This fine collection follows ASV's 1997 recording of film music by Addinsell
(CD WHL 2108). That album included music from Greengage Summer, Highly
Dangerous, Under Capricorn, the Warsaw Concerto from Dangerous
Moonlight, and 'Lover's Moon' from The Passionate Friends. This
new collection includes an eight- -minute suite from the gloriously
romantic music for this film and it is, for me, the highlight of this album.
The collection opens with music from Blithe Spirit. The waltz had
previously been included on the 1997 recording but it reappears here in an
extended format together with the Prelude. This Prelude is a lively,
high-spirited, irreverent escapade that pokes fun at plot and characters
especially the medium Madam Acarti (Margaret Rutherford) riding along on
her bicycle to the séance. The waltz, romantic yet mischievous, perfectly
captures the capricious nature of Elvira, Charles's (Rex Harrison) first
wife - or rather her ghost. The music is sensuous, gossamer-delicate and
The Miniature Overture from the portmanteau production Encore (1951)
sparkles. The contrasting Prelude to Gaslight (1939) has a much darker
edge. The music saws at one nerves - very effective material for a drama
about a vulnerable wife (Diana Wynyard) whose sanity is threatened by her
murderous husband (Anton Walbrook).
Parisienne-1885 music is all glamour and glitter with a waltz that would
not have ashamed Waldteufel. The WRNS March was composed in 1942 and
is dedicated to the Women's Royal Naval Service. It is exuberant and heroic,
and more femininely tender, by turn. It is influenced by the style of Eric
Coates. Southern Rhapsody written in 1958 for the opening of Southern Television,
has a pronounced coastal atmosphere, evoking waves breaking over beaches
and seagulls flying overhead. It is very much of its time; cosy and
old-fashioned, with a nostalgic glow.
Scrooge, the most extended suite at 13 minutes, disappoints it relies too
heavily on folk song and carol source material at the expense of sufficient
character building and ghostly atmospherics.
The Peter Sellers film, Waltz of the Toreadors (1962), is represented
by a march full of bluster, 'The General on Parade'; and a romantic 'Waltz'
that has a rather world-weary violin solo suggesting that the general's spirit
may be rather more willing than
Fire Over England (1937) was an Elizabethan adventure starring Laurence
Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Addinsell opts for more intimate, more authentic
Tudor music than the more inflated romanticism of Korngold for the equivalent
Flynn/Hollywood swashbucklers of the period.
Finally the music for South Riding includes a strong main theme based
upon a Northumbrian folk song. This is a fine score for the 1937 gritty drama
of corruption in northern England starring Ralph Richardson and Edna Best
as the schoolmistress who exposes the crooked councillors.
A very attractive compilation played with energy and conviction