The re-emergence of the LP record or vinyl products as opposed to Compact Disc and the digital download has I think been something of a surprise to many, I remember the days when record shops were bursting with thousands of LP records, and spent many a happy hour flicking through so many soundtracks on LP. When the CD arrived it was we all must admit something of a revolution for collectors, because not only did they allow us to cram more onto the disc but also they were not so space consuming as LP records, a CD in jewel case actually takes up the space of 3 LP.s if stacked spine out but then CDS could be stacked on top of each other, thus allowing us to cram more disc’s into a storage unit. But jewel cases shattered and cracked when they were stacked like this. Also because of the size of CD the writing inside needs to be looked at through a magnifying glass to make it legible. I think the first CD I noticed this with was ZULU, the original soundtrack as re-issued by Silva Screen in the UK, which had lots of notes but were so small I struggled to read them. There was just something bout an LP record, the feel of it, the cover, the notes on the back, and also the sound even if there were after a while a few little clicks here and there, which for me just added an even greater warmth to the listening experience. Invariably the majority of us were taken in by the CD mainly because record companies ceased production of the LP. Well most of them anyway. So, with this new interest in vinyl releases I think we at MMI must include a section on LP releases, and this is the first of them.
Being Halloween I thought lets start with a score that has been on many wish lists for years, and one that has recently been issued on vinyl only. So, if you still have your turntable, I recommend that you purchase this classic score from the movie, THE SLAUGHTER OF THE VAMPIRES by Aldo Piga, which is released on the Contempo label in Italy.
Never released before, this is I think the full original soundtrack composed and Conducted by Piga for the 1962 horror movie La Strage Dei Vampiri, which was brought to the screen by director by Roberto Mauri and starred Walter Brandi, Dieter Eppler, Graziella Granata. These complete recordings are remastered from the original Analog tapes. And as I have said are only available on LP at this time.
SLAUGHTER OF THE VAMPIRES.
Here is the track listing.
A1 Seq. 1 (Titoli) A2 Seq. 2 (Drammatico -Tensione) A3 Seq. 3 (Gran Valzer) A4 Seq. 4 (Tema Per Grande Orchestra) A5 Seq. 5 (Tema Per Pianoforte Solo + Sega I Parte) A6 Seq. 6 (Valzer Per Grande Orchestra)
B1 Seq. 7 (Tema Per Pianoforte Solo) B2 Seq. 8 (Tema Per Grande Orchestra) B3 Seq. 9 (Introduzione + Gran Valzer) B4 Seq. 10 (Tensione + Drammatico) B5 Seq. 11 (Tema Per Pianoforte Solo + Sega II Parte) B6 Seq. 12 (Titoli)
For a recording from the 1960’s this is wonderfully clear and certainly highly desirable for any connoisseur of Italian film music from this period. It had a limited press run and I am not sure if this is now still available from the label site. But there are a handful of copies being sold on the likes of E.BAY for very reasonable prices, these ranging from ten pounds up to over Twenty. It seems to be the trend of late to release a vinyl version of a soundtrack, or to also release a soundtrack from an older movie, that has classic status amongst fans. The are released as double albums at times and with an array of colours being displayed on the LP.s. Most of the releases seem to generate from the Horror genre, but this is understandable as many of the scores released on vinyl now, did not have a release when the films were in the cinema and have had either just a CD or digital issue.
So, to a advertised release of film music that is coming in January 2021, which is a double album set, and contains a selection of music by Brian Eno. FILM MUSIC 1976-2020, it is a varied collection of themes and compositions taken from both film and TV and does include his haunting PROPHECY THEME from DUNE. It is a collection that looks stunning to be honest, and one which I think could sell out very quickly, and therefore they are taking orders now.
This is the track listing that has been announced.
