) and, from America, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1984,
music by Van Cleave). But the standard film Robinson Crusoe
was English and from as far back as 1952. Anthony Collins, who
at that period produced many attractive film scores, supplied
Philip L. Scowcroft
Rob Maynard comments:
Philip L. Scowcroft has not, as he admits in his brief survey
, discovered the television music for "Robinson Crusoe"
that is best known in the UK and Europe.
Robert Mellin and Gian-Piero Reverberi composed the memorable
score to Henry Deutschmeister's 1964 TV series that everyone
of several generations (it was often repeated!) will know. Here
is the very hummable main theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQHB1zd1f5M
The full music for the series appeared on a 1990 Silva Screen
CD - FILMCD 705.
Devotees can wallow in nostalgia by reading about the cult
TV series here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Robinson_Crusoe_(TV_series)
For similar articles see The
Philip Scowcroft Collection