Music Webmaster Len Mullenger
List compiled by Rob Barnett
Alphabetical composer listings G- Z Discography etc. (text only)
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This Year-London (1951), Work in Progress (1951), Away for the Day (1952)All documentary shorts.
Addinsell (London 13 January 1904 - 14 November 1977) wrote the so-called Warsaw Concerto (orchestrated by Roy Douglas). There are many recordings of this piece. Was a product of the RCM in London. In 1933 he visited the USA and wrote film music in Hollywood. His greatest success was music for the film Dangerous Moonlight, which included the Warsaw Concerto for piano and orchestra. In the film soundtrack this is played by Louis Kentner with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Muir Mathieson. His films include Amateur Gentleman (1936 for Korda), Fire Over England (1937), South Riding (1937), Goodbye Mr Chips (1939), Gaslight (1940), The Lion Has Wings (1940), Men of the Lightship (1940), Love on the Dole (1941), Suicide Squadron (1941), The Avengers (1942), Blithe Spirit (1945), A Diary for Timothy (1945), Passionate Friends (1949), Under Capricorn (1949), The Black Rose (1950), A Christmas Carol (aka Scrooge - 1950 - a score warmly praised and recommended by Bill Huelbig for its fresh re-inventive use of well-known Christmas carols), Highly Dangerous (1951), Tom Brown's School Days (1951), Encore (1952), Sea Devils (1953), Beau Brummel (1954), Out of the Clouds (1957), The :Prince and the Showgirl (1957), A Tale of Two Cities (1958), Loss of Innocence (1961), Macbeth (1961), The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone (1961), Waltz of the Toreadors (1962), Life at the Top (1965 - his last film).
Addison was born in 1920 in Surrey. He was on the RCM staff 1951-58 but since 1975 has been based in Los Angeles. Occasional skier and mountaineer in the French Alps.
During a BBC radio interview with Carl Davis in 1995, he recounted his introduction to the world of film music. The then Private Addison met Roy Boulting in the army and they became good friends. He had done one year at the RCM before being extracted for National Service. He returned to the RCM with a government grant after one year. Boulting kept in touch and came to a concert at which one of Addison's works was performed. Boulting thought Addison would be good at film music and took him along to the studios having him play piano for actors to get them into the mood of a particular scene. This got him hooked and he is sure that this started him off his film music career.
He did the opening and closing title music for Brandy for the Parson, the plot of which involved some innocents unknowingly smuggling brandy into Britain. He adopted a slightly dissonant style but was still able to conjure up a fine vivid sea picture.
He has covered a very wide range of films. There is the patriotic Reach for the Sky. The March for A Bridge Too Far is a devastatingly fine piece which some argue was of such a quality that its slightly ironic-heroic tone rather swamped the film. It has been recorded by Marcus Dods and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on EMI.
There was also the Cold War thriller the Man Between by Carol Reed. This is tougher sombre tragic stuff. The score has James Mason as the man between. The music is full of drums tolling and a classically wailing saxophone. There are crashing dissonances but we are spared a sustained assault. The score is replete with a certain commercial angst. Addison recalls that some directors ask film composers not to be too modern.
He is firmly committed to film music providing scores for more than sixty English and U.S. films. Scores include Seven Days to Noon (1950), Pool of London (1951), High Treason 91952), The Hour of Thirteen (1952), The Man Between (1953), Terror on a Train (1953), The Black Knight (1954), High and Dry (1954), The Paratrooper (1954), That Lady (1955), The Cockleshell Heroes (1956), The Light Touch (1955), Make Me An Offer (1956), Private's Progress (1956), Three Men in a Boat (1956), Reach for the Sky (1957), Lucky Jim (1958), I Was Monty's Double (1959), Look Back in Anger (1959), The Entertainer (1959), A French Mistress (1960), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), A Taste of Honey (1962), Tom Jones (1963), The Loved One (1963), The Girl with the Green Eyes (1964), Guns at Batasi (1964), The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965), A Fine Madness (1966), I Was Happy Here (1966), The Torn Curtain (1966), The Honey Pot (1967), Smashing Time (1967), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) a film offered to Malcolm Arnold but declined, Brotherly Love (1970), Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), Mr Forbrush and the Penguins (1972), Sleuth (1972), and The Seven Per Cent Solution (1976).
World famous harmonica player whose classic harmonica-led score graces one of the lighter British film classics: Genevieve (1953), a Cry from the Streets (1959), The Hellions (1962), The Great Chase (1963), The Hook (1963), A High Wind in Jamaica (1965), King and Country (1965).
Conductor - born London 1928. At the forefront of the revival of British film music. Has recorded extensively with Silver Screen.
Alwyn was made a fellow of the British Film Academy in 1958. His list of scores is long and distinguished: Odd Man Out, The Fallen Idol, Mandy, A Night to Remember are amongst the highlights. He is another composer who is at ease with the same idiom in both concert hall and film auditorium. His first symphony leans heavily on his film scores. His income from film music royalties allowed him to launch a very full (though not complete) series of LP recordings of his orchestral music. These Lyritas recordings have now been reissued on compact disc and a parallel set of recordings has been produced by Chandos. It is to Chandos we are indebted for a wonderful recording with the LPO and Richard Hickox of a selection of his film music. Silva Screen have recently recorded a brief selection from his Burt Lancaster film The Crimson Pirate on FILMXCD188 (2 CD set).
After Alwyn left the Royal Academy he played flute in cinema and theatre orchestras in London's East End. At the invitation of J.B. McEwen he joined the staff of the Royal Academy in 1927 and remained on the strength until 1955. He moved to Lark Rise, Blythburgh in Suffolk in 1960. His major break into the film world came with a rush job to produce music for a documentary film on air travel. This was called The Future is in the Air. There was then a trail of documentary music commissions establishing his name. The Army Film Unit and the Ministry of Information soon noticed Alwyn when the war broke out and naturally looked to him to provide music. The scores dating from the war years include: Fires Were Started (1942), Desert Victory (1943) and Our Country (1944) the latter with words written and narrated by Dylan Thomas. However of all his war films it is the Carol Reed directed The Way Ahead (1944) which achieved great fame. Even the Nazis saw his qualities as a morale booster and Alwyn's name was on Hitler's hit list in the event of occupation of the British isles
The cinema achieved new heights during the war and retained them afterwards. Alwyn benefited from this. He wrote landmark scores for Odd Man Out (1946), The Fallen Idol (1948) and The Ship that Died of Shame (1955). Commission followed commission and the rewards were substantial and continued as royalties continued to benefit the estate as the films made the transition from big to small screen with multiple showings.
A phenomenal technique coupled with inspired ideas were a strong combination. And amongst the work that came his way was music for three Disney epics including Swiss Family Robinson. Alwyn became fascinated with the film medium and its relationship with music. He wrote with sensitivity to the counterpoint between music, dialogue and action. Hans Keller also a friend and supporter of another film composer Benjamin Frankel considered Alwyn's theory and its practice in an article on Film Music - Speech Rhythm.
Film music composers active in the concert forum as well have always suffered from a snobbism which suggests that because they wrote successful film music they cannot be worthwhile writers of 'serious' music. Alwyn was the target of such criticism. He continued his production of concert works alongside his film activities and the two inter-acted. Musical style of the two areas of practice is largely indistinguishable. It was an easy gibe when his concert works came out at a time when heroic romanticism was out of fashion to condemn the material as 'film music'. But for Alwyn's private resources it is dubious that his symphonies and other orchestral works (available now on Lyrita) would have been recorded as early as the 1970s.
Alwyn's score for The History of Mr Polly was revived by Carl Davis in 1995. The first movement is popular fairground entertainment - carefree and uncomplicated. There are great drunken slides amongst the strings and a wild quasi-Korngoldian waltz. This is very much music hall material. The second movement is pure romance with a gentle quiet string theme and a long solo violin section. The playful mood returns for the third movement and the final movement opens with a stolid Irish plod and closes in a triumphant glow. For contrast you should hear the brief episode of the Scarlet Pirate film music on Silva Screen 188 as played by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Bateman. Swashbuckling at its prime.
The following quotes from the writing of Hubert Culot provide further helpful background:-
"Among his best film scores mention must be made of 'Odd Man Out ' (1947) and 'Shake Hands with the Devil' (1959). Both scores contain impressively powerful music which sometimes rises to symphonic proportions, e.g. the title music from the former and 'Dublin 1921' from the latter. His film music very often contains highly characteristic features generally found in his concert works. A striking example can be heard in the score for 'The Crimson Pirate (1952), although the film in itself may not be altogether distinguished. Nevertheless, it provided Alwyn with many opportunities to write some fine music and especially some sea music mainly as a splendid horn melody reminiscent of the magnificent horn theme from the scherzo of the 1st Symphony. On the other hand, some of the music for 'Shake Hands with the Devil' shares the same dramatic intensity and dark eloquence as the 3rd Symphony. Other excerpts from film scores, e.g. 'The Punting Sequence' from 'The History of Mr Polly' (1949), might have found their way into a concerto grosso or some short orchestral suite.
"In fact, writing for films was as serious a task as composing a major symphony. Alwyn approached the film score with the same earnestness of purpose and the same artistic integrity as he did his concert works, and he always tried to meet all the requirements of the film while writing music of high quality. He did his own orchestrations with the exception of the three Disney films, which were scored by Muir Mathieson who, incidentally, conducted most film scores by Alwyn. As the composer says in his autobiography, "each film score I had written was an opportunity for experiment and an exceptional chance, given the splendid orchestras who played my scores, to improve and polish my technique and widen my dramatic range". Although he enjoyed writing for films, Alwyn was never interested in having his scores re-recorded or reworked. [when it was] once suggested, rather naively, that he should make concert suites from some of his best film scores in order to preserve some fine music, which he countered by saying that the scores had been destroyed along with Pinewood Studios in the fifties! In this he shared the late Sir Arthur Bliss' defiant attitude towards his own film music, which is a pity given the musical excellence of some of it."
ALWYN - LIST OF FILM SCORES
The Birth of the Year
The Future's in the Air
Monkey into Man
The Zoo and You
These Children are Safe
Wings over Empire
New Worlds for Old (Paul Rotha)
Roads Across Britain
Steel Goes to Sea
The Harvest shall Come (Marc Anderson)
Penn of Pennsylvania
Spring on the Farm
Crown of the Year
Life Begins Again
They Flew Alone
Winter on the Farm
World of Plenty (Paul Rotha)
The Young Mr Pitt
Citizens of Tomorrow
Desert Victory (Roy Boulting)
Escape to Danger
Fires were Started
Medal for the General
The Proud City
Squadron Leader X
There's a Future in it
Summer on the Farm
Tunisian Victory , with Dimitri Tiomkin
The Way Ahead (Carol Reed)
Welcome to Britain
The Rake's Progress (Sidney Gilliat)
Today and Tomorrow
Total War in Britain
The True Glory (G. Kanin and C. Reed)
Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat)
I See a Dark Stranger (Frank Launder)
Land of Promise
Approach to Science
A City Speaks
October Man (Roy Ward Baker)
Odd Man Out (Carol Reed)
Take my Life (Ronald Neame)
Your Children and You
Daybreak in Udi
The Fallen Idol (Carol Reed)
So Evil my Love with V. Young (Lewis Allen)
Three Dawns to Sydney
The Winslow Boy (Anthony Asquith)
The History of Mr Polly
The Rocking Horse Winner
The Cure for Love
The Golden Salamander ( Ronald Neame)
Madeleine (David Leane)
The Magnet (Charles Frend)
The Mudlark (Jean Negulesco)
Morning Departure ( Roy Ward Baker)
State Secret (Sidney Gilliat)
The House in the Square
Lady Godiva Rides Again
The Magic Box ( Roy Boulting)
Night without Stars (Paul Rotha)
No Resting Place
The Card ( Ronald Neame)
The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak)
Mandy (Alexander Mackendrick)
The Long Memory
The Malta Story (Brian Desmond Hurst)
Master of Ballantrae (William Keighley)
A Personal Affair
Black on White
The Million Pound Note
The Rainbow Jacket
The Constant Husband (Sidney Gilliat)
The Ship that Died of Shame
The Black Tent (Brian Desmond Hurst)
Safari (Terence Young)
Smiley (Anthony Dimmings)
Fortune is a Woman (Sidney Gilliat)
Manuela (Guy Hamilton)
The Smallest Show on Earth (Basil Dearden)
Zarak (Terence Young)
Carve her Name with Pride (Lewis Gilbert)
A Night to Remember ( Roy Ward Baker)
The Silent Enemy
Shake Hands with the Devil ( Michael Anderson)
Third Man on the Mountain (Ken Annakin)
The Killers of Kilimanjaro
Swiss Family Robinson (Ken Annakin)
In Search of the Castaways
The Naked Edge (Michael Anderson)
Life for Ruth
Night of the Eagle
The Running Man
Alwyn's film music is now best represented on compact disc by Chandos CHAN
Archive recordings include:-
Calypso Music ( 'The Rake's Progress') (1945)
LSO/Mathieson (mono) Ariel CBF 13
Punting Sequence (1949) (The History of Mr Polly)
RPO/Mathieson ( mono) Citadel CT-OFI-1
Paul's Last Ride (1949) ('The Rocking Horse Winner')
RPO/Mathieson ( mono) Citadel CT-OFI - 1
Main Title ('The Card') (1952), Orch., Mathieson (mono) Citadel CT-OFI-1
Shake Hands with the Devil (1959) UNITED ARTISTS UAS 4043
Sinfonia of London/Mathieson UAS 5043/UASF 5043
Film Music: Lorna Doone (1934)
Arnell in addition to being a composer is also a film-maker and he has also written much distinctive music for films. He was born in London in 1917 and studied at the Royal College of Music 1935-9 with Ireland. During his time in the USA his music was conducted by Stokowski and film music doyen Bernard Herrmann and by Beecham. In 1941 Arnell wrote his first film score to Robert Flaherty's documentary, The Land. Though the film was not immediately released, Arnell made a suite from the music. Arnell wrote a film for the British transport film unit: Wires Over the Border (Sticky George Group - 1974)
Films: The Land (1941); The Third Secret (1963); The Visit (1964); The Man Outside (1966); Topsail Schooner (1966); Bequest For A Village (1969); Second Best (1972); Stained Glass (1973); Wires Over The Border (1974); Black Panther (1977); Antagonist (1980); Dilemma (1981); Doctor In The Sky (1983); Toulouse Lautrec (1984).
