Composer conductor Carlo Innocenzi was born in the last year of the nineteenth Century, May 29th 1899 in Monteleone di Spoleto Italy. Originally Innocenzi worked as a draughtsman designing plans for the Ministry of Transport. He began to take more interest in music and decided to study the subject focusing upon composition with tutors Fattorini and Principe. For which he obtained a diploma in the 1930’s. He met his wife Sonia Pearlswig via their common interest in music and also their love of the arts. In a career that spanned some five decades the composer became known as a talented conductor and also the composer of numerous soundtracks for Italian cinema, Incocenzi put his musical stamp on approximately three hundred movies which included feature films and documentaries. Many of the motion pictures were great box office success’s and starred well known Italian actors of the period, including Aldo Fabrizi, Giovanni Ralli, Peppino de Filippo, Alberto Sordi and Ugo Tognazzi. He was responsible for composing over seven hundred works for both Cinema and concert hall, leaving a rich and varied collection of works. He died in Rome on March 24th 1962. As a film music composer he was responsible for the music to films such as, Cavalcata selvaggia ,Un canto nel deserto, Il terrore del’Oklahoma, Il terrore dei barbari, Giulio Cesare contro i pirati ,Sansone , La vendetta di Ursus , Tropico di notte , Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan ,Il conquistatore di Corinto , Trionfo di Maciste , La rivolta dei mercenari , I Reali di Francia , and many more.




Born, George Richard Ian Howe on October 19th 1950 in England, Fenton has been responsible for numerous film soundtracks, television themes and scores and also has worked in the theatre and regularly conducts concerts of his music and has toured conducting his music for THE BLUE PLANET live directing the orchestra in front of an audience whilst the film plays, he also lectures and gives talks at various colleges and seminars. He first came to the attention of the wider audiences of cinema goers and also to aficionados and collectors within the film music fraternity when he wrote the music for Richard Attenborough’s GHANDI (1982). He is a composer of immense talent and is able to adapt his musical skills to any genre of film.



One only has to take a glance at his impressive list of credits for film to see that Fenton has produced wonderful scores for movies and television projects which range from period dramas to comedies and also encompass horror’s and drama’s, with numerous romantic tales scattered along the way, as well as his award winning music for the wildlife television series of David Attenborough, as in BLUE PLANET and PLANET EARTH etc for the BBC. He has worked with many film makers and became the preferred composer of Sir Richard Attenborough working on films such as CRY FREEDOM, SHADOWLANDS and IN LOVE AND WAR.


Fenton began his musical career in 1971 when he wrote the score for a low budget independent movie entitled PRIVATE ROAD, after this in 1978 he wrote the music for a short film called THE WATERLOO BRIDGE HANDICAP, and it was at this point in his career that Fenton began to work steadily on short films, television dramas and series plus the odd feature film. In 1979 he provided the popular BBC television series SHOESTRING with its infectious sounding theme and also scored twelve episodes, in 1980 he also provided the music for the ITV series FOX again penning the theme and the scores for thirteen episodes. In 1983 he worked with director John Schlesinger on the drama AN ENGLISHMAN ABROAD and in the same year scored another successful drama, SAIGON THE YEAR OF THE CAT for Director Stephen Frears. In 1984 Fenton was assigned to write the score for the television series, THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN, a mini series that ran for eight episodes and proved to be popular worldwide.



Also in 1984 he collaborated with film maker Neil Jordan on the dark horror fantasy COMPANY OF WOLVES. Since the 1980,s Fenton has become one of the most sought after and popular composers of film music, he has worked on numerous box office hits and also at times has returned to his roots scoring smaller and more intimate productions for both the television and cinema. He also is in great demand in Hollywood and has a list of State side credits, including, FINAL ANALYSIS GROUNDHOG DAY, YOU,VE GOT MAIL, FOOLS GOLD, ANNA AND THE KING, EVER AFTER and THE BOUNTY HUNTER. His latest works for film include THE LADY IN THE VAN and COLD PURSUIT.




To say that composer Jerry Goldsmith was a prolific writer of music for film and TV is an understatement of the greatest degree. In a career that lasted some 50 years the composer was responsible for writing the music for so many motion pictures that can easily fit into the category of the Blockbuster. Jerry Goldsmith was born in the February of 1929 in Los Angeles. At the age of twelve he began to study piano under Jacob Gimpel, for the best part of the 1940’s he continued to study with lessons in composition from Mario Castelnuovo-Tedasco.




Towards the end of the forties Goldsmith attended L/A/ CITY COLLEGE and also whilst there did a years extra study at the University of Southern California. It was whilst studying at U.S.C. that he was tutored by Miklos Rosza in the film music class. In the early part of the 1950’s Goldsmith joined the music department at CBS he was initially an assistant, but soon moved up to become a composer for live radio and TV shows.



It was whilst at CBS that Goldsmith worked on shows such as DR. KILDARE, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, STUDIO ONE, CLIMAX and GUNSMOKE. In 1957 the composer was given his break into scoring motion pictures when he worked on BLACK PATCH. This led to other assignments including LONELY ARE THE BRAVE in 1960. In 1962 the composer received much critical acclaim for his score to the movie FREUD after which he found himself in demand.


The silver age was a busy period for Goldsmith and arguably this was his most innovative and furtive stage of his career, with scores for films such as, THE BLUE MAX, BANDOLERO, LILLIES OF THE FIELD, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, THE SAND PEBBLES, A PATCH OF BLUE, and his much revered score for THE PLANET OF THE APES. The 1970.s was also a fruitful period with the composer writing the soundtracks to THE OMEN, PATTON, PAPILLION. CHINATOWN, THE WIND AND THE LION, ISLANDS IN THE STREAM and DAMIEN OMEN TWO.