LP1 A1. Top Boy ( Theme ) ( 2:30 ) from Top Boy – Season 1 * A2. Ship in a Bottle ( 2:43 ) from The Lovely Bones * A3. Blood Red ( 3:15 ) from Francis Bacon’s Arena * A4. Under ( 5:20 ) from Cool World A5. Decline And Fall ( 3:35 ) from O Nome da Morte * B1. Prophecy Theme ( 4:22 ) from Dune B2. Reasonable Question ( 2:41 ) from We Are As Gods * B3. Late Evening in Jersey ( 4:38 ) from Heat B4. Beach Sequence ( 3:32 ) from Beyond The Clouds
LP2 C1. You Don’t Miss Your Water ( 3:46 ) from Married to the Mob C2. Deep Blue Day ( 3:59 ) from Trainspotting C3. The Sombre ( 4:28 ) from Top Boy Season 2 * C4. Dover Beach ( 4:45 ) from Jubilee D1. Design as Reduction ( 4:19 ) from RAMS D2. Undersea Steps ( 4:06 ) from Natural World – Hammerhead * D3. Final Sunset ( 4:11 ) from Sebastiane D4. An Ending ( Ascent ) ( 4:24 ) from For All Mankind
( * ) Previously Unreleased
This line up is the same as the digital release, a selection of tracks which were made available at the beginning of October 2020. So, if Brian Eno is an unknown quantity to you, then you can check out selected items from the recording on digital platforms, before deciding to purchase the vinyl set. For me it is a no-brainer, and I will be ordering mine as soon as this article is posted. Eno’s music is affecting, and it is also music that kind of invades any listeners mind, it is subtly coloured and textured, with themes that seem to appear as from nowhere, with the composer then developing them to create at times dramatic or delicate soundscapes.
It’s been a long time since I recommended a book, not a novel, but a book about a film, a collection of films, film music or a specific film music composer. So here are a handful of titles that I think you might enjoy. Starting with a book written in 2018, SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES is the title of a radio show that goes out every Saturday evening in the UK on Classic FM, I am in no way a fan of this particular show, as its presenter does waffle a lot and will continue to play cover versions of film soundtracks, which is just so annoying.
The book takes its title from the show and is written by Jennifer Nelson, published by? Yep you guessed it Classic FM, It’s a book that looks at the extraordinary partnerships behind cinema’s greatest scores. Well that is what is says on the cover at least, so we have Burwell and the Coen’s, Doyle and Branagh, Elfman and Burton, Giacchino and Abrahams, Herrmann and Hitchcock, Jarre and Lean, Horner and Cameron, Newman and Mendes, Shore and Jackson, Silvestri and Zemeckis, Williams and Spielberg, and Zimmer and Nolan. Umm are these the greatest partnerships, well apart from the three obvious pairings of Williams and Spielberg. Jarre and Lean, and Herrmann and Hitchcock, I don’t think these are the greatest collaborations, they are good collaborations yes, but maybe the author should have taken a look at Morricone and Leone, or even Barry and Forbes, or at least touched upon these. The book itself is an easy read, nothing too technical but after a while I felt that I could have saved my £17-00 sterling, and gone online to Wikipedia, and probably got more info there. Its also rather lacking in the photo department, an ok read but nothing to shout about, like I say click on Wikipedia.
Magazines have always been an essential part of garnering news about movies and also film music, sadly many film music magazines fall by the wayside, and since the glory days of SOUNDTRACK and MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES and the fanzine LEGEND,
I feel there is a definite gap in the market, however if you are into your horror films and I mean classic Horrors, from Hammer, Amicus, Tyburn, Tigon and American international pictures to name but a few, there is really only one publication that I think is worthy of a mention, (no e mails please this is after all a personal opinion).
WE BELONGDEAD is a glossy magazine, that is literally brimming with a veritable plethora of information, reviews, and in depth analysis of the genre, from movies such as DANCE OF THEVAMPIRES to the likes of the BBC production of DRACULA and beyond, it is all things horror and much more. I will say that I do contribute sometimes, but even if I did not, I would be making sure that this publication came through my letter box every month or so. It is a highly professional publication, and overflowing with great artwork, some of which is created especially for the magazine and their books, well worth checking out.
The other week I managed to get hold of a book which has at its subject matter the art of the Italian western.
ULTRA WILD WEST is a fantastically colourful publication, the publication is edited by Joe Westwood, who has put together some of the most stunning Italian western film posters, published in 2018, there are still a few copies around, and if you are a fan of the vibrant art work that we associate with the Spaghetti western genre then this will be a must have purchase for you, its 128 pages of the most appealing and eye arresting art work ever produced for the cinema or too promote movies. There is very little text apart from a brief foreword and the titles of the films that the artwork is from, which for me is just the right formula and presentation, because after all its all about the illustrations.