Arnold was born in Northampton on 21 October 1921. Incidentally Northampton is also the birthplace of Rubbra and William Alwyn. He has written more than 80 film scores, including his most famous 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' which received an Oscar.
Arnold is one of the great composers of British or any film music. His range is very wide. The music is always approachable and touches off deep responses. If people associate him with buffoonery they miscalculate very seriously. The diversity of his approach and achievement is just as evident from his film music as it is from the concert works.
His initiation came in 1947 when his friend John Swain invited him to provide music for Avalanche Patrol. This was a documentary and he was to produce music for another twenty of these before his first feature film: Badger's Green.
His early feature film scores arrived at the same time as prime scores from Alwyn and Frankel. His key scores from this era are The Captain's Paradise (1953), Albert RN (1953), The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954), I Am a Camera (1955), The Constant Husband (1955), The Deep Blue Sea (1955), several early Hammer productions and The Sound Barrier (1952). The rhapsody from the latter was recorded on 78.
Hobson's Choice was one of his classic scores. It was written in 1953 and some sections were written before filming so that the music could make maximum impact. It was written in dance hall style with a 25 string band and much music for wallowing boozy brass instruments. The tuba takes the part of drunkard Henry Hobson and the love theme is associated with Hobson's daughter.
This Lean film was not their last collaboration. The Bridge on the River Kwai came in 1957. This was a big production in every way. It (the score) was written and recorded in just ten days. It revived Kenneth Alford's march Colonel Bogey used as a contrasting strand to Arnold's own River Kwai march. Due to some strange copyright issue the two are not now permitted to be played together except on the film soundtrack itself.
Some years earlier his uproarious score for The Belles of St Trinians is just as important and enjoyable in a much lighter way. The scoring is for twelve players.
Dunkirk has impressive title music including a principal theme that has an Elgarian nobility to it and also a great degree of memorability.
Other films followed: Trapeze (1956), 1984 (1956), Island in the Sun (1957), The Roots of Heaven (1958), Dunkirk (1958), The Key (1958) a score much prized by Arnold, The Angry Silence (1959) and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958). This last follows the story of Gladys Aylward and her trek with hundreds of Chinese children to reach safety from the Japanese.
It was a close thing but he almost scored Lawrence of Arabia (1962) on which the conductor Myer Fredman worked but it was eventually Maurice Jarre who wrote the score. Totally affecting in much more tender way is the film for which he did provide totally apt music: Whistle Down the Wind (1961). The score is devastatingly sensitive with a slightly chilly innocence well projected. The whistling on the soundtrack is by the film's producer, Richard Attenborough.
After this came scores for The Chalk Garden (1964), The Heroes of the Telemark (1965 - a cracking score which could do with a fresh re-recording complete), and The Reckoning (1969).
Arnold also orchestrated, assisted generally and conducted the Walton music for the film Battle of Britain (1969) a score sacrificed in favour of Ron Goodwin's. In 1970 his final feature came in the shape of the score for David Copperfield.
Interviewed in 1996 by Carl Davis on BBC Radio, he explained that he got into films to give himself experience in conducting. He became a composer used to working very fast and meeting deadlines. Alan Rawsthorne was deeply impressed by his speed of production. He ran his career in both films and the concert side by side. He was also a composer whose film music vocabulary was no different than his concert language. Listen to the final pages of the Fifth Symphony if you want to compare the two. The composer calls this an 'organic unity'. Arnold was also phenomenally successful, in the film music world.
Arnold's work on the John Huston film Roots of Heaven produced a super-romantic prelude revived by Carl Davis and the BBC Concert Orchestra. As was not unusual he only met Huston once during the making of the film. The music used African rhythms and elephant hoots emulated by the horns using two octaves - quite a bold effect as the composer readily stated. As the expertise and fluency of his brass writing demonstrates, his background was in the London Philharmonic as third trumpeter from which he moved directly to principal. He then gave this up to conduct.
His method of writing demanded every line of dialogue before he would write the music. In Arnold's words 'Film music writing is a lonely job' although he was often assisted by Dorothy Payne but there was never any doubt who the composer was.
The revived 'Overture' to The Roots of Heaven was an example of a very strange genre. Overtures to films were written both for the opening credits (the title music) but specifically for the gala launch of the film. They are confections, usually about 5 minutes long, based on themes from the film. They were played at the gala premiere then put away. Korngold did same for premieres of his films. In the case of The Roots of Heaven this one had not been heard since 1958. The music opens with a blundering, clashing brass and exultant horns. The language is familiar from symphonies 4-6. There is a sinuous relaxed jazzy clarinet theme moving into a swooping string tune. The piece ends in much heaven-storming and sky-trumpeting: Love and Africa triumphant!
As a contrast he also wrote music for documentaries such as Report on Steel. This music he reshaped into 'Machines' a concert piece dating from 1954 which has been championed by the composer himself, by Charles Groves and Carl Davis. Alarmingly it is scored for brass, strings and percussion - no woodwind. In fact it is not as percussive as you might think. There is a fine Arnold melody in the middle section plus the occasional recollection of Bliss's Things to Come.
Another film, You Know What Sailors Are, produced the scherzetto for clarinet and orchestra (recorded on Hyperion).
The film The Reckoning was the quarry for themes for the neglected Eighth Symphony much overshadowed by its large-scale successor and predecessor.
The film The Sound Barrier yielded a concert rhapsody which has been broadcast by the Ulster Orchestra and Yannis Daras.
What a pity it is that Arnold has retired from the film music scene. We can draw consolation from the fact that it will be years before his many film scores will be excavated and re-recorded.
MALCOLM ARNOLD - THE FILMS
The Forbidden Street (1949)
Women in Our Time (1949)
Eye Witness (1950)
The Sound Barrier (1952)
The Captain's Paradise (1953)
Channel Islands (1953)
Hobson's Choice (1954)
You Know What Sailors Are (1954)
The Belles of St. Trinian's (1955)
The Deep Blue Sea (1955)
The Night My Number Came Up (1955)
A Prize of Gold (1955)
Port Afrique (1956)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Island in the Sun (1957)
Value for Money (1957)
Wicked as They Come (1957)
Blue Murder at St. Trinian's (1958)
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)
The Key (1958)
The Roots of Heaven (1958)
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
The Angry Silence (1960)
Tunes of Glory (1960)
No Love for Johnnie (1961)
The Lion (1962)
Whistle Down the Wind (1962)
Nine Hours to Rama (1963)
The Chalk Garden (1964)
The Thin Red Line (1964)
Heroes of the Telemark (1965)
Operation Snafu (1965)
The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery (1966)
Sky West and Crooked (1966)
Africa - Texas Style (1967)
The Reckoning (1969)
David Copperfield (1970)
Apparently active only in the realms of film music. His scores include many documentaries: 1959 Diesel Train Ride, 1959 Broad Waterways, 1960 What a Day, 1960 Speaking of Freight, 1962 The Signal Engineers. Scotland for Sport used Hebridean 'Puirt a'Beul' (mouth music).
Terminus was the cinema debut of John Schlesinger in 1961 showing a day in the life of Waterloo Station. Astley's feature films included To Paris with Love (1955), Kill Her Gently (1958), Wishing Well Inn (1958), The Giant Behemoth (1959), The Mouse That Roared (1959), Woman Eater (1959), The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960), In the Wake of a Stranger ()1960), Passport to China (1961), A Matter of Who (1962), The Phantom of the Opera (1962).
Auric, one of Les Six was a writer of film scores long before sound came onto the scene. His bright music was a surprising counterpoint to many a typically English frolic in the 40s and 50s. He became particularly known for his music for the Ealing Comedies including Passport to Pimlico. This music was bright, vif, always colourfully chiming and brimming with bustle and activity. Bliss was commissioned to write the music for Caesar and Cleopatra (1944) but it was Auric also provided the score for The Galloping Major (1951). Little could be more English than the plot and setting of the Ealing comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt yet once again it was Georges Auric who provided the music. His roster of films is long indeed and runs from 1930 (Blood of a Poet) to 1969 (The Christmas Tree) - in total 52 scores. The list includes Beauty and the Beast (1946), The Eagle Has Two Heads (1948), The Queen of Spades (1948), The Storm Within (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), Roman Holiday (1953), The Wages of Fear (1955), Rififi (1956), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), SOS Pacific (1960) and Therese and Isabelle (1968).
This fine British born composer who emigrated to Australia wrote a number of very impressive works some of which exist in recordings which desperately now need reissue. The most important is the 1950s recording of the visionary Third Symphony. Bainton wrote the music for one film while in Australia. This was a short documentary film on the Australian Bush Police.
Better known in the jazz world Barber's British Transport film Holiday was made in 1957.
Born 1933 in York. Very extensive list of film scores including a number of James Bond films (re-recorded on Silva Screen FILMCD007), A Doll's House, Love Among the Ruins and Mary Queen of Scots.
Stanley Bate was a British composer, born in Plymouth who seems to have had more recognition abroad than he ever had in his home country. During the early 1940s Bate was chosen by the British Library of Information in New York to provide music for a documentary film about the progress of the War in the fifth year of fighting. This commissioned score was wedded to the film The Fifth Year and the music was written during 1944. Later the Arabian American Oil Company commissioned from him a documentary film: Careers in Oil. Amongst the commissions from this era is a score for the film Jean Helion. The film was made jointly by The Museum of Modern Art, New York City and The Sorbonne. Bate even appeared in the film.
Bate was engaged to write the music for the film The Pleasure Garden sponsored by the British Film Institute and produced by James Broughton. This was completed on 1 January 1953 and was shown at the Edinburgh Festival the same year. The film won an award at Cannes that year. The film was described as "an unclassifiable but entertaining glimpse of individual happiness triumphing rudely over official misery." The scoring is for voice, flute, clarinet, bassoon, cello and harpsichord. He also completed in 1953 a further film score for a documentary Light through the Ages.
