June 2006 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Michael McLennan
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster: Len Mullenger

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The Pink Panther  
Music composed and produced by Christophe Beck
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony, with saxophone by Plas Johnson
Conducted by Pete Anthony
Orchestrated by Kevin Kleisch and Sean Dougall
With Henry Mancini’s original Pink Panther theme
  Available on Varèse Sarabande (VSD-6723)
Running Time: 35:11
Amazon UK   Amazon US

See also:

  • Ultimate Pink Panther
  • Elektra
  • Under a Tuscan Sun
  • Henry Mancini’s well-loved ‘Pink Panther’ theme forms the ‘Main Title’ with some slight variation treatment in Latin and Palm Court orchestra and up-beat jazz styles.  From there its composer Christophe Beck employing tremolando strings, crazy synth poundings, quirky ostinatos, and hints of that James Bond theme for a ‘Perfect day for A Murder’ before a bumbling, tripping arrival of Clouseau in ‘The Damburger Incident’.  Outraged pomposity in lower woodwinds and brass signals the long-suffering ‘Dreyfus In Charge’, while ‘Paris Bound’ has Manicini’s theme given to a throaty saxophone with cheeky comments from guitar and synths.  ‘The Airport’ is quietly tense mickey-mousing with featured bongos, castanets, snare drums and pizzicato strings.

    The above descriptions of the opening six tracks are typical of the rest of the twenty-two tracks of this album. All are written by Beck with the same tongue-in-cheek, wry humour and clever orchestrational effects that Mancini brought to his Pink Panther scores. Additionally, Beck gives us some nicely romantic and quietly introspective material to balance all Clouseau’s headlong madness.

    A colourful, witty confection that would have delighted Mancini, probably quite tricky to play with its quicksilver changes of rhythms, styles and moods, but performed with polish and zest and recorded in excellent sound.

    Ian Lace

    Rating: 3.5

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