This year we lost a genius of film music Ennio Morricone, shortly before his passing, there were a few books published about the Maestro, LIFE NOTES and IN HIS OWN WORDS being the two I consider to be the best, there was a third that I have to say is something that any Morricone fan would treasure which is ENNIO MORRICONE THE MASTER OF THE SOUNDTRACK .
Written and compiled by Maurizio Baroni and published by Gingko Press, this is a labour of love and a comprehensive guide to the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, by a super fan and collectors, within its pages there are pictures of every Morricone soundtrack released, alongside photos of cue sheets, manuscripts, and Morricone at work, it is a decade by decade listing of everything that Morricone wrote for film, and an essential addition to any film music connoisseurs collection.
Yes, it has a high price tag of around £50.00, but it is worth every single penny.
Staying with an Italian film music theme, in 2006 FROM BEAT TO BEAT was published, this is the memoirs of THE MAN WITH THE HARMONICA, Franco De Gemini, and tells us about the experiences of this underatted performer and composer in his forty year career.
The book is a really interesting read, and it will if you do not already know, open your eyes to just how much that De Gemini contributed to Italian film music, not just as a harmonica player but also in the composing of many scores and also the setting up and the continued success of the BEAT record label. As I say it was published in 2006, but there are a few copies around on various sites. I did have the pleasure of meeting De Gemini in Rome, and he was the most courteous, welcoming, and wonderfully funny man. He died in July 2013, but the record label BEAT continues to be successful under the guidance of his Sons.
One book that I am surprised is still around on various selling sites is the 1975 publication, ITALIAN WESTERN THE OPERA OF VIOLENCE, written by Laurence Staig and Tony Williams this was for me for many years like the Bible of the history of the Italian western, it was after all the first book written on the subject, and for me probably still the finest, ok yes there are flaws, but this is what makes it even more appealing. It was a genre at that time that little was known about, and although he music for these productions was popular not many knew who Gianni Ferrio was or Luis Enriquez Bacalov, or even Bruno Nicolai. Staig and Williams put this right, by including mini biographies of a number of Maestro’s towards the end of the book, but if you are into Italian westerns and you have not yet seen this it is about time you did. It is a book I still now turn to, not for research but just for the enjoyment of reading and also to stir up a little nostalgia of those early days. Published by Lorrimer Press, this is something you should own.
So its time for another soundtrack supplement, there have been so many good soundtrack releases recently that its like soundtrack supplement is a weekly thing now instead of an occasional feature which was the original idea, this is however a positive thing in these strange and uncertain times, in soundtrack supplement twenty four I focused upon Halloween and some spooky spidery and sinewy sounding scores that I thought would suit the mood for all hallows eve celebrations, but in this latest edition of soundtrack supplement there are a few scores that would also suit the dark mood of this coming weekend.
Starting with the HULU original movie BAD HAIR, the score is by Kris Bowers, (DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, WHEN THEY SEE US) with additional music and vocal performances by Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child and Justin Simien, and although I understand that the songs are an essential part of the soundtrack and have an important part in creating the atmosphere of the storyline, it is the actual musical score that I am concentrating upon here, Kris Bowers has created a soundtrack that I would say is highly inventive, positively charged and more than suitably unnerving and all the time has to it a vibrant and innovative persona. The composers use of creepy and unsettling strings that he combines with voices and half heard sounds in some of the cues is masterly and in no doubt effective. There is an underlying atmosphere of virulence present throughout the work, at times the music seems to leap out at the listener and try to grab them, Yes. It’s that effective, totally absorbing and gripping in the way it invites the listener in and then alters in a milli second from something strangely alluring to a musical entity that is urgent and terrifying. The way in which the composer orchestrates and presents the score is at times very reminiscent of the style that Jerry Goldsmith employed in the more apprehensive or brooding parts of his OMEN scores, the sinewy sounding strings being present throughout, but never really erupting fully into a full blown action cue or dramatic pace, they just lay there waiting, weaving a web of charmingly dark passages which successfully conjure up a feeling of foreboding remaining ominously effective in creating a mysterious and shadowy aura. There is also a mischievous air surrounding the score which we get glimpses of every now and then. BAD HAIR is a score I think I will be listening to a lot and maybe including it in a session with other scores such as US, BERSERK and PROXIMITY. All have a sound and style that is extremely dramatic and at the same time are hauntingly attractive. BAD HAIR is an interesting score and one that I am confident that you will enjoy. Years ago many film music fans would complain thet there were never enough horror film scores released, which was true, music from horror films I think film studios and record companies saw as an unsellable quantity. But they obviously were not listening to the fans. However, in recent years the horror score seems to have come into its own, and most scores from horror movies get a release, sometimes this release is just digitally but there are also a number that have been issued onto compact disc.