Bath was a pioneer in the field of film music though his reputation is virtually non-existent with one very late exception. In 1933 Bath was employed by Louis Levy's at Gaumont-British as composer and arranger. His work was uncredited and it was Levy's name which appeared on the titles. During the war he composed a number of scores for the RAF Film Unit. Later he worked on the film Love Story. This was the key to his moment of fame,. The score required a concerto for piano and orchestra in the spirit of the popular tabloid film concertos of the day. It needed to be hyper-romantic. At the same time composers like Jack Beaver, Richard Addinsell and Hubert Bath were turned to for the necessary product. In Love Story the music was to intensify the emotion of the story. The heroine pianist was played by Margaret Lockwood who falls for the composer played by Stewart Granger. Granger produces the concerto brimming with emotionalism and catching some of the stark Atlantic atmosphere and stormy brilliance of the Cornish cliffs. The work became very popular and gained the title Cornish Rhapsody. The filming was in Cornwall though the concert performance of Cornish Rhapsody was given in the Royal Albert Hall. On the soundtrack it is Harriet Cohen who must have recollected her days with Arnold Bax in North Cornwall some 30 years previously as she played this emotionally supercharged work.
He also composed some of the music for the first full-length British 'talkie' Blackmail (1929). This was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. He was working on the score of The Wicked Lady when he died. There were many others for the Gaumont-British and Gainsborough (and other) studios of which I remember particularly the 1935 Donat version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, Rhodes of Africa (1936) and The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1935). He also conducted music for film recordings. Other of his film scores include: Kitty (1929); Rhodes of Africa (1936); Silent Barriers (1937); Love Story (1944, incorporating The Cornish Rhapsody for piano and orchestra); The Wicked Lady (1945).
Bax (1883-1953) is better known as an imaginative symphonist. His works have a distinctive touch and magic is never far from his music. Bax scored three films. The only feature film is David Lean's 1948 Oliver Twist. Bax was not an enthusiastic collaborator and quickly came to regard the writing of the music as a terrific chore and this also applies to the other two scores he had to write. However even third rate Bax is often better than the first rate material produced by other composers in this genre and era. The music certainly does not have the power of the symphonies or best tone poems. However it is bright and adds a valuable dimension to the film as a whole. The score survives complete.
Bax was lured into writing film music by Muir Mathieson. This began with the film Malta GC. The film was to celebrate the endurance of the people of the island of Malta who had sustained intense bombing during the second world war by Axis planes based in Sicily. The film was a joint production between the three services film units - obviously a major exercise. Mathieson approached Bax who had been going through a slack period. Bax's inspiration, from the late 1930s inwards, had burned low and he suffered bouts of depression.
He had just accepted, probably against his better judgement, the ultimate accolade of Master of the King's Musick and felt under some duty to do this war work. For a fee of £50 he agreed and set to work on a score which was longer than most of his tone poems. He completed the music in September 1942. The soundtrack recording was made by the RAF Symphony orchestra conducted by Muir Mathieson. The narration was provided by Laurence Olivier. It was premiered at the Gaumont in Haymarket on 22 January 1943. The original manuscript was presented to The People of Malta who were collectively awarded the George Cross in recognition of their endurance during the bombing. The score is now kept in the National Library of Malta in Valletta. The music rather goes for nothing on the soundtrack. It is much obscured by sound effects and the narration - all of which was a further frustration to Bax and hardly inclined him to write further for films.
When Olivier asked Bax if he was unhappy about the talking that went on simultaneously with his music, Bax replied: 'Yes I jolly well am - chattering away all over my music. Bombs falling in all directions, planes crashing right and left, my music is faded down to make way for some fatuous remark like 'an air raid is in progress; it is a time of danger for the population'.'
Against all the signs Bax was inveigled and pressurised by Mathieson to contribute a further score. This time it was to be for David Lean's Oliver Twist. Bax found the novel antipathetic and out of sympathy with his natural inspiration. This picture of Bax as a composer who was open to being pressurised is not one which is entirely convincing. There must have been a part of him which recognised that through the medium of film he would have a far greater chance of reaching a very large audience than any of his concert works would. This was particularly the case during the 1940s into the 1950s when his inspiration was damped and his works were suffering from the onset of a change in fashion.
He wrote the music for the film over ten weeks in The White Horse pub at Storrington where he lived for the remaining years of his life. The composing of the music was hard work but Bax retained a boyish fascination with the techniques of co-ordination of music with picture and dialogue. He held Mathieson in very high regard. The music was recorded at Denham with Harriet Cohen as the pianist. The orchestra was the Philharmonia. Bax no doubt felt morally obliged to use Harriet Cohen who was also associated with a number of other film concertos including the Cornish Rhapsody. Cohen would have been prescribed by Bax to the studio. The piano represented Oliver.
The film itself was made at Pinewood Studios and with a cast which included Alec Guinness, the very young Anthony Newley and Robert Newton quickly became a UK success and a classic of the time. Its portrayal of Jews as 'represented' by Fagin however caused distress and protest when the film reached Berlin and US audiences. To give the music a concert life Mathieson made a seven movement concert suite which was performed widely in concerts, broadcasts and parts of which were recorded on 78. There were a total of eleven movements in the suite recorded by Eric Parkin (piano), Kenneth Alwyn and the Royal Philharmonic in 1986. This was released on LP Cloud Nine CN7012 (since reissued on CD) with full notes by Bax authority Graham Parlett.
His last film was made in 1951 for British Transport Films. Journey Into History was a short documentary about British figures from the 18th century.
The film music especially for Oliver Twist had a concert vogue and enjoyed some coverage on the back of not the film music revival but the Bax boom traced from the early 1970s and peaking in the mid 80s around the time of the Bax centenary. The music is not top-drawer Bax but fine stuff in the field of film music. The highest tribute is that Bernard Herrmann chose a couple of tracks from this Oliver Twist when recording his classic British film music collection.
Beaver (1900-63) was a product of the Royal Academy of Music. He wrote extensively for the British film industry especially Gaumont-British (1934 onwards). There are numerous scores in his name. These include The Wife of General Ling (1938), This Was Paris (1942), Showtime (1948).
Songs and albums for several films including Yellow Submarine and Hard Day's Night. Biographical details will be very well known already.
Arthur Benjamin though an Australian by birth spent most of his creative life in England and made a very strong and distinctive contribution to the world of British film music.
In an increasingly complex field film companies recognising the key role of music began to appoint music directors. Gaumont-British had Louis Levy. London Films had Kurt Schroeder. When Schroeder returned to Germany Muir Mathieson was engaged. If people like Bliss and Walton and a number of others made their own reputations as film composers and enhanced them in the concert hall, Mathieson stood behind them and played a key role in opening up the film world to composers. he also acted to intercede between the alien worlds of creative artist and studio accountants and directors. The clashes of culture are notorious and it is surprising that so much good work was done against an often inimical atmosphere.
Arthur Benjamin had taught Mathieson at the RCM and was now offering Benjamin an entre into the film world with a commission. The first film was The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934). This was followed later the same year by Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much with its Storm Clouds Cantata. The cantata returned in the 1955 Hitchcock remake in which the conductor was Bernard Herrmann.
The next year Gaumont-British made The Clairvoyant. There was also Turn of the Tide a film shot in Robin Hood's Bay with Benjamin's melodious music matching the beauty of the Yorkshire coast. The next project was the first Technicolor film made in Britain: Wings of the Morning (1936), with Henry Fonda. Muir Mathieson commissioned him to score The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1937) and again later the same year a swashbuckler Under the Red Robe.
There was a pause during his time in Canada then on his return he wrote the music for the Master of Bankdam. This included an aria, The Fire of Your Love (sung in the picture by Maria Var) which was later recorded on 78.
An Ideal Husband was the next film and the waltz and other music from this film have been recorded several times by Herrmann and by Marcus Dods. The music has uncanny pre-echoes of Richard Rodney Bennett's style in e.g. Murder on the Orient Express. The Benjamin music yielded a Hyde Park Galop.
Steps of the Ballet was a documentary presenting in 20 or so minutes an introduction intended for schools of the ballet writing, producing and dancing process. Benjamin appears in the film and it is his music which makes the ballet itself. It represented a partner to Britten's Instruments of the Orchestra
Coronation Year coincided with the British ascent of Everest which was portrayed in The Conquest of Everest. The style is epic as befits the subject. In 1955 Benjamin wrote the music for the Rank picture Above the Waves. Two years later saw his final essays in the field with the feature films, Naked Earth and Fire Down Below. The latter had to be completed by Douglas Gamley and Kenneth V Jones.
ARTHUR BENJAMIN'S FILMS
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Wharves and Strays (short)
Turn of the Tide (available on the Connoisseur Video label)
Wings of the Morning
Under the Red Robe
Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel
Masters of Bankdam
The Cumberland Story
An Ideal Husband
Steps of the Ballet (short)
The Conquest of Everest
Under the Caribbean (short)
Above the Waves
Fire Down Below
RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT
He was born in Kent in 1936. A skilled and sensitive pianist he has recorded Constant Lambert's Piano Concerto for Polydor. He studied at the RAM with Lennox Berkeley and Howard Ferguson. He also spent some time with Boulez in Paris having previously been much influenced by the music of Elizabeth Lutyens. Bennett was recently (1998) knighted for his services to music.
He writes in both lighter (Little Suite, Diversions and film music) and tougher (Piano Concerto, Sonnets to Orpheus - the latter recorded by Continuum) veins. His styles in concert hall and in cinema are quite different although since the 1980s the two styles have moved closer together with a less severe spirit entering the bones of the concert works. The Third Symphony (1987 - on Koch 3-7341-2 H1) was noted by the critic Stephen Walsh as an example of a decided thaw in his musical language. For years the two worlds lived dangerously side by side but neither compromised the other; Bennett enjoying success in both fields unlike Alwyn whose styles remained constant whether in serious music or for celluloid.
His first score was contributed when he was 21 and was for a documentary. He has a sure touch for film scores of which he has written at least 35 and is much in demand. He has received no less than three Oscar nominations for his film scores.
The music for Far From the Madding Crowd is an object lesson in the perfectly judged film score marrying precisely with the atmosphere of the film and plot. The music has a simplicity and the full orchestra is rarely used. The simple theme has a wide ranging epic nature with an undercurrent of tragic loss. The music occasionally drifts in its more raucous moments into Malcolm Arnold territory. This however is one of the finest scores to come out of British cinema. The music for Nicholas and Alexandra is amongst his finest film inspirations.
His score for Murder on the Orient Express with its steam train evocation launching out from mysterious beginnings into a full flowing waltz is a classic which has already taken its place alongside such light music classics as Vivien Ellis's Coronation Scot. The music for Lady Caroline Lamb was issued on LP as both a 'straight' film score and as an Elegy for viola and orchestra (EMI LP CSD 3728). Again this music is magically touching. It is interesting to note that the Murder on the Orient Express music has remarkable echoes of Arthur Benjamin's An Ideal Husband.
His films include:
The Angry Hills
The Devil's Disciple
The Man Who Could Cheat Death
The Man Inside
Menace in the Night
Only Two Can play
Satan Never Sleeps
One Way Pendulum
Billion Dollar Brain
The Devil's Own
Far From the Madding Crowd
The Buttercup Chain
Nicholas and Alexandra
Lady Caroline Lamb
Four Weddings and a Funeral
This fine composer contributed two film scores to the genre: Hotel Reserve (1944) and Out of Chaos (1944).
Bernard was born in Pakistan in 1925. He studied with Howells at the RCM. He served briefly (1950-51) as Britten's amanuensis, assisting him with Billy Budd. Bernard described his year with BB as "a wonderful baptism as a working composer." Tonal music came naturally to him but at a time when it was not wanted in many circles. He wrote instead for radio and it was as a result of his score for The Duchess of Malfi that he was recommended to Hammer Films who commissioned a number of scores starting with the music for The Quatermass Xperiment (1955).
There were to be more than 20 Hammer scores (a selection of which is to be found on Silva Screen FILMCD174 and 714). He is one British composer who in recent years has been accorded a complete score on CD. The music was commissioned from him years after he had retired to Jamaica. The score in question is for Nosferatu A Symphony of Horrors. This is played by the City of Prague PO conducted by Nic Raine (Silva Screen FILMCD192). The music is fully symphonic and in keeping with the edgy, neurotic atmosphere of the film. There is a great deal of tense and dark music with moments of variety, if not relaxation, provided by Hutter's innocent music and the swirling romanticism of Ellen's fine theme (obstinately memorable) on the strings. The music is tonal with occasional reminiscences of Janá¹ek. The booklet reflects great care in design; a feature of this company's CDs though I wish we could have been told something about the score originally used when the film was shown in the 1920s.
