THE FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC OF ANGELA MORLEY.

angela

 

As we all know there are numerous very talented composers who write for both film and television that are either overlooked or at times forgotten. I would not say that Angela Morley falls neatly into this category because she obviously has a following even now some nine years after her death, Morley was born Wally Stott in 1924 and was responsible for working on many BBC produced radio shows during the 1950’s and was encouraged by composer Robert Farnon in her work. Stott became an almost household name because of the connections with artists such as MARLENE DIETRICH, MEL TORME, ROSEMARY CLOONEY and BENNY GOODMAN and also via recordings that She did for READERS DIGEST and Phillips records. In the 1970’s Stott underwent sex reassignment surgery and after this as Morley began to work more widely scoring movies and writing for television productions. She is probably best known for her work on movies such as, WATERSHIP DOWN, THE SLIPPER AND THE ROSE and WHEN EIGHT BELLS TOLL, as well as stunning scores for TV films and series such as MADAME X, THE LOOKING GLASS WAR, DYNASTY and HOTEL. Morley.s work for film and TV was never widely available so this is why I am pleased that JOHN WILSON and HIS ORCHESTRA have released THE FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC OF ANGELA MORLEY on the VOCALION label. This is a wonderful collection of superbly crafted themes and musical excerpts from various Morley soundtracks. The compilation was actually recorded before the composer passed away at Abbey Road studios in 2003. So forgive me if I am late on this one. The release showcases perfectly the versatile style and the evident talent of the composer, who was able to move from genre to genre and create memorable and tuneful melodies whether they be for cinema or television or just light music compositions or even library tracks. This I think is one of the best compilations I have heard in recent years dedicated to one composer, simply because it is so varied and richly melodic for the most part. As well as the shows and film titles I have mentioned the CD also includes a handful of tracks that the composer wrote for the Chappel library and are typical sounding pieces from the genre of British light music in the 1950’s with carefree sounding woods, cheeky pizzicato and lush sounding strings, the CD also includes music from WATERSHIP DOWN and CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERSEA CITY. Morley was a talented composer and arranger and as well as working of her own assignments would also assist John Williams on scores such as STAR WARS, SUPERMAN and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. She also worked on various arrangements for Williams for his recordings with The Boston Pops Orchestra. I cannot recommend this compilation to you enough, it is a gem of a collection and a wonderfully entertaining and enriching listening experience. The near six minute section from CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERSEA CITY is particularly welcome as is the music that Morley penned for THE SLIPPER AND THE ROSE, performed to perfection by the excellent John Wilson Orchestra. Definitely one for your collection.

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