THE CALL is a film that surprisingly was released in theatres in the United States, I say surprisingly because it was not exactly gripping, edge of the seat or Oscar material, a low budget movie where the extent of the budget did kind of show, The score though is I have to say an effective one, music is by Samuel Joseph Smythe, and has a sound and style to it thet sound very evocative of the sound of composer Christopher Young, ok it may not be as grandiose or even as developed as the work of Young, but it has its moments, Smythe worked as a score programmer on THE UNINVITED and also on DRAG ME TO HELL, so maybe this is where he gets his influences from. THE CALL has a score that is powerfully robust and also one that although at times atonal remains thematic and has eerie sounding voice like performances which raise their head at intervals sounding like they are out of an Italian Giallo or horror from the sixties, this brooding and fearsome score also contains a handful of quieter moments, that are laced with a persona that could be Herrmann at times. The composer makes excellent use of strings, and low dark sounding synths, creating a chilling and rather uneasy atmosphere. I do not mean this in any way badly nor am I casting a negative upon this work, but it does at times move into a style that personally associate with 1980’s horror films, by this I mean it is predominantly electronically realised with symphonic parts being brought in to either enhance or support the synthetics. Either way this is a score that I would recommend that you check out.
ANJA is an Italian drama/mystery and focuses upon a young man who is searching for his girlfriend who has disappeared. He finds himself caught up in events that take place in a single night of intrigue, where he soon learns that he can trust nobody. The subdued but effectual score is by Silvia Nair, who is a multitalented musician, composer and vocalist. She originally studied law and graduated but decided to leave that career behind to dedicate herself to music. Her score for ANJA is as I say a subdued sounding affair, but also one that contains some wonderfully atmospheric pieces, it is I think more new age sounding than what many perceive as film music, but it is effectively utilised within the movie, adding touches of melancholy and also underlining various key moments within the storyline. She has produced an interesting and enjoyable soundtrack.
EVE has a soundtrack by Oblivion Bell and Tony Dundas, it is a synth led work, and includes piano solos in places, it is a score that I feel works well for the movie, and also has moments that can be interesting away from the images, there was I felt a gentle nod towards Francis Monkman’s work on THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY in the cue A NIGHT OUT, it is a smouldering and at times sparingly utilised work, the composers creating layers of sound rather than themes, maybe check it out on digital platforms.
THE ARTISTS WIFE is the latest movie starring Bruce Dern who plays a renowned artist Richard Smythson, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Claire Smythson, his wife portrayed by Lena Olin finds herself plunged into a late-life crisis when her husband is diagnosed with the disease and is in danger of not completing the paintings for his final show. The emotive score is by composer Jeff Grace, and it is a soundtrack that you most definitely should own, this is a poignant score filled with beautiful pieces and also containing a modern sound, which compliments and underlines the more thematic passages within the work. If you associate composer Grace with horror or thrillers, then this will change your perception of this obviously talented composer. A wonderful score.
THE WITCHES is a well known story by author Roald Dahl, it was of course made into a movie in 1990, but Hollywood in the form of veteran director Robert Zemeckis has seen fit to give it a bit of a makeover and reimagine it for modern cinema audiences young and old. It tells the darkly humorous but heart-warming story of a young-orphaned boy who, in latter part of 1967, goes to live with his Grandmother in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she decides to take him out of harm’s way to a seaside resort. But their timing is a little unfortunate, because they arrive at the same time as the world’s Grand High Witch has gathered her merry band of spell casters from around the globe who are disguised to carry out her contemptable plans. Director, Zemeckis collaborates with an impressive team of filmmakers, including Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Kenya Barris. The cast includes impressive performances from Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth and the voice over talent of Chris Rock, with newcomer Jahzir Kadeen Bruno as the young hero. Music is by tried and trusted Maestro Alan Silvestri, and on initial listens to the score, I think it is Silvestri back on top form again. He is after all an A lister, and a composer who most of us have at one time or another come across. His score for THE WITCHES is typical Silvestri, grand, dramatic, lush, and robustly vibrant, filled with action cues, but also containing affecting musical poems that weave their way in and out of the soundtrack, establishing a luscious style that is immediately attractive. You must add this to the collection ASAP or be turned into something unspeakable. Recommended.