It would be interesting to compare this score with Hans Erdmann's original music for Nosferatu. The complete restored version has been re-recorded by Gillian B Anderson conducting the Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra on RCA/BMG 09026 68143 2.
Horror films are a genre in their own right. In them we see one example where a degree of dissonance in music is acceptable to the watching/listening public which would not be acceptable in the concert hall. Hammer Productions needed a great deal of music and were prepared to try out composers. The company became a source of income for many otherwise struggling British composers. James Bernard's Dracula (1959) prelude was recorded by the Philharmonia conducted by Neil Richardson. The score is all blackness - gong, cymbal and deep brass dominate. The massed strings have a sharp steely edge to them. The music itself is jagged.
Bernard's scores include:
Across the Bridge
Enemy from Space
X The Unknown
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Stranglers of Bombay
Terror of the Tongs
Kiss of the Vampire
Secret of Blood Island
These Are the Damned
Dracula - Prince of Darkness
The Plague of the Zombies
Frankenstein Created Woman
The Devil's Bride
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
Frankenstein Must be Destroyed
The Scar of Dracula
Taste the Blood of Dracula
Berners the eccentric peer, composer and novelist was born in 1883 and died in 1950. He penned two film scores. In 1943 he wrote the music for the Ealing Studios production of The Halfway House. His lively music for his second and final film was written for the 1947 Nicholas Nickleby based on the novel by Charles Dickens and directed by Charles Cavalcanti. The orchestration was by Ernest Irving to whom the score is dedicated. The final section of Nicholas Nickleby was according to Berners as little theme for the producer and director, a trill, or two for the cast and then a massive fanfare for the title board 'Music by Lord Berners'. The 9 minute score is available on EMI originally released in 1986 as CDC 7 47668 2. It has since been reissued at mid-price. We can perhaps hope that Marco Polo's ongoing series of recordings of Berners' orchestral music will include Halfway House.
Born Derby in 1910. His film scores include Desperate Moment (1953), The Runaway Bus (1954), The Adventures of Sadie (1955) and Dance Little Lady (1955).
Black, well known as a conductor also wrote prolifically in the field of film music: Lili Marlene (1961), Mr Potts Goes to Moscow (1954), White Fire (1954), Tonight's The Night (1954), High Terrace (1956), An Alligator Named Daisy (1957), As Long As They're Happy (1957), Two Grooms for the Bride (1957), Blood of the Vampire (1958), Cross-Up (1958), Dangerous Youth (1958), Mailbag Robbery (1958), Your Past is Showing (1958), Broth of a Boy (1959), The Circle (1959), City After Midnight (1959), The Battle of the Sexes (1960), Hand in Hand (1960), Hell is a City (1960), The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1960), Double Bunk (1961), Five Golden Hours (1961), Stop Me Before I Kill (1961), Sword of Sherwood Forest (1961), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1962), Wonderful to be Young (1962), Maniac (1963), Rattle of a Simple Man (1964), Crossplot (1969) also Wonderful Life, Hindle Wakes, Summer Holiday.
Born in 1938 and active as pianist, conductor and composer. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Has written extremely attractive film music, e.g. for The Riddle of the Sands, Agatha (about Agatha Christie's disappearance, though incredibly Blake's score was not used) and The Snowman. The suite from his music for The Duellists is included on Silver Screen FILMXCD188(2 CD set). The full orchestral score for The Riddle of the Sands (1978) is extremely atmospheric and very much marine impressionistic. With a minimal approach - despite full orchestra - he produced one of the finest British cinema scores. A number of the scenes suggest Blake had been listening to the then recently issued Dilkes and Boult LPs of the E J Moeran Symphony. Well past time that this score was freshly produced in suite form for CD.
Born 1921. Film music for documentaries and arranged Noel Coward's music for The Astonished Heart.
Arthur Bliss was born in London in 1891 and died there in 1975. He was, in his music, a man of (at least) two worlds: the concert hall and the cinema. He is an important figure as a film composer because although by no means the first 'serious' composer in the arena his entry into the field was a momentous event. The score for the 1936 film Things to Come was a turning point for the British film industry and for British composers. Although Walton entered the industry at the same time it was the Bliss score which opened the way for serious composers to make their way in the field of film either as a career or by way of the occasional excursion. Bliss seemed to have had no fears about entering a field which was then still comparatively novel. He had much to lose. His revolutionary 1920s were behind him and he was beginning to make a very major respected name for himself in this country and on the continent. In taking this risk he courted the snobbery which film composers still suffer. In fact he scored a great triumph. Not only was the film of Things to Come popular despite being an abomination to H G Wells but also the music and especially the March which sported a crackling energy and a broad nobility quickly became concert favourites. He also arranged John Gay's Beggar's Opera for the 1952--3 British Lion film. Muir Mathieson recalled in a radio interview that Bliss's credo was that every film needs a different colour of music. This certainly accounts for the variety across the range of his film music.
Things to Come
This film was made in 1936 by Alexander Korda. It gradually grew to be recognised as a classic though the effects no look decidedly creaky. The commission came about as a result of Wells approaching Bliss after he attended one of Bliss's lectures. Score and plot, music and dialogue were seen and treated as a unity each relying on the other. The aim was for a fusion of sound and vision. Bliss wrote of the score. 'It should he judged solely as music - that is to say by the ear alone. and the question of its value depends on whether it can stand up to the test."
The music has proved more enduring than the film although this still gets the occasional TV showing. The concert suite was a success in the 1935 Proms and entered the regular repertoire. Christopher Palmer has reconstructed some passages missing from the suite and these have been recorded. In 1936 the Decca ignoring the suite recorded five segments from the score. There are many recordings both of the concert suite and the extended extracts from the score. Still there is no complete score recording. As a break from the commercial pressures and compromises forced on Bliss by the film he also wrote one of his most famous concert works: the Music for Strings. The film music also provided a quarry for other Bliss works: e.g. The. Entry of the Red Castles in the ballet Checkmate derives from Building the New World. It is interesting that when Primary Source Media had to select full scores for inclusion in their microfilm series they selected the score of Things to Come to feature alongside other Bliss concert works.
Caesar and Cleopatra
Bliss wrote a full orchestra score for this Pascal directed film. Tragically he pulled out because of his lack of sympathy with Pascal. Auric was then drafted in and it is his music which you hear on the soundtrack. Bliss's music survives and deserves as much exposure as many a discarded but recorded orchestral score.
Gainsborough commissioned this score in 1949. Bliss provided a full length and full-blooded score. Sections of it were recorded by EMI in a collection of film music with the CBSO conducted by Marcus Dods. Latterly it has been included on a Marco Polo CD.
Conquest of the Air
This documentary was made in 1937 by Alexander Korda. Release was delayed until 1940. The concert suite was premiered before the film in 1938. The concert suite has six sections:
1. The Wind; 2. The Vision of Leonardo da Vinci; 3. Stunting; 4. Over the Arctic; 5. Gliding;
6. Conquest of the Air.
Men of Two Worlds
A 'Two Cities' film dating from 1945, the story concerns Kisenga, an African scholar and concert pianist/composer, who returns to his homeland in a teaching capacity and as a local government official. 'Baraza' is a Swahili word for the discussion in council between a chief and his head man. In the score it becomes a movement of a piano concerto written by Kisenga and played by him at a National Gallery concert. The concerto has three short movements with piano cadenza . and a male voice choir singing, in Swahili - a stirring work. Baraza was recorded by Decca with the original performers. Eileen Joyce with Muir Mathieson conducting the National Symphony Orchestra.
Présence au Combat
The score of this Anglo-French propaganda film dates from 1946. The only surviving part of the score is the section: Supply Sequence. Some of the material was recycled in the music for the 1949 documentary film Faster than Sound.
Seven Waves Away, or Abandon Ship
This film was made in 1956. Only three sections of the score have survived.
Composer for documentary films. Including The True Story of Lili Marlene (1944), Crofters (1944), Farmer's Boy (1945) and Power in the Land (1947).
Composer for Welcome Mr Washington (1944) and The Butler's Dilemma (1944).
Born 1932. Nephew of Enid Blyton. Has written some film music.
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 23.1.1878 - London, 25.1.1960. Boughton was an English composer who with the patronage of Lady Battersea studied at the RCM with Stanford and Walford Davies (1900-01). From 1904 to 1911 he was on the staff of the Birmingham Midland Institute of Music teaching singing.
Film: Lorna Doone (1934). Lorna's Song from the film (director, Basil Dean of Flecker/Delius Hassan fame). The song was recorded by Victoria Hopper (Basil Dean's wife), Associated Talking Pictures Studio Orchestra conducted by Ernest Irving (HMV B.8249). Does this film survive I wonder? Also can anyone let me have a cassette of this song?
This was Boughton's only film essay. The rest of the film score was provided by Armstrong Gibbs. Lorna was played by Hopper. John Loder played John Ridd. Boughton's fee for the one song was £30. This was one quarter of the composer's income for the year 1934. It was written overnight and posted off the next morning only the day after it had been commissioned by telegram.
Made appearance conducting LPO in Battle for Music (1944).
A prolific composer Bourgeois wrote two scores for the British Transport film unit: Thirty Million Letters 1963 and The Driving Force 1966.
Early talkie music director at Wembley Studios. Died circa 1934. Musical director for the following Wembley films: City of Song (1930), Wedding Rehearsal (1932), The First Mrs Fraser (1932).
His distinctive beard and rostrum manner lead to some comments about physical similarity with Henry Wood. He made a screen appearance in the Strand Studios film Battle for Music (1944) conducting the LPO.
Active as composer for silent films then for documentary scores. War Front and House We Live In date from 1941.
Born 1939 in Australia. Has spent some time in UK. Scores for The Everlasting Secret Family (1988), A Halo for Athuan (1986), Kindred Spirits (1984). Southern Cross SCCD1020. In 1978 reconstructed Hugo Friedhofer's wonderful score for The Best Years of Our Lives (Preamble PRCD 1779).
He was born in Halesowen in 1893; died in 1975. His Piano Concerto was recorded on Paxton 78s. Conductor and leader of own orchestra. His sole feature film score is Train of Events (1949). There are scores for Merton Park Studios documentaries: Progress, Looking Through, Down to Earth and The Village That Found Itself.
Composed music for Charter Films Pastor Hall in 1940. Also for Paul Rotha documentary Battle of the Books (1940). Extensive radio broadcasting with eponymous orchestra. They also recorded Britten's Irish Reel from Village Harvest since reissued on Beulah CD.
Britten's film music was a phenomenon of the 1930s. he wrote prolifically for documentaries; many for the GPO Film Unit. A number of these scores rank as classics of the genre. For years these scores have lain neglected. Since the mid-1980s however this music is receiving increased attention. The Britten Estate has allowed Colin Matthews to revive various scores in the form of concert suites.
Britten came to film through his friend the poet W.H, Auden ('a terrific bully' according to Peter Pears). Auden wrote the texts of a number of these GPO films and Britten wrote the music. He quickly established himself as a masterful and resourceful composer. Technically he was an exceptional composer able to use the prescribed six or seven players to create a very wide palette of effects. The scores were often, written played and recorded in the space of three days. Night Mail and Coal Face are quintessential scores. All of scores exist in Britten-Pears library indeed Britten has been fortunate in having his heritage preserved with such diligence and care. So many composers have suffered in later years because of the dispersal of their music.
e into film music coincided with Bliss's involvement with Korda at Denham Studios. Britten's were very small scores but very effective. For Night Mail Britten wrote the title music and then the track was without any music for the next 20 minutes. The music returns for the last 4 minutes. The words of Auden are intoned by Stuart Legge.
Howard Ferguson recalls assisting during the GPO music sessions. He played piano duet or rattled chains or on one occasion emptied a bucket of water into another bucket. These sounds were all carefully annotated into the score. To achieve just the right result at the correct rhythm I he had a row of buckets ready for use.
