Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


Collection: The GREAT BRITISH FILM MUSIC Album  Various Orchestras SILVA SCREEN 2CDs FILMXCD 309 [153:13]


Crotchet (UK)


Music from: Frenzy (Ron Goodwin); Oliver Twist (Arnold Bax); Curse of the Werewolf (Benjamin Frankel); Hamlet (Patrick Doyle); A Night to Remember (William Alwyn); Coastal Command (Vaughan Williams); Stage Fright (Leighton Lucas); Far From the Madding Crowd (Richard Rodney Bennett); The Doctor from Seven Dials (Buxton Orr);The Battle of the Bulge (Benjamin Frankel; The Haunting (Humphrey Searle); Sink the Bismark! (Clifton Parker); The Dambusters (Eric Coates); Attack on the Iron Coast (Gerard Schurmann); The Sound Barrier (Malcolm Arnold); The Scars of Dracula (James Bernard); The Crimson Pirate (William Alwyn); The Red Shoes (Brian Easdale); Henry V (Patrick Doyle); The Lady Vanishes (Charles Williams/Louis Levy); Horrors of the Black Museum (Gerard Schurmann); Emma (Rachel Portman); Conquest of the Air (Arthur Bliss); The Duellists (Howard Blake); The Three Worlds of Gulliver (Bernard Herrmann); Quatermass III (James Bernard); Under Capricorn (Richard Addinsell); Malta G.C. (Arnold Bax).

The ideal freebie gift with this CD would have been a mini cut-out Union Jack flag to have waving beside your CD player. The venture positively reeks of jingoistic pride. Hurrah !

The "Prelude" from Ron Goodwin’s Frenzy was a great place to start really since it has that heraldic fanfare quality suiting the announcement of something grand. It’s he first of several such patriotic marching fanfares. Later, there’s Clifton Parker’s "Overture" from Sink The Bismarck ! amongst so many more.

Arnold Bax’s Oliver Twist suite is a real treat, with the requisite sprightly jollyness measured by the breathtaking "The Chase". It’s nicely contrasted by the following suite from The Curse of the Werewolf, and that’s really one of the album’s strengths. The sequencing keeps you on your toes for constant surprises. On disc two, having The Lady Vanishes precede Horrors of the Black Museum is terrific jolt in style. The whole point of course, is that in celebrating Brit. produced scores this unequivocally shows it’s not just a nation of pastoral musical portraits.

There are so many highlights to choose from. I particularly enjoyed the harp parts for the "Romanza" of James Bernard’s The Scars of Dracula, and again in Rachel Portman’s regular lush style for Emma. The other "Rhapsody" of Leighton Lucas’ Stage Fright is equally lovely. There’s a great theremin sample for "The Red Shoes Ballet", as well as very subtle electronic augmentations in other cues.

About the biggest thing I have to thank this collection for is finally solving a mystery for me from last year. The grand regal march from David Newman’s Anastasia at last revealed itself to me as from Herrmann’s Three Worlds of Gulliver. Thanks for clearing that up Silva!


Paul Tonks


Paul Tonks

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