From WITCHES to UP-SIDE DOWN MAGIC, which is a Disney TV movie, the gorgeous score is the brilliant work of composer Tom Howe, it is fully symphonic and beautifully crafted, lush and grandiose, this is a mischievous and cheeky sounding work in places, but essentially is I have to say a great score, it evokes the sound of Horner, Broughton, Debney, Silvestri, and Goldsmith in the more up tempo scores and action material, such as the near eleven minute cue, SHADOW MAGIC SHOWDOWN and has to it the engaging and eloquent style of Desplat in places, and no I am in no way exaggerating. This is an essential purchase, a must have. There is an abundance of thematic material within the score, its one great theme after another, driving, romantic, gracious, and mystical. It is a soundtrack that mystifies, and haunts with each and every composition, listen to it once and you will want to listen again and again. And it comes from a composer who created the music for a TV show called THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF and also scored SHAWN THE SHEEP. UP-SIDE MAGIC, is BRILLIANT, go and get it now.
Another delightful and energetic soundtrack is from the movie FOUR KIDS AND IT, which has been showing on SKY movies recently, the music is by Anne Nikitin, who has had an incredibly industrious time lately. Have to admit I enjoyed the film a lot, maybe too much for a big kid but hey! The music played a big part in creating wonderful atmospheres and moods for the production. It’s a score that is just a pleasure to listen to away from the movie, but when one is watching the film the music just carries the action and storyline along giving it weight and also adding entertainment value to the proceedings. Available on digital platforms, so go take a listen and whilst you are there why not also listen to LITTLE BIRDS, THE PALE HORSE, SULPHUR AND WHITE and THE TRIAL OF RATKO MLADIC all by Nikitin.
In a quiet town in the rural Midwest, (well that’s me hooked straight away). A former police officer decides to take it upon himself to continue investigating the disappearance of a young girl despite the case going cold. Whilst looking into the disappearance, he stumbles upon a group of young guys that he suspects may be harbouring a secret that entails sinister and supernatural connotations. As he delves deeper into the case he gets involved with the group, and as he starts to piece things together, he begins to realise that they have connections to the girls disappearance. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R. DelRey, THE EMPTY MAN, was written and directed by David Prior.
With an atmospheric score by composer Christopher Young and additional material provided by Lustmord, this is classic Young, sinister, harrowing and unnerving, the composer at times utilising otherworldly and inventive sounds that to be quite honest are freakish and chilling, and I mean spine tingling chilling, it’s a totally engrossing work and one that literally scares the hell out of you. My advice, if you are a fan of Christopher Young you will adore this, if you have yet to experience his music, 1) Really! where have you been and (2). Do not listen on headphones, or in the dark or in the house alone, and especially not on Halloween, recommended.
Other scores released include, OVER THE MOON from the Netflix series music courtesy of Steven Price who has fashioned an epic sounding work for the animated series, the soundtrack recording includes eleven magnificent symphonic cues from the composer and also features songs from the soundtrack, which to fair are very good indeed, This is an enchanting work and one that deserves more than a fleeting listen.
Staying with animation and PETIT VAMPIRE, music is by composer Olivier Daviaud, again this is fully symphonic and filled to overflowing with exciting, comedic and romantic sounding pieces, strings, brass and percussion feature predominantly, and for me it was like a breath of fresh air listening to the compelling and inventive work. Right from the opening cue it is a score that you just must continue to listen to, anticipating what will come next, but not wanting to skip forward. Again, it’s a soundtrack for your collection and once heard you will be returning to it so many times.
Composer Eric Neveux has been busy this year. I think I am correct when I say he has scored four movies thus far. SAM SAM, INHUMAN RESOURCES, QU’UN SANG INPUR and the one I include here POLY. Which is a family movie about a Shetland pony in the south of France. It is a touching score with lots of delicate and fragile sounding themes and filled with haunting themes and emotional interludes. Strings and piano are the mainstays of the score, with subtle woods and brass supporting and there are performances from solo guitar. It is a nice work, with themes that are easy on the ear. Poignant and emotive, recommended.