The Spanish Civil War began to dominate the life of many people during the 1930s. Which side did one support? Should one go and fight and join the International Brigade or stay? Paul Rotha recalled his own decision to make films and warn about the imminent war and the onslaught of world fascism. He made the film 'People of Britain' (1938) and commissioned Britten to write and direct the music. The money ran to an orchestra of five players from the LSO with Britte
also playing percussion. The film demanded 'Peace by Reason.' The call went unheeded and Britten and Pears left for three years in North America. This also signalled the end of Britten's involvement in film music. Instead he devoted himself to opera house and concert hall. Later he was pushed to return to film music for Akenfield which he declined. Another film project which he considered was an adaptation of The Tempest. This too was dropped as he had some designs on the play as the basis for an opera.
The film Around The Village Green, a non-GPO documentary short, has as its centrepiece An Irish Reel. This was revived by Carl Davis and the BBC Concert Orchestra in 1995. It is a jolly and ebullient work with a real glint in its eye. His sole feature film was Love for a Stranger. Sadly the score is lost but Colin Matthews was able to reconstruct it from the parts and it was premiered by Carl Davis as a suite at the Barbican in London on 20 May 1995. Various of Britten's film and radio music is now finding its way onto CD. Chandos have been busy in this area and also archive recordings are beginning to surface. There is a Beulah CD which includes the original recording of An Irish Reel.
Britten (in common with Walton and Arnold) was approached to do the score for David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. Nothing came of the proposal.
BRITTEN FILM SCORES
Conquering Space (1935)
The King's Stamp (1935)
Banking for the Millions (1935)
Coal Face (1936)
Night Mail (1936)
Message from Geneva (1936)
Men of the Alps (also incl music by Rossini arranged by Britten and Walter Leigh) (1936)
Love from a Stranger - Trafalgar Films (1937) - his sole feature film score.
The Saving of Bill Blewitt (1937)
The Line to the Tschierva Hut (1937)
Calendar of the Year (1937)
Around the Village Green (1937)
The Way to the Sea (1937)
The Tocher - silhouette film (1938)
Four Barriers (1938)
How the Dial Works (1938)
Mony a Pickle (1938)
God's Chillun (1939)
HPO or the 6d Telegram (1939)
Advance Democracy (1939)
Instruments of the Orchestra (1946)
Irish Reel from Village Harvest. Charles Brill Orch. Decca K874.
The complete Instruments of the Orchestra was recorded by the (then) Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Sargent in 1946 HMV DX1307-8 and DXS1309.
Born in Odessa 1905 - died Hollywood 1985. Studied Rome, Vienna and Budapest. In 1920s contributed songs to Viennese operettas. His very first film was made in Vienna in 1930 and featured Richard Tauber and Gitta Alpa. He remained a tunesmith and songwriter, always needing the assistance of arrangers and assistants who included Roy Douglas, Clive Richardson, Charles Williams and Sidney Torch. He is credited with at least fourteen film scores. Lionel Salter termed him a notorious 'near-illiterate.' "Slug" Brodszky needed to have "collaborators", who were rarely credited. His collaborators were frequently Philip Green, Clive Richardson, Sidney Torch, Charles Williams and Mischa Spoliansky. His film credits included French Without Tears (1939), Freedom Radio (1941), The Way to the Stars (1945, dir Anthony Asquith), Carnival (1946), and A Man About the House (1947).
The Way to the Stars. Two Cities SO/Charles Williams 78 Columbia DB2180.
Carnival (dir. Stanley Haynes) Two Cities SO/Charles Williams Columbia DB2225 rec 1946.
Composer of song Throughout the Years for the British National Films production Give Me The Stars (1944).
Born 1941. Film scores: Sirens and Robin Hood (1991 - not the Costner film). He also wrote the music for the BBC drama series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Other TV scores include Dr Who, Martin Chuzzlewit, Bleak House, Testament of Youth (a particular favourite and extremely moving in itself and as a backdrop to Vera Brittain's poems being read over the soundtrack). This production will be long remembered also for its central performance by Cheryl Campbell. Burgon also wrote the archetypal theme music for one of the world's most successful TV dramas: Brideshead Revisited (1983). A selection of his choral music is on Silva Screen SILKCD6002.
The Television Music of Geoffrey Burgon includes Brideshead Revisited (1981), The Chronicles of Narnia (1988), Bleak House (1985), Testament of Youth (1979), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979). Silver Screen FILMCD117
Robin Hood Silver Screen FILMCD083
Brideshead Revisited (1981) Music for Pleasure CDMFP6172
The film music for The Love Match.
Born Maidenhead 1901. Studied at Trinity College of Music. Clarinettist in military bands and cellist in silent film cinema by 1914. Wrote film music for continental productions from 1922 onwards. Wrote music for British films from 1932. In 1942 joined Gainsborough Studios staff. He has contributed music to King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942), Give Us The Moon (1944), Bees in Paradise (1944), I'll Be Your Sweetheart (1944), Waterloo Road (1944).
Bush's music has been largely neglected with the exception of the occasional BBC revival and some acclaim in the pre-Perestroika Eastern Bloc. There are four rich symphonies. The Second which was recorded in the USSR is entitled The Nottingham and in part depicts the Robin Hood adventures. His last symphony The Lascaux was inspired by the prehistoric wall paintings at the Lascaux caves in France. There is massive piano concerto for solo piano, orchestra and chorus shadowing the Busoni concerto. The concerto and much else of Bush's music should be broadcast and recorded. His film music comprises two scores. Hiroshima (1952/54) was written for flute and harp. Has anyone seen this film or do they know anything more about it? In 1971 he wrote Fifty Fighting Years for a film telling the story of the Labour Monthly. This documentary was narrated by Robin Page Arnot and Palme Dutt. It was first screened at the National Film Theatre, Waterloo, 10 June 1973.
A prolific composer and music director. Real name James Thomas bird. Born Ramsgate, Kent 1904. 1918-20 played piano for dances and picture houses. Touring musician until in 1930 was introduced to Louis Levy. Joined music staff at Gainsborough. Had a gift for mechanical devices which made him particularly apt to produce and manage music in the cinema. Solely active in the film world. His scores include: Its Love Again (1936), Bad Sister (1948), Look Before You Love (1948), Tony Draws a Horse (1948). Worked closely with Yehudi Menuhin in recording for the film The Magic Bow starring Stewart Granger.
Cameron wrote music for The Mirror Crack'd (1980).
Songs in Follow Your Star and Flight From Folly both Warner Brothers films in 1944.
Born in 1922, the widow of William Alwyn, she produced several film scores for George K. Arthur. In the 1940s and 1950s she worked as assistant to Muir Mathieson at the Denham Film Studios. In this connection she worked closely and happily with Arnold Bax on the film Oliver Twist. In 1947 she studied under the J. Arthur Rank Apprenticeship scheme into all aspects of music for films (1947). She also wrote a considerable quantity of film music covering some 35 films including Christopher Columbus (1949, Spanish Dances with Arthur Bliss), Dim Little Island (late 1940s? with Vaughan Williams), Man Trap (1961), Elizabeth is Queen (1953), East Anglian Holiday (1954), Break in the Circle (1955) and On the Twelfth Day (1956). Her other film scores include: ODTAA (1946); Harvest from the Wilderness (1948); Boys in Brown (1950) and Man in Hiding (1953). Her orchestral and chamber music have been issued on two CDs by Chandos. I do hope her film music will be recorded also.
Cary was born in Oxford in 1925. A pioneer and experimenter in the performance of electronic music he established his own electronic studio and was an influential teacher at the RCM. His incidental electronic music graces early episodes of BBCTV's Dr Who. He emigrated to Australia some years ago. His film music is enjoying a modest revival through the recordings by Silva Screen which include a segment of his Ealing Studios music for The Lady Killers (SILKD6018 - a substantial 15 minute suite) although this score may also be remembered for the use of Boccherini's Minuet. A full CD of extracts from his soundtracks appears on Silver Screen CNS5009. His films include The Ladykillers (1956), Time Without Pity (1957), Town on Trial (1957), The Boy Who Stole a Million (1960), A Lecture on Man (1962), A Boy Ten Feet Tall (1965), 5,000,000 Miles to Earth (1968), A Twist of Sand (1968) and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971); the latter score also recorded on Silva Screen.
Chacksfield (1914-95) wrote the theme from Limelight.
Chagrin was born in Rumania in 1905. Qualifying as an engineer in Zurich he then studied during the early 1930s with Dukas and Nadia Boulanger. Later he came to London and worked with Matyas Seiber. His first French film score was done in 1934; his first British film in 1937. During World War 2 he was responsible for music in the BBC Services to the French Resistance. He is reputed to have provided scores for more than 200 films.
Films: Ce Colle (1934) starring Fernandel; La Lutte pour le Vie; Le Grande Croisiere; David et Goliath (1934-37); Animal Legends (1938); Five Faces (1937); Behind the Maginot Line (1938); Britain's Youth (1939); Behind the Guns (1940); Telefootlers (1941); A-Tish-oo (1941); Canteen on Wheels (1941); two films for the Dutch government; Castings (1944); Near Home (1945); Home for the People (1945). His feature films include: Silent Battle (1939); Law and Disorder (1940); Picture Paper (1946); The Bridge (1946); Helter Skelter (1949), Last Holiday (1950), The Beachcomber (1955), Simba (1955), The Colditz Story (1957), The Snorkel (1958), Greyfriar's Bobby (1961), In the Cool of the Day (1963), Clue of the Twisted Candle (1968), also a large number of publicity and advertising films.
Phenomenally successful comedic actor. He also contributed film music to many of his films. He had no technical musical skills. Chaplin formed the Charlie Chaplin Music Company around 1915, wrote melodies beginning in the 1910s, and composed the scores, with arrangers and orchestrators, of all his movies beginning with City Lights in 1931. When he restored some of his earlier works he wrote music for them (e.g. The Gold Rush and The Kid). He won an Oscar around 1973 for his music for Limelight. Although he couldn't read or write music, he played the piano, organ and violin.
According to biographer David Robinson: "[City Lights] was Chaplin's first film score. Modestly he told a reporter, 'I really didn't write it down. I la-la-ed and Arthur Johnson (the arranger) wrote it down.' To score his films, he was also known to sing or play violin or piano to a musician who would write the music down for an orchestra, etc. As the music was being played by 'professional' musicians, Charlie would then direct the music, requesting and adding changes. (Similar to Paul McCartney's technique.)
However Johnson and all the other musicians who worked with him testified to Chaplin's melodic skills and his firm ideas of how he wanted the music to sound." Regarding Modern Times (1936) which includes the song 'Smile', Robinson writes: "As in City Lights, Chaplin created a sound track from discreetly-used sound effects (even including his own voice, singing in gibberish) and a musical score of his own composition. The musical director was Alfred Newman, while Edward Powell and David Raksin arranged and orchestrated Chaplin's music. Chaplin was exacting on himself and his musical collaborators, and the work ended in acrimony (with Newman storming out of a recording session) and a long-lasting estrangement with Raksin when the young musician refused, out of loyalty to Newman, to take over the conductor's baton. The rift was eventually healed; and sixty years later Raksin could speak with intense admiration of Chaplin's genius in employing music and musicians for his artistic purposes."
According to Carl Davis, "For my own part I discovered that Chaplin -- though he was in the strict sense musically illiterate (he could neither read nor write music) -- was extremely musical in his understanding of what a score should be and should do. He had a great melodic gift, largely shaped, I am sure, in the English music halls in which he spent his early career. Above all, he possessed an extraordinary sense of rightness in setting music to his films. ... Chaplin went on writing scores for his old silent films until the end of his life. As he himself said, he may have had to "la-la" his compositions, but he was a faultless judge of what to use."
In his later years, Charlie went back over some of his other old silent movies and wrote scores for them on rerelease in the early 1970s: The Kid; The Circus; A Woman Of Paris; A Day's Pleasure; The Idle Class; Pay Day.
The last two pieces of work Charlie did in his final year - as an 88 year old man in 1977 was to compose the score for 'A Woman In Paris' , a 1923 movie to be reissued in Jan 1978 ( a couple of weeks after his death); and Charlie composed the music to accompany the script of a film he still hoped to make throughout the 1970s, but was still tinkering with before he died in Dec 1977 - 'The Freak'.
Chaplin conducted the orchestras of his later movie scores (A King In New York (1957) and A Countess From Hong Kong (1967) which also starred Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren!)
