Film Music on the Web (UK)

Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

List compiled by Rob Barnett
 General Introduction
Alphabetical composer listings   A- F    Discography etc.
Return to Film Music Front Page

British Film Composers: British Firsts, Discography, Acknowledgements

First British colour feature film: Wings of the Morning - score by Arthur Benjamin (1937)
First British score to use the ondes martenot - The Red Shoes - score by Brian Easdale (1948)
First wholly serial British film score The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) - there was an earlier Argentinian film score but I have no other details.
First British ‘talkie’ Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail with score by Charles Williams (1929)

Do let me know if you have any other firsts which should be included here or if there were earlier scores. RB.



These are all CDs unless indicated otherwise:-

ADDINSELL Film and Light Music BBC Concert Orch/K Alwyn Marco Polo 8.223732
ALWYN Odd Man Out etc LSO/Hickox Chandos CHAN9243
ARNOLD Bridge on River Kwai etc LSO/Hickox Chandos CHAN9100
BAX Oliver Twist/Malta GC - RPO/K. Alwyn Cloud Nine CN7012 LP since reissued on CD
JAMES BERNARD Devil Rides out etc Westminster PO/K Alwyn Silver Screen FILMCD174
BLISS Things to Come, Baraza etc LSO/Bliss etc Dutton CDLXT 2501
BLISS Christopher Columbus etc CzRSO/Adriano Marco Polo 8.223315
TRISTRAM CARY Quatermass and the Pit etc original soundtrack Silver Screen CNS5009

FARNON Captain Horatio Hornblower RN RPO/Farnon Reference Recordings RR-47CD
IRELAND The Overlanders Suite etc LSO/Hickox Chandos CHAN 8994
WALTON Film Music Henry V, Battle of Britain etc LPO/Carl Davis EMI CDM 5 65585 2

VW Coastal Command Suite, Bliss Conquest of the Air, Schurmann Attack and Celebration, Easdale Red Shoes Ballet
Philharmonia/K Alwyn. Silva Screen FILMCD 072

Brodszky, Addinsell, Williams, Parker, Addison, Arnold, Gray, Frankel, Greenwood, Alwyn, Spoliansky, Green. Vaughan Williams. Various artists from original 78s.
EMI 7243 8 28844 2 2

Walton Richard III, Lambert Anna Karenina, Bax Oliver Twist, Benjamin An Ideal Husband, Walton Escape Me Never, Vaughan Williams 49th Parallel, Bliss Suite - Things to Come.
National Philharmonic Orchestra/Herrmann
Decca London 448 954-2

Frankel, Auric, Rawsthorne, Irving, Schurmann, Cary, Ireland
Royal Ballet Sinfonia/K. Alwyn
Silva Screen FILMCD 177

HORROR!: SCHURMANN Horrors of the Black Museum, FRANKEL The Curse of the Werewolf, SEARLE The Haunting, PARKER Night of the Demon.
Westminster PO/K. Alwyn
Silva Screen FILMCD 175

Doyle, Portman, Jones, Sekacz, Davey, Sarde, Davis and Bennett. This fine collection includes sections from Far From the Madding Crowd and Tess.
City of Prague Philharmonic/K.Alwyn
Silver Screen SILKD6018

Walton, Bliss, Bax. Ireland, Benjamin, Bennett, Farnon, Morley.
CBSO/Marcus Dods
HMV Greensleeve ED 20 0109 4 CASSETTE (since reissued on CD)

Film studio piano concertos Addinsell, Williams, Rózsa, Bath, Gershwin
Daniel Adni/Bournemouth SO/K. Alwyn
Classics for Pleasure CFP 41 4493 4 CASSETTE (may have been reissued on CD)

SILVER SCREEN whose records form the core of current British film music recordings can be found at 3 Prowse Place, Camden Town, London NW1 9PH. Phone 0171 428 5500. Fax 0171 482 2385. E-mail



The material for these pages has been compiled from many sources:
I would like to thanks Stan Meares for permission to quote an extract from his obituary of Brian Easdale. This was published in the British Music Society Newsletter in 1996. I have also drawn on articles in both the annual journal and the quarterly newsletter. I would strongly recommend membership of the British Music Society. The standard annual subscription rate is currently (March 1998) £14.00 or US Dollars $35.50. Please send your name and address and cheque to Stephen TROWELL 7 Tudor Gardens, UPMINSTER, ESSEX RM14 3DE. The cheque should be made payable to Mr Stephen Trowell.
I am more than happy to field other enquiries myself by e-mail. Rob Barnett at  mail me

I have drawn heavily on Limbacher’s Scarecrow Press book on Film Music and I should mention that the USA titles of films are occasionally mixed in among the British titles; sleeve-notes and booklets from the above recordings including the writings of David Ades, Graham Parlett, Lewis Foreman, John Huntley, Tony Thomas, David Wishart and others.
Although I have not read it I would recommend the book ‘Music from the House of Hammer’ by Randall D Larson (The Scarecrow Press; 1996). It reportedly has some good filmographies plus “short articles on all the composers to wear Hammer's bloody shroud... i.e., just about everyone who was anyone in British music at the time.” Rob Clements

David Ades encyclopaedic notes for BRITISH FILM MUSIC FOR THE 1940s AND 1950s are required reading. In many ways that EMI CD acts as a visual and aural window into the world of the classic British film score of the era. I am not sure if the CD is still available but it is definitely worth obtaining if you can trace a copy.

Thanks are also due to the many people who responded to my requests over the Net in the classical music newsgroup for comments and recollections of British film music. Jeffrey Smith has been extremely helpful and has contributed distinctively to the Martell entry as well as a number of others. I would also like to thank, Richard Adams, Michael Huelbig, Constantin Marcou, Ted Thomson, Hannah Huckaby and again Jeffrey Smith.

I have also made extensive use of the research work of Philip L Scowcroft whose book ‘British Light Music’ is required reading for anyone interested in this repertoire. The book can be ordered from the publishers THAMES PUBLISHING 14 Barlby Road LONDON W10 6AR 0181 969 3579 fax 0181 969 1465. The total cost including postage will be less than £20.00.

Alphabetical composer listings   General Introduction   A- F   G - Z  

Return to Film Music Front Page