Back to a Netflix series and to a dramatic and smouldering score for THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, which is the work of composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, I cannot recommend this enough, it has virtually everything, high drama, fast paced action material, lush themes, mysterious passages and a sense of the apprehensive and the romantic. A mainly symphonic work with scatterings of electronic support this is a score that for me entertained and intrigued, the array of atmospheres and moods it purveys is astounding. It is a large-scale work by the sound of things, the composer developing and expanding upon themes as the score progresses. I am sure that you will fall in love with this soundtrack, its lilting and haunting tone poems as well as its action led or downbeat and brooding dramatic interludes are affecting and polished. Highly recommended. Check out the composers other scores such as GODLESS, and A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, as these too areare essential purchases.
Other scores wort checking on are THE MOTHMAN LEGACY by Brandon Dalo, NO MATARAS by Fedrerico Jusid and Adrian Foulkes, REBECCA by Clint Mansell, and THE TURNING POINT by Adam Peters.
I just thought I would clear up things about me and musicals, well I like most do like a good musical, and was brought up on the likes of MY FAIR LADY, OKLAHOMA, THE KING AND I, etc. So, I just wanted to say I do like musicals but I prefer film scores, which got me to thinking maybe a feature every so often on musicals or a musical. Its another section of film music in some cases as the movies often have scores as well as songs, so like soundtrack supplement, I am going to post maybe once a month something on shows, musical films etc. Starting with a handful of musicals that I have to admit I often turn to when I need a little bit of cheering up and also when I am feeling nostalgic.
There are a number of partnerships when it comes to musicals as in lyricists and composers of music, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Lloyd Webber and Rice, Sondheim, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Brock and Harnick, the list is really endless. I think my memories of musicals were mainly from Hollywood, in films such as AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, SINGING IN THE RAIN, CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC etc, big titles all iconic. In later years films such as THE SOUND OF MUSIC, PAINT YOUR WAGON, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, OLIVER and others became LP.s that I added to my collection . So, it is in this era the 1960’s mainly that I begin with OLIVER which has to be my favourite of them all,
I remember seeing the movie when I was around thirteen, and shortly afterwards was admitted to hospital for an operation to remove my appendix, things did not go well and I ended up with an infection and a stay of six weeks four of which were in isolation. When I eventually got home I was given the soundtrack from OLIVER which was a gatefold album on the RCA red seal label,
I literally played it all day and the song WHO WILL BUY soon became my most played, I loved the song but also listened intently to the background score, the music, I think even then I realised that even musicals had incidental scores for moments of drama etc when there were no musical numbers being performed. The LP which I still have was later replaced with the CD and it’s been a soundtrack that I have listened to off and on for the past 42 years.
I did not realise then that the man behind the musical numbers and the actual stage show which I had not seen was born into a Jewish family, Lionel Begletier was the youngest of seven children who were brought up in Stepney in the East End of London, His Father was a tailor. Lionel Bart as he was to become known as received no real formal musical education apart from a few violin lessons, but he soon became disinterested in these and his Mother very quickly literally threw out the violin he was practicing upon.
However because of the young Lionel’s interest and aptitude for music his teacher declared that he was a genius and at the age of sixteen he won a scholarship to St Martins school of art and began to be involved not just in music but in set decoration painting sets for plays etc. Whilst at the school he saw a notice advertising for song writers and it was this decision to make a career change that altered his life forever, it was during this period that he also decided to change his surname name to Bart, apparently this was inspired by a bus journey that took the young lyricist and composer past ST BARTHOLOMEWS church every day, the Church which was known by locals as St Bart’s attracted Lionel’s attention and he decided to become Lionel Bart. Bart’s first foray into writing a musical came in 1958 when he came up with WALLY PONE OF SOHO, this was not that successful and although it did attract some attention it was not a runaway hit for Bart. It was at this time in his career that he began to write songs for a number of British rock and roll artists of the day, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele among them. Many of these such as LITTLE WHITE BULL, ROCK WITH THE CAVEMAN, LIVING DOLL were to become iconic and enduring favourites worldwide. The latter reaching number one in the hit parade of 1959 and staying there for six weeks. His first success in the world of musicals came in 1958/59 with FINGS AI’NT WOT THEY USED TO BE and after this he teamed up with composer Laurie Johnson to bring LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS TO London’s West End. It was also at this time that Bart began to develop more fully an idea he had for a musical which was based upon a classic tale written by Charles Dickens, OLIVER which Bart decided to set to music after seeing the David Lean film version of the story eventually came to the stage in the June of 1960, this was after numerous promoters and companies turned it down, resulting in Bart financing the production himself. Bart was convinced that the show would be a flop and apparently did not stay in the theatre on the first night instead taking himself off elsewhere with actress Barbara Windsor only to return at the end of the musical to receive no less than sixteen curtain calls, and soon the show had advance sales of 30,000 in its first week. Because of the success of OLIVER Bart began work on another musical but this was not successful, and sadly he sold off the rights for OLIVER to finance his new project.