Chaplin's scores included: Shoulder Arms (1918), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952 - the theme song was a hit in USA and won an Academy Award when the film was reissued in 1972), A King in New York (1957), The Chaplin Revue (1959) with a theme song sung by Matt Munro and The Countess from New York (1966). The theme song of Countess is 'This is My Song'. It was a hit for Petula Clark as was 'Smile'. Chaplin's final score was for 'The Gentleman Tramp' (documentary retrospective) in 1975. This section was largely contributed by Hannah Huckaby with additions by John Abraham.
CHAPLIN'S FILM MUSIC ON CD:
(1) THE FILM MUSIC OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN, BMG Classics, 09026 68271 2, BIEM/GEMA,
music conducted by Carl Davis and performed by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. This is a jewel because it includes the best of Chaplin's compositions from his silent feature masterpieces (The Kid, The Gold Rush, The Circus, City Lights, and Modern Times) performed with a full orchestra and recorded in Dolby. It also has great graphics and fantastic liner notes with commentary written by master Chaplin biographer David Robinson and Carl Davis.
(2) THE ALICE ARTZT GUITAR TRIO PLAYS THE MUSIC OF BERNSTEIN, CHAPLIN AND GERSHWIN, GRI Music, GRICD 003. The Chaplin selections are music he wrote. It includes melodies from The Countess from Hong Kong, The Circus, The Pilgrim, A Dog's Life, Limelight, City Lights, Modern Times, as well as a foxtrot song he wrote in the 1920s which was not for a movie entitled "With You, Dear, in Bombay". The Trio did an excellent job of arranging and playing Chaplin's music; it is very interesting and enjoyable with good liner notes.
(3) CHARLIE!: MUSIC FROM THE CLASSIC FILMS OF CHARLES CHAPLIN, Silva America,
SSD 1021, music arranged and conducted by Francis Shaw, performed by the Munich Symphony Orchestra. The selections are strictly Chaplin's music. It includes melodies from Limelight, The Idle Class, A King in New York, The Freak (this was a film project Chaplin never completed as he was working on it when he died on Christmas Day 1977), Monsieur Verdoux, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, and City Lights. It also includes melodies which did not appear in his movies: "Peace Patrol" and "There's Always One You Can't Forget" both written during WWI.
(4) CHARLIE CHAPLIN: THE ORIGINAL MUSIC FROM HIS MOVIES, Blue Moon, BM 99903/4
(2 CD set). This is the other jewel, a great set; basically it's a soundtrack (one caveat is that the City Lights soundtrack may not be from the 1931 original movie but from the 1989 restoration by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill who had Carl Davis restore the score; this is a long-running controversy among Chaplinites because although the score is the same, it is technically not the
original soundtrack since it is not that of the 1931 film; even Chaplin scholars and the Chaplin Estate are confused as to when one is seeing and listening to the 1931 original or the 1989 restoration). Anyway, there is both Chaplin and non-Chaplin music as well as some of the songs Chaplin sang. The movies included are A Day's Pleasure, Pay Day, The Gold Rush, The Circus, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, and Limelight. The set has wonderful graphics and liner notes.
(5) CHARLIE CHAPLIN: LES MUSIQUES DE SES FILMS, Disques Vogue, 74321123272,
music arranged and directed by Michel Villard. This is kind of Musak-y and not to my taste, by the way. It includes music in Chaplin's movies which he did not write together with some of his compositions. Of his music it includes pieces from A Dog's Life, Modern Times, A King in New York, The Great Dictator, Limelight, The Pilgrim, The Countess from Hong Kong, Shoulder Arms, and The Gold Rush.
(6) CITY LIGHTS/ORIGINAL SCORE, Silva America M04407, conducted by Carl Davis,
performed by The City Lights Orchestra. I have this CD on order, but according to other Chaplinites, it is excellent. It includes Padilla's "La Violetera" with Chaplin's compositions. It is not a soundtrack of the original 1921 movie; it is probably either a soundtrack of the 1989 restoration or a later performance of the original score by the same orchestra used for the
Chappell contributed The Beacons and Beyond in 1953 and England's North Country 1978.
FRED E CLIFFE
Song writer active in George Formby Ealing Studios films including Come on George and Let George Do It.
Clifford (1904-54) was an Australian composer and conductor music involved in the film industry. He was born at Bairnsdale, Victoria. He studied with Vaughan Williams at the RCM. From 1946 to 1950 he was Alexander Korda's music director. He conducted the London Film Symphony orchestra at public concerts and like Muir Mathieson did much to popularise film music in the concert hall. Wrote a series of articles on film music in Tempo. In 1946 became Music Director at Alexander Korda's London Film Productions. In 1947 he went to Hollywood to study American film music production and methods on behalf of Korda.
He wrote music for a number of documentary shorts notably for the British transport Film Unit. His first came in 1953 for the travel film West Country Journey. The film portrayed Devon and Cornwall and the music used tunes associated with these counties. The next score London's Country was a further travel picture concentrating on Home Counties outings (1954).
He wrote extensively for the British film industry. Examples include Bachelor of Hearts (1958), The Dark Man (1950), House of Secrets (1956), The One That Got Away (1957) and Hunted (1952). Power on the Land (1943); The Second Freedom (1943); Road to Moscow (1944); Battle of Britain (1944); Left of the Line (1944); Steel (1944); Shakespeare's Country (1945); General Election (1945); Letter from Britain (1945); Their Invisible Inheritance (1945); An Ideal Husband (1948); Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951); The Stranger in Between (1952); River Beat (1954); Triple Deception (1957); Hell Drivers (1958); The One That Got Away (1958) and for the British Transport Unit: West Country Journey (1953), London's County (1954), Round the Island (1956).
His symphony which dates from 1944 is a worthwhile dramatic work meriting revival and recording. Please get in touch with me if anyone is interested in recording it and you have a willing and skilful orchestra 'in tow'.
His patriotically rousing March The Dam Busters (1955) was a central feature of the film of that name. It was made by Associated British Pictures and over the years has reaped great success and many showings on television. The film recounts the development of a new technology to bomb the dams of the German Ruhr Valley in WWII, and the very innovative design and principles that were ingenuously developed for ultimate success in these very daring raids. The story highlights the career of Sir Barnes Wallis, the aeronautical engineer who came up with the solution while observing his grandchildren at play. The success of the film is centrally dependent on the music most of which was written by Leighton Lucas but the key section - the march - is all Coates' handiwork.
The march The Eighth Army ascribed jointly to Eric Coates and John Greenwood was recorded on 78. HM Grenadier Guards Band/Lieut F Harris. Columbia DB2140.
There is another march High Flight (1957) which was written for the Warwick Film Productions film of the same name. Fine recordings of the march are to be found on a CD by the British Aerospace Band, a wind-band. There is also another wind-band version by the John Foster Black Dyke Mills Band. See also 1969 live recording by Sir Adrian Boult and the London Philharmonic (AS disc 534). (ack assistance of Robert F.). Other more easily accessible orchestral recordings of the march include:
BBCNSO/Robert Farnon BBC Radio Classics BBCRD9115;
Czecholslovak RSO/Adrian Leaper Marco Polo 8.223445
BBC Concert Orch/Boult BBC Radio Classics BBCRD9106
Collins (1893-1963) made his early career in the U.K. and established himself as a conductor. In 1939 he went to the U.S.A. conducting in New York and Los Angeles and writing film scores for the RKO studios. He returned to the U.K. in 1945 undertaking conducting tours for ENSA with the LSO, LPO, Halle, Birmingham and Liverpool orchestras and more film work. He retained his British citizenship and an enduring regard for British music which is evidenced by the fact that he regularly included at least one work by a British composer in his New York concerts. There was a further visit in 1953 to conduct the LSO. He also pursued his conducting into the recording studio. In the early 1950s he recorded on mono Decca LPs a remarkable cycle of the Sibelius symphonies and tone poems.
Film: Sixty Glorious Years/Victoria The Great (1938); Allegheny Uprising (1939); Nurse Edith Cavell (1939); Swiss Family Robinson (1940); Tom Brown's Schooldays (1940); Destroyer (1943); Forever and a Day (1943); Piccadilly Incident (1944); The Fabulous Texan (1947); Odette (1950); Trent's Last Case (1953); Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1954); Laughing Anne (1954); The Rat; The Courtneys of Curzon Street; Derby Day; The Lady With The Lamp.
Gaumont studio composer (in part) for The Good Companions and Britannia of Billingsgate.
Primarily composer for piano but wrote For All Eternity (1935) for Strand jointly with Walter Vale.
Spring on the Farm (1934).
WALTER GAZE COOPER
Gaze Cooper with a strong association with his home area: Nottingham composed a seventh symphony during the early to mid 1960s. This was used in a promotional film of the Nottingham Symphony. The film is currently untraced. If anyone can locate a copy please let me know. Rob Barnett
Cordell (1918-80) gained prominence as a composer of distinguished film music. He became a skilled orchestrator and conductor during his time with the RAF. In 1981 Phoenix issued an LP coupling performances by the Phoenix Orchestra conducted by Cordell of suites from the music for Ring of Bright Water and God Told Me To. The musical language is eclectic and the orchestration highly skilled. His concert works appear not to have had any performances. His films include The Bargee (in which Harry H Corbett appeared) and most famously Ring of Bright Water. He wrote the theme for TV's Court Martial.
The films include: The Captain's Table (1960), Flight from Ashiya (1964), Never Put It In Writing (1964), Ring of Bright Water (1969), Cromwell (1970) and Mosquito Squadron (1970), Khartoum and God Told Me To (Demon - USA title) (1976).
Born Teddington 1899. For all his undoubted prowess in song and theatre he also wrote some film music relying on collaborators for notation, orchestration etc. The two notable scores are: In Which We Serve (1942) and The Astonished Heart (1950). He composed themes for Cavalcade (1933). Noel Coward's production of the 1945 Brief Encounter had Eileen Joyce as the solo pianist in Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2.
Assistant to Ernest Irving at Ealing.
Curzon's (1889-1973) reputation, such as it is, is as a composer of attractive light music. He was privately educated. As a boy he studied violin, cello, piano and organ. At sixteen he was pianist with a London theatre orchestra. At twenty he was conducting and composing music for the silent films. He conducted theatre orchestras in the provinces and London (1920-1938).
Often recognised as the comic actor from the carry on films he is also a composer and director. His scores are A Winter's Tale (1968) and B.S., I Love You (1971).
Johnny Dankworth's name can hardly be mentioned except in the same breath as his singer wife Cleo Laine. That said he wrote a number of film scores. These include some major films still shown on television. The Concrete Jungle (1962), Hamilton, the Musical Elephant (1963), Darling (1965), Return from the Ashes (1965), Sands of the Kalahari (1965), The Idol (1966), Modesty Blaise (1966), Morgan! (1966), Accident (1967), Fathom (1967), The Last safari (1967), The Magus (1968), Salt and Pepper (1968), The Last Grenade (1970), Perfect Friday (1970) and 10 Rillington Place (1971).
Christian Darnton was born in 1905 at Leeds. He studied composition with Benjamin Dale and Harry Farjeon. In Berlin he was a pupil of Max Butting. Darnton was a prolific composer between 1930 and 1939, producing avant-garde works which were widely performed. He wrote some film music. His first contribution was to the RAF newsreel The Gen. The Ministry of Information film The Road to Moscow (1944) had music by Darnton and Hubert Clifford. During 1945: A Harbour Goes to France, You Can't Kill a City, Birth Day, Marine Salvage, River Tyne, Channel Islands, Muscle Menders, The Antwerp Story, Green Fields Beyond, the last three for the Canadian Army Film Unit.
Davey's music for TV: Ballykissangel and The Hanging Gale is well known. His score for the film Twelfth Night has been recorded by Silver Screen (FILMCD186 - 1996). His collaborations with the woman with the most beautiful voice in the world: Rita Connolly are high points in his output. His concert works include the song cycle Granuaile (for Connolly, uillean pipes and orchestra) is one of the undiscovered treasures of music on CD (Tara CD3017). His concert works include a Gulliver Symphony for chorus and orchestra, The Relief of Derry Symphony,
Davey's music for TV: Ballykissangel and The Hanging Gale is well known. His score for the film Twelfth Night has been recorded by Silver Screen (FILMCD186 - 1996). His collaborations with the woman with the most beautiful voice in the world: Rita Connolly are high points in his output. His concert works include the song cycle Granuaile (for Connolly, uillean pipes and orchestra) is one of the undiscovered treasures of music on CD (Tara CD3017). His concert works include a Gulliver Symphony for chorus and orchestra, The Relief of Derry Symphony, The Pilgrim (suite for cellist, pipe band, choir and orchestra), and most famously The Brendan Voyage - a suite for uillean pipes and orchestra.
