March 2000 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

Matthew SCOTT and source music The Mrs Bradley Mysteries   BBC Music WMSF 6021-2 [78:12]

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The Mrs Bradley Mysteries set in the 1920s is presumably BBC's answer to ITV's Hercule Poirot? Four pilot episodes were recently screened with Diana Rigg as the rather superior upper class sleuth and Neil Dudgeon as her long-suffering Watson-like chauffeur. The music was particularly good mixing all-time greats from the 1920's and 30's as source music with original music by Matthew Scott.

Scott's music, written fully in the spirit of the music of the era, for the four episodes is encapsulated on this album in four short suites. He cleverly mixes references to Mrs Bradley's theme song ('You're the Cream in my Coffee') with jazzy variations on material from the other songs used in the series, together with sinister, tense and chase -like material. For his 'Death at the Opera Suite', he adds an ending that has a chill, remote and eerie piano solo embellished with some disturbing dissonances. To the music for his 'The Rising of the Moon' suite, he adds some atmospheric exotic eastern material and in his 'Laurels are Poison' music there are overt references to Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo film score while 'The Worsted Viper' suite is more tingling and doom-laden.

The source music mostly comprises famous original recordings of such evergreens as 'If I had a Talking Picture of You'; 'Cole Porter's 'Let's Misbehave', and 'Keep Young and Beautiful' by such celebrated artists as: Jack Hylton, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Al Bowlly and Paul Whiteman. Additionally there are spirited new recordings by Graham Dalby and the Grahamphones, properly in the spirit of the 1920s, of, 'It had to be you', 'Jealousy', 'Sarawaki', 'Wedding of the Painted Doll' and : 'You're the Cream in my Coffee'



Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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