Things never really got better for Bart although he was involved on various projects that had mild success. But nothing that ever really rivalled the interest that was generated by OLIVER. It is for me the ultimate musical story, and yes since those early days I have seen it on stage, and the theatre experience although different was just as affecting as seeing the movie version, in fact maybe more so. There are so many songs and musical numbers within the show or film adaptation that it’s very hard to not like it.
From the lilting and sentimental WHERE IS LOVE? to the big production on both WHO WILL BUY and CONSIDER YOURSELF, the raucous IT’S A FINE LIFE and OOM PAH PAH and the heart-breaking AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME plus the songs performed by the Fagin character as in YOU GOT TO PICK A POCKET OR TWO, REVIEWING THE SITUATION and lets not forget, BE BACK SOON, I’D DO ANYTHING, FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD, OLIVER! and BOY FOR SALE, I think that covers about everything. OLIVER is a musical fan’s dream it is overflowing with catchy songs and glorious music. It is in short, a classic and a feelgood totally uplifting experience.
Ron Moody who played Fagin in the movie version of OLIVER and the 1983 Broadway revival of the musical was an English actor, singer, composer and writer. Moody earned a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for the film, as well as a Tony Award nomination for the stage production. Other notable projects include The Mouse on the Moon, Mel Brooks’s THE TWELVE CHAIRS, and FLIGHT OF THE DOVES, in which he was re-united with OLIVER co-star Jack Wild.
The character of Nancy in the film adaptation of the musical was played by Shani Wallis who is a British actress and singer, she worked in theatre, film, and television in both the United Kingdom and in the States. She was a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and it is true to say that she is perhaps best known for her roles in the West End, and predominately for the role of Nancy in the film OLIVER.
Oliver Reed, attained something of a bad boy reputation, the English born actor was known for his upper-middle class, macho image and “hellraiser” lifestyle. He was much in demand as an actor and starred in numerous movies the most notable being, THE TRAP,CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, CASTAWAY,WOMEN IN LOVE, HANNIBAL BROOKS, THE DEVILS,THE THREE MUSKETEERS,TOMMY, THE BROOD, LION OF THE DESERT. THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, FUNNY BONES and GLADIATOR Which was one of his last appearances on screen before his death, he portrayed the Bill Sykes character in OLIVER under the direction of his Father Carol Reed.
Mark Lester is an English former child actor who starred in a number of British and European films in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1968 he played the title role in the film adaptation of OLIVER.
Lester also made several appearances in a number of British television series and was co-star in the movie RUN WILD RUN FREE. In 1977, after appearing in the action adventure film The Prince and the Pauper, he decided to retire from his acting career. And in the 1980s, he trained as an osteopath specialising in sport injuries.
Jack Wild, was an English actor and singer, probably best known for his debut role as the Artful Dodger in OLIVER for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. Wild is also known for his roles as Jimmy in the NBC children’s television series H.R. Pufnstuf (1969) and in the accompanying 1970 feature film as well as Much the Miller’s Son in ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991).
Sir Harry Secombe had a varied career as a singer, actor, and comedian, he was one of the Goons alongside Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, playing many characters but most associated with Neddy Seagoon. Sir Harry Donald Secombe CBE was born in Wales and was an accomplished tenor, he also appeared in musicals and films –and portrayed the character of Mr Bumble in the film version of OLIVER. In his later years he was a presenter of television shows incorporating hymns and other devotional songs.