CEDRIC THORPE DAVIE
Cedric Thorpe Davie (1913-83) was a pupil of Vaughan Williams at the RCM. Won Daily Express prize in 1946 for his symphony. He was a friend of the Stirling-born Muir Mathieson. His film The Heart is Highland had screenings in over a thousand cinemas throughout the country. This he followed with another documentary for the GPO Film Unit (1956) tracing the life of Rabbie Burns and using choral settings of Burns' words. His film music included The Brothers (1947) for Sydney Box, Snowbound (1948), Mad Little Island (1948), The Heart is Highland (1952 - a GPO Unit documentary), Rob Roy - The Highland Rogue (1953), The Land of Robert Burns (1956), The Green Man (1957), The Bridal Path (1959), Oedipus Rex (1957), Jacqueline (1957), The Dark Avenger (1955, The Warriors - in USA), The Night Fighters (1960) and Kidnapped (1960).
The Hidden Land - Visonor Educational Films 1937.
PETER MAXWELL DAVIES
'Max', one of the most successful and possibly under-rated composers in the world wrote some startling film scores. His score for Ken Russell's The Devils dates from 1971 and the arrangements of Sandy Wilson's music for The Boyfriend (1971) are also his handiwork. Both have been recorded on Collin Classics 10952.
Born 1936 in USA but has spent most of his working life in U.K. Carl Davis is a leading and exuberant figure in the world of film music. Traces his success from the point where Ned Sherrin asked him to provide the music for the satirical TV series That Was The Week That Was in 1962. Married to actress Jean Boht, well known for her central role in BBCTV's series Bread.
His scores for TV and film have a life of their own quite separate from the films themselves. His music for the TV series The Rainbow, The World at War, A Year in Provence and Pride and Prejudice is well known and of very high quality. Also he has given back to the industry and to film music far more than he has taken out. His work in resurrecting and then conducting neglected film scores is well known and highly valued.
His film scores include music for restored silents like The Phantom of the Opera (Silver Screen FILMCD193). Also provided scores commissioned by Jeremy Isaacs for silent classics such as Ben Hur, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Wings and the five-hour Napoleon. His initiation into this field came when he joined Kevin Brownlow and David Gill in Thames TV's 13-part series Hollywood for which he provided the title and incidental music. Quite recently wrote a score for the classic Buster Keaton film The General.
His feature film scores include The Other World of Winston Churchill, The Bofors Gun (1968), The Only Way (1970), King David and The French Lieutenant's Woman. He collaborated with Paul McCartney in his Liverpool Oratorio (1991).
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) OST DRG CDRG6106
Intolerance (1916) Prometheus PCD105
Pride and Prejudice (1995) OST EMI CDEMC3726
The Trial (1992) OST Milan 873 150
Ben-Hur (1925) Silva Screen FILMCD043
Napoleon (1927) Silva Screen FILMCD149
The Rainbow (1989) Silva Screen FILMCD040
Widow's Peak (1993) Varese Sarabande VSD5487
A Year in Provence (1993) Silva Screen FILMCD131.
LP Far Pavilions Chrysalis CDL1464 Philharmonia/composer
NORMAN DEL MAR
Conductor. Wrote music for service short documentaries. Contributed music to RAF newsreel The Gen. The Battle Sketch Landing party has been recorded by the BBC Northern Orchestra as a broadcast transcription disc.
Demuth became well known as a writer on musical subjects and especially as a promoter of French music. He was also a prolific composer and his film scores include: Pink String and Sealing Wax (1945); The Secret Tunnel; Fabrics of the Future (1946, a documentary). There are apparently many other films.
Docker died in 1992 at age 73. He arranged the music for Chariots of Fire - score by Vangelis.
Conductor of film and other music. Born Edinburgh 4 March 1901.
Douglas scored various films: Bikini Paradise, Circus of Fear, Kid Rodelo and the enduringly successful The Railway Children.
Douglas as well as providing support and close assistance for various scores by Vaughan Williams (1944-58) and Walton scored a number of films himself. RVW used Douglas, as he said, to 'wash the faces of his scores.' He orchestrated Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto and Chopin's Les Sylphides. Douglas was born in Royal Tunbridge Wells on 12 December 1907. Player of any and every keyboard. Entered films in 1932 as a back room boy. Began scoring own films in 1942. His films include: All For Norway (1942, Strand), Seeds and Science (1943, Strand), Voyage to Freedom (1943, Strand), Candlelight in Algeria (1943, British Aviation Pictures), , The Bells Go Down (1943, Ealing), Night and Day (1944, Verity) and Central Front - Burma (1945 - Gryphon-Verity).
Doyle was born in 1953 and trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Joined Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company. His film music includes Indochine, Henry V (his first film score! And also a first film score conducted by Sir Simon Rattle), Much Ado About Nothing, A Little Princess and Sense and Sensibility.
Dead Again (1991) OST Varese Sarabande VSD5339
Exit to Eden (1994) OST Varese Sarabande VSD5553
Henry V (1989) OST CBSO/Rattle EMI CDC7 44919-2
Indochine (1992) OST Varese Sarabande VSD5397
A Little Princess (1995) OST Varese Sarabande VSD5628
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) OST Epic 477987-2
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)) OST Epic MOODCD30
Carlito's Way (1993) Varese Sarabande VSD5463
Une Femme Francaise (1995) WEA 4509-99630-2
Into The West (1993) Sony SBK89049
Needful Things (1993) Varese Sarabande VSD5438
Duncan was well known in the field of light music. His name was a pseudonym for Leonard Trebilko (b. 1924) who produced a couple of film scores: Joe Macbeth (1953) and The Intimate Stranger (1956).
Born in India in 1905 he wrote the film music for Cockleshell Heroes,
Brian Easdale is an enigma. For a while he seemed to be the house-composer for the imaginative Archers team of Emeric and Pressburger. Their screen dramas were archetypes of the British Golden Age quite apart from being great films in their own right. The first of these was the evocative A Canterbury Tale dating from the war years.
Brian was born in Manchester on 10 August 1909 and was educated at Westminster Abbey Choir School and the Royal College of Music (Armstrong Gibbs and Gordon Jacob). He wrote extensively in many formats. A concert of his compositions was put on at the Wigmore Hall by Herbert Murrill, another film composer. His Missa Coventrensis (1962) for choir, congregation and organ was written for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral - an event in which it was overshadowed by Tippett's King Priam, Arthur Bliss's The Beatitudes and of course Britten's War Requiem; the two latter composers being active in the film worlds. He died on 30 October 1995.
He wrote film music for the GPO Film Unit from 1936. These included Big Money (1937), Kew Gardens (1937), Men in Danger (1939), Ferry Pilot (1942), Job in a Million (1937), Health in Industry (1938). In 1939 he became musical director of the Group Theatre, working with Britten. His first films were Gone to Earth (based on the Mary Webb novel); Men in Danger (1939) and Spring Offensive (1940).
His war service (1940-42) was with The Royal Artillery but from 1942-45 he was with the Public Relations Film Unit, India. Musical director of Information Films of India (1945-46). It was this Indian connection that brought him a commission for the film The Black Narcissus. On his return to England in 1946 he was appointed musical director of the Archers Film Unit, a position he relinquished in 1949.
His remarkable roster of films includes: Black Narcissus (1947) a masterpiece of melodrama with hyper-dramatic music to match; The Red Shoes (1948); Outcast of the Islands (1952); The Small Back Room (1952); The Wild Heart (1952); The Green Scarf (1955) and Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1957). We desperately need a complete CD of his Archers music.
It was the 1948 Red Shoes which made his name. Moira Shearer, the ballerina, recalled in 1995 the 17 minute fantasy ballet score which was written specifically for the film. The score was the first British score to use the ondes martenot. No less a person than Thomas Beecham conducted the recording. Beecham was impatient of the film making process and simply came to the studio to record the music and left it to the dancers and director to make sure that they danced and filmed to HIS account of the music. None of artists ever met Beecham. The music won the 1948 Hollywood Academy Award - an Oscar. Beecham's approach was repeated for the 1951 film of The Tales of Hoffman in which Beecham conducted the music FIRST and the film was shot around the soundtrack.
Easdale took Shearer to lunch during the making of the film. This was the one occasion when she got to know him. She recalled that the composer was a very young man - 'quite reserved but charming'. Shearer recalled it as exotic strange music - a quite advanced modernistic score - but good to dance to - and written with great rhythmic feeling.
The operas The Corn King, and The Sleeping Children were produced in 1951 riding on the wave of interest created by the incredible success of his music for The Red Shoes.
Let the story be taken up here in Stan Meares' obituary which appeared in the March 1996 newsletter of the British Music Society:-
"For such vintage films as The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and A Matter of Life and Death The Archers had successfully used the Polish-born composer Allan Gray. But Easdale, while serving in India during the war, had studied Indian music and instruments and because of this they employed him to compose the score for the emotionally highly charged (Rumer Godden based) Black Narcissus set in a kingdom in the Himalayas. The Red Shoes followed. Gray was intended to write the music but it was beyond him and Easdale replaced him. At the centre of this work is an uninterrupted ballet of seventeen minutes. It shows both Easdale's modesty and practicality that he asked that Sir Thomas Beecham should be allowed to give an opinion of the score before it was formally submitted. As a result, not only did Beecham approve of it, he went on to conduct it. Powell has told how after the film's private viewing for the Rank Organisation hierarchy, J. Arthur Rank and his cohorts stalked out without a word and an American expert declared it would not earn a dime in the USA.
"Easdale was next employed for The Small Back Room, a fine drama set amongst boffins in war time, with one extraordinary episode showing Powell at his most eccentric. But war films were not welcomed at the time (1949). Two later films with Easdale scores, The Elusive Pimpernel and Gone to Earth cannot really be judged as original works, as Alexander Korda's Hollywood mogul partners grotesquely interfered with the finished product. Indeed The Elusive Pimpernel was originally shot as a near-musical, with an extensive score by Easdale. Whatever the rights and wrongs neither succeeded. After a gap when the Archers filmed an opera brilliantly (in the full, uncut version seldom seen) and an operetta ineptly, Easdale returned to write the score for The Battle of the River Plate. But the Archers were not at their best, though it was commercially very successful. Soon afterwards the partnership broke up, though Easdale worked with each former partner independently on largely poor works, except for Powell's notorious Peeping Tom, reviled at the time and now revered (perhaps too much). More importantly he wrote the music for Carol Reed's The Outcast of the Islands, a work under-rated at the time but which can now be seen on TV to be of a quality approaching Reed's prime (even if some prude has cut the contemplative shot of a naked, native boy, entirely appropriate in context)."
The Red Shoes film is often on television and seems to be on continuous display at the Museum of the Moving Image in London. There is a CD of the ballet on Cloud Nine - Silva Screen FILMCD072.
Elgar as film composer? Well - a nice thought but in fact, so far as is known, Elgar did not write any music for films. However his Cockaigne was used in a GPO short in 1969. This was A City for All Seasons. Towards the end of his life, in 1933, he toyed with the idea of writing music for a film of Captain Blood (some sources say Colonel Blood). It came to nothing. This territory later became very much the province of Korngold. In 1927 Elgar provided the music for a silent film 'Land of Hope and Glory'.
(1903-96) Piccadilly Incident (1946, dir Herbert Wilcox). This score was composed jointly with Anthony Collins. Some extracts by Ellis were recorded by Louis Levy with his 'Music from the Movies' in 1946 on Decca K1559.
Carriage Cleaning (1960)
DAVID MOULE EVANS
Born 1905. Studied composition with Herbert Howells at RCM. Took up teaching and then came back to composition. Wrote various orchestral works including an overture The Spirit of London. Scores for documentaries include RAF newsreel The Gen, London (1942, Greenpark Films), Make Fruitful The Land (1944, Greenpark Films) and National Health (Technique).