With so many wonderful scores to his credit it is somewhat hard to perceive that the composer won just one Oscar which was for his dark and chilling soundtrack for THE OMEN. Goldsmith continued to be in demand throughout the 1980’s and also into the 1990’s working on movies such as HOOSIERS, GREMLINS, SUPERGIRL, UNDER FIRE, TOTAL RECALL, STAR TREK, BAD GIRLS, THE RIVER WILD, MEDICINE MAN, MULAN, SMALL SOLDIERS, GREMLINS 2, AIR FORCE ONE, FIRST KNIGHT, MALICE, BASIC INSTINCT, RAMBO, INNERSPACE, POLTERGEIST, CONGO and so many more. His last scoring assignment was in 2003 when he wrote the music for LOONEY TOONS BACK IN ACTION. He died on July21st 2004 aged seventy five.




Composer Elmer Bernstein is probably one of the most well known composers of film music of the 20th Century. Bernstein was much in demand throughout his career and penned the themes and scores for numerous movies that are now considered classics. Born in New York in 1922, he studied piano at the Juilliard SchooL of music under the guidance of Henriett of a Michelson. He also began to study composition under the tutelage of Roger Sessions, Israel Citkowitz and Stepan Wolpe. During the second world war, Bernstein served in the American Air force and it whilst there he began to do arrangements for the Glenn Miller Band. Working on these arrangements led Bernstein to writing his own music for radio. After the war Bernstein spent a number of years as a concert pianist, but he decided that this was not musical route he wanted to pursue, he was more interested in composing and also was drawn to the idea of writing for film and television. He scored his first motion picture in 1950 which was a film entitled SATURDAY HERO.



This was followed by BOOTS MALONE in 1951 and then in 1952 SUDDEN FEAR. Between 1952 and 1955 the composer worked on fourteen assignments mostly for movies but also these included documentaries. It was in 1955 that Bernstein got his break into the big time when he was asked to provide the score for THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM which was a film directed by esteemed film maker Otto Preminger. This was Bernstein’s landmark score and he received much acclaim and admiration from his peers for the use of jazz within the soundtrack. The composers next assignment would gain him even more recognition.


In 1956 Cecil B De Mille asked Bernstein to write the score for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, this was a major film score and the composer utilised a large symphony orchestra as well as choir and an array of ethnic instrumentation. After the success of the TEN COMMANDMENTS Bernstein became much in demand and the remainder of the 1950’s proved to be a particularly busy time for the composer. He worked on films such as, THE BUCCANEER, THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, THE TIN STAR, DRANGO, KINGS GO FORTH, GOD’S LITTLE ACRE, MEN IN WAR and provided the TV series JOHNNY STACCATTO with its infectious theme.


As the 1960’s began Bernstein wrote the score for one of cinema’s iconic westerns, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is probably the most well known and recognisable themes for a movie. Bernstein fashioned a theme that was filled with an air of Coplandish flourishes and also composed a score that was overflowing with Americana fused with drama and Latin sounding passages, the result was stunning.


The 1960’s was a buy time for the composer and it was during this period that he wrote so many memorable film scores and penned numerous now classic sounding themes, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE SCALP HUNTERS, THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL, TRUE GRIT, THE SILENCERS, THE CARPETBAGGERS, TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD, WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, KINGS OF THE SUN, WHERE’S JACK and many more. During the 1970’s the composer established his own record label, and in the series of releases FILM MUSIC COLLECTION re-recorded many of the classic scores as written by Steiner, Rosza, Herrmann and Waxman.




As well as this he continued to score movies and worked on SEE NO EVIL, THE AMAZING MR BLUNDEN, McQ, GOLD, ZULU DAWN, CAHILL U.S MARSHAL etc. The 1980’s remained busy as did the 1990’s with Bernstein scoring GHOSTBUSTERS, AIRPLANE, THE THREE AMIGOS, HEAVY METAL, THE BLACK CAULDRON, STRIPES, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE BABE, RAGE UP IN HARLEM, LOST IN YONKERS, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE and THE WILD WILD WEST. He scored his final movie in 2002 which was FAR FROM HEAVEN, the score earning him an Academy Award Nomination for best original score. Elmer Bernstein passed away on August 24th 2004.





A couple of years back I reviewed a score for a Swedish made movie entitled, BERKEBEINERNE which was a soundtrack filled with so many themes and epic sounding passages, the composer Gaute Storaas fashioned an atmospheric and passionately powerful work which left a lasting impression on me. I am pleased to say tht the composer has returned with another commanding and emotively haunting work for HALVDAN VIKING. It is also a work that is crammed full of rich and vibrant thematic material and also one that is inspiringly entertaining.




This is a truly driving and relentlessly moving score, full symphonic and also strings with harpsichord flourishes, woodwind and laden with a richness and wealth of mesmerising themes and tone poems. The composer makes effective and effecting use of the string section throughout the soundtracks running time and augments and bolsters brass that is it self at times underlined and given support by percussion. This is an appealing and attractive work that harkens back to the days of fully symphonic film music, the composer creating lilting and lingering melodies that invade the listeners mind and stay in their sub-conscious. HALVDAN VIKING will probably not get a theatrical release outside of Sweden, which is a shame because from looking at various scenes and also trailers it looks to be a great adventure movie. At the moment it looks as if the music is only available on digital platforms such as Spotify and I Tunes, but hopefully it will get a compact disc release in the not too distant future. The rich and lush sound created by Storaas is mesmerizing and hypnotic the dramatic and elegant thematic content washing over the listener. This is one that I recommend you check out.