Peggy Mount also featured in the big screen version of OLIVER, in the role of Mrs Bumble, Margaret Rose Mount OBE was an English actress. As a child she found acting an escape from an unhappy home life. After playing in amateur productions, she was taken on by a repertory company and spent nine years in various British towns, learning her craft. In 1955 she got her big break in the comic play SAILOR BEWARE!: she created the leading role in a repertory production and, though unknown to London audiences, was given the part when the play was presented in the West End. She became known for playing domineering middle-aged women in plays, films and popular television shows from the 1960’s.
John Waldo Green (Johnny Green) was an American songwriter, composer, musical arranger, conductor, and pianist. His most famous song was one of his earliest, “Body and Soul” from the revue, Three’s A Crowd. Green won four Academy Awards for his film scores and a fifth for producing a short musical film, and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. He was also honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was musical director on OLIVER and provided additional music cues and score.
Ever had a conversation that went something like this?
“So, you collect film music”? Yes, I do, “Oh that’s great I love the SOUND OF MUSIC AND MARY POPPINS and INTO THE WOODS is awesome don’t you think”? Ummm, well, that’s not exactly what I mean by film music. “Oh you mean SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and THE KING AND I then”? Yep that’s it spot, on well I must go. (exit stage right rapidly, dancing and singing One Day More). Not that there is anything wrong with any of those films, but I think you know what I mean.
Yes, people who do not listen to film music have no idea what it is do they? Do I get annoyed/ no not really, I feel sorry for them more often than not because they have not experienced this wonderful art form. I thought I would take a different approach to soundtrack supplement twenty five, and ask a few fellow collectors what they thought were soundtracks that maybe influenced them and guided them to the path that led them to being a collector of film scores, and what is it about film music that holds the attraction?
I’ll start, shall I?
John Mansell U.K.
“The score that took me on a journey through film music that has lasted for 58 years so far, was LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (I first encountered it when I was 7). It was and still is romantic, mysterious and dramatic, I loved it. Why? I suppose it is the element of escapism, which is something that we need even more in these strange times. Jarre’s score just allows me to drift away and also recall better times. I hope for a few more years to continue this journey and discover more scores that will delight and mesmerise”.
Over to you then.
SERGEJ KAROV, Croatia.
“There were three of them, Maurice Jarre’s THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN, TOO LATE THE HERO by Gerald Fried and Jerry Fielding’s THE WILD BUNCH, they were all unavailable at the time, and I was rewinding VHS tapes to listen to the music again and again, Also another was Ron Goodwin’s WHERE EAGLES DARE, I ruined many VHS tapes in those days. The films were all recorded from the TV if it was an original VHS I was more careful”.
STEPHEN SMITH, Scotland.
“Well it’s a boring one for me, but the first time I fell fully in love with a score was, STAR WARS, how many folk will say that? But collecting wise, there were a few, Morricone’s FRANTIC, Kamen’s BRAZIL and DEAD ZONE, but FRANTIC more than anything”.
MARS MISIK, Turkey.
“If I remember well, firstly I had been enchanted by Dr ZHIVAGO when I was just nine years of age. Then it was Louis De Feunes classic GENDARME A ST TROPEZ and DOULIOU, DOULIOU by Raymond Lefevre. As for the actual collecting of soundtracks, as you well know I am not a good collector, but firstly I started to collect them after compact discs were available, Beginning with Morricone soundtracks”.
PHILIPPE BRAUD, France.
“I am 58 years old. My first crush for a score goes back to 1975 at the age of 13 with the LP “The towering inferno”. I live in Bordeaux, so a province of Paris. At that time it was very difficult to access film music. But the big shock was my second LP “The Omen” by Jerry Goldsmith. I came across this LP by chance in a second-hand store. First LP (Tattoo records) pressed in the USA. From that moment on, I got into film music and never came out of it again. It was Jerry Goldsmith who gave me the most thrills with these works. My favourite composers are : Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, then for France, Philippe Sarde, Georges Delerue, Michel Legrand.
I can no longer do without it. Film music does me a lot of good, even when I’m in bad mood or bad spirits. It allows me to escape and not think about anything. And I need that every day”.
ERIK WOODS, Canada.
“The quick answer would be, RETURN OF THE JEDI, I was 7 yrs old. Then I knew I wanted all the albums when I heard Kunzel’s GREAT FANTASY ADVENTURE album