South African composer. Came to UK in 1922 to study at RCM. Wrote music for theatre from 1927. Conductor of BBC Northern Orchestra during 1940s for three years. In 1936 Fagan became music director to the British film unit of MGM. His concert tone poem Ilalla is founded on a theme from his first score for MGM: David Livingstone (1941). In 1936 followed scores for Auld Lang Syne, Last Rose of Summer, The Captain's Table.. Then came music for three 30 minute documentaries about the composers: Chopin, Liszt and Rossini. He also provided scores for James Fitzpatrick's Quaint Quebec and, very appropriately, Highlights of Capetown. Later assistant music director with Ernest Irving at Ealing.
Fanshawe well known for his African Sanctus wrote the score for the 1972 film Cybernetica showing European railways. He also scored London Ride (1972). His concert works also include Salaams, Requiem for the Children of Aberfan, Arabian Fantasy and Fantasy on Dover Castle. His music for the TV programmes When the Boat Comes In, Flambards, Tarka The Otter and The Good Companions were all successful.
A distinguished conductor of various concert orchestras. Faris has composed scores for Rowlandson's England, The Quare Fellow (1962) and Georgy Girl (1966). He wrote the theme music for various TV dramas including The Duchess of Duke Street, Upstairs, Downstairs and Wings.
Robert Farnon was born in Toronto in 1917. At age 19 he joined the CBC to play as first trumpet in Percy Faith's orchestra. He had two symphonies (which he now disowns) premiered in 1938 and 1942. A pity we do not hear them these days. I wonder if recordings survive? In 1944 as Captain Farnon of the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces he came to Britain. Here he played many concerts and broadcast on BBC radio. He decided to stay in the U.K. As well as prolific broadcasting he was active as an arranger, concert conductor and writer of light music miniatures. He contributed to the Chappells Mood Music library with a welter of light picturesque vignettes. He also wrote for British films. His 30 films include: Circle of Danger, Just William's Luck (1948), Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955), Let's Make Up (1955), The Little Hut (1957), The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958), Expresso Bongo (1960), The Road to Hong Kong (1962), The Truth About Spring (1965) and Shalako. There are about forty film scores. Many of his light music miniatures have been recorded and can be found on compilations on Marco Polo (8.223401) and on Reference Recordings. The suite from Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. Reference Recordings RR-47CD.
Composer of The Robber Symphony (1936).
Fenby is of course very well known as Delius' amanuensis. He also provided the fine score for the 1939 film of Daphne Du Maurier's 'Jamaica Inn.' It is a pity that this music does not exist in a commercial recording. Fenby died during 1996.
He wrote the music for Gandhi his first big score. He also provided the meticulously researched score for Land and Freedom by Ken Loach. This film which portrays the Spanish Civil War used Spanish regional music of the 1930s avoiding what most people regard as typically Spanish (i.e. Castilian) material and completely ignoring the guitar as too evocative of Spanish cliches. He also had to be careful to adopt tunes which were suitable to the various sides depicted. He used and parodied the music of Handel in his score for The Madness of King George.
He wrote the scores for Company of Wolves (1984), 84 Charing Cross Road, High Spirits, White Mischief, Dangerous Liaisons, White Palace, Memphis Belle, The Fisher King, Shadowlands (1993 -a collaboration with Sir Richard Attenborough), The Woodlanders, Interview With a Vampire (1994, a score discarded in favour of Elliot Goldenthal's) and The Madness of King George III. Gandhi (1982) was nominated for an Academy Award as were the scores for Cry Freedom (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Fisher King (1991).
His TV themes include Jewel in the Crown, Bergerac and Shoestring. His other scores include August, The Monocled Mutineer, The History Man and documentaries Life in the Freezer, Beyond the Clouds. His signature tunes also include The Nine O'Clock News, The Money programme, Newsnight and Telly Addicts all for BBC.
The Company of Wolves (1984) OST TER CDTER1094
The Madness of King George (1994) OST Epic 478477-2
Shadowlands (1993) OST EMI Angel CDQ5 55093-2
Cry Freedom (1987) MCA MCAD6224
Dangerous Liaisons (1988) Virgin CDV2583
The Fisher King (1991) MCA MCAD10249
Groundhog Day (1992) Epic 473647-2
Hero (1992) Epic 472331-2
High Spirits (1988) GNP GNPD8016
Memphis Belle (1990) Varese Sarabande VSD5293
White Mischief (1987) TER CDTER1153
Renowned as a pianist and unknown as a composer he wrote the score for the Five Stars production:, The Hangman Waits (1947).
The Sorcerers (1967), The Conqueror Worm (1968), Witchfinder General (1969). The latter score has been recorded on Silva Screen FILMCD175.
Music for two RAF documentaries.
Better known as writer and editor with OUP than as composer. However wrote a set of songs for baritone and orchestra to poems by Thomas Hardy and also scored an army training short: The Sergeant Was a Corporal (World-Wide).
Born Manchester 1880. During the 1930s this fine and innovative composer whose works are gradually being discovered via pioneering recordings usually on the Lyrita label collaborated with Benjamin Britten in writing the scores for a number of GPO film unit productions. In 1935 he wrote two scores for Strand Films: So This is Lancashire and Northern Summer. He died in India in 1939.
Frankel was born in London, England. He played piano and violin, and studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music. His early career was as a jazz violinist in night clubs and also played with bands aboard ocean liners. He also worked as a musical director in the West End. This work included shows by C.B. Cochrane and Noel Coward.
His music is as Chris de Souza once said something which everyone has heard but no-one knows anything about it. His claim to fame came with a very successful piece of light music. The delicious 'Carriage and Pair' is from the Jean Simmons and Dirk Bogarde 1950 film set in fin-de-siecle Paris 'So Long At The Fair'. Their piece is simple but very effective. A 'clip-clop' figure provides a counterpoint to a whistleable high-lying melody on the strings. When the film first came out this excerpt became a major hit and was recorded by another film composer and his orchestra, Charles Williams. Since then the piece has been recorded recently at least twice: once by Hyperion in their British light music series and once by Marco Polo.
In the Ealing film The Man in the White Suit Frankel employs a much more dissonant style. The Prelude has been recorded by Silver Screen (FILMCD177). Its title music is commanding, horns bark and there is more than a slight hint of a Scottish skirl to the music appropriate to the storyline. The music is certainly not straightforward and constantly engages the ear with new effects but all to great musical impact.
In London Belongs to Me Frankel assigns a set of motifs (note patterns) to particular characters and develops the score in this way. Something similar is used in the score for the Battle of the Bulge. Again he used a similar approach very successfully in The Master of Bankdam in which a song (duly recorded at the time) is used and later presented transformed to as a mark of a climactic moment in the plot.
In a similar vein the 1955 film of Wolf Mankowitz's A Kid for Two Farthings had a Frankel score which explored lyricism. The film provides the background and counterpoint to a London East End fable of a boy finding a kid which he takes for a unicorn. The film starred Celia Johnson, a young Diana Dors, David Kossoff, Brenda de Banzie and Sidney Taffler. It was directed by Carol Reed. The music was recorded by George Melachrino and his orchestra and features a gentle step like figure on the saxophone over which floats an easy melody (no doubt the most difficult to write). The tune reaches a high point over tolling brass. This is al projected very effectively on the recording by George Melachrino and his orchestra.
So these are two scores where he deployed tonal tuneful music to great effect. Rather like Elizabeth Lutyens he also found himself very much at home in more complex or extreme films. His music for The Battle of the Bulge (1965) is jagged, replete with screeching strings and dissonant brass. Bells toll and percussion hammers. At one point a wild xylophone passage suggests that Frankel may have heard the very first Bryan Fayrfax conducted performance of Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony. This score is being recorded complete by CPO who have already given us the complete Frankel symphonies and string quartets. They will also be recording The Importance of Being Earnest, The Seventh Veil and Curse of the Werewolf but unlike The Bulge (for which there is too much music for a single full CD!) these will have to be compilations drawn from several film scores.
The score for Night of the Iguana (1964) is suitably sinuous and includes a crazy xylophone solo. The composer conducted recording is definitely worth seeking out. Three years previously in 1961 Frankel had found a commission from Hammer Pictures. This was for The Curse of the Werewolf. Leon, played by Oliver Reed, is the unfortunate plagued with lycanthropy. The Prelude describes Leon's despair and suggests the violence to which he is prone at full moon. In the central movement of the suite recorded by Silva Screen the music follows the contrast which has become a cliche of the horror film. There must be contrast. The most effective contrast is some pastoral scene of innocence and naïve joy which the horror to come will rip and destroy. Frankel delivers this is an vein not that far removed from his style for So Long at the Fair or Kid for Two Farthings. The final section of the suite is entitled Werewolf at Bay and Finale. This is a return to violence, despair and more jagged and hysterical music.
Unlike Arnold and Alwyn Frankel has not yet enjoyed a CD collection of the pick of his scores. His music is to be found in collections of Ealing Comedy music, or in Horror Anthologies from Silva Screen or in isolated 78s and light music compilations. He deserves this treatment. The Frankel family seem to be moving in this direction. It is interesting that income from film music has in general been used by the composer's family to record their concert music. This is certainly the case with Alwyn and Arnold. Frankel's music has followed the same line. It is the income producing film music which is recorded last. It would be interesting to know how the Chandos CDs of Arnold and Alwyn film music have sold as against their concert music on the same label. I would be surprised if the concert music has sold as well as the film music compilations. The film music anthologies are in my view more likely to encourage people to buy them in the first place and then explore the concert music rather than vice versa.
Against the trends, the film scores for Curse of the Werewolf and Night of the Iguana have survived entirely. Trottie True had incomplete material but there was still enough for the composer's stepson to assemble a six-movement suite. There is also full material for Orders to Kill, The Prisoner and Guns of Darkness. The scores for most of the TV programmes have also survived with the family. There is also an assembled 5/6 minute piece from The Importance of Being Earnest. There's quite a lot of scope here but most of the scores have disappeared or perished long ago. Dimitri will be kept rather occupied by the need to reconstruct certain key scores, such as Footsteps in the Fog and The Man in the White Suit.
Frankel is another example of a composer at ease with various expressive idioms in the cinema. The idiom is shaped to match the film's subject matter. He will change his language from a complex dissonance to a lyrical and guileless charm. His concert music or much of it leans towards atonalism although shot through with a strong lyrical element.
Radio Parade of 1935
Music Hath Charms
Public Nuisance Number One
Love in Exile
The Singing Cop
No Monkey Business
He Found a Star
They Met in the Dark
I'll Be Your Sweetheart
The Gen (over 100 editions of RAF newsreel including music by Frankel, Clifford, Lutyens and Alwyn)
Flight from Folly
The Great Circle
The Fire of London
Twilight of the Gods
The New Teacher
The Seventh Veil (the Bergmann film)
The Broad Fourteens
Machines and Men
The Years Between
English Criminal Justice
A Girl in a Million
Dancing With Crime
Portrait from Life
London Belongs to Me
Mine Own Executioner
Sleeping Car to Trieste
The Chiltern Hundreds
Give Us This day
The Clouded Yellow
So Long at the Fair
Night and the City
The Long Dark Hall
Appointment With Venus
Mr Denning Drives North
The Man in the White Suit
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By
The Moving Spirit
The Love Lottery
The Final Test
Mad About Men
The Power to Fly
The Young Lovers
The Electric Cooker
Up to His Neck
The End of the Affair
Always a Bride
The Man Who Loved Redheads
A Kid for Two Farthings
Footsteps in the Fog
Simon and Laura
The World That Nature Forgot
On Such a Night
Storm Over the Nile
The Iron Petticoat
Brothers in Law
Happy is the Bride
Orders to Kill
I Only Arsked
Summer of the Seventh Doll
Surprise Package (co-written with Kenneth V. Jones)
The Curse of the Werewolf
Guns of Darkness
The Old Dark House
The Night of the Iguana
Battle of the Bulge
PETER RACINE FRICKER
Fricker's film An Artist Looks at Churches featured John Piper visiting and commenting on various churches to Fricker's string orchestra music
Documentary productions including the Gen RAF newsreel also score for industrial film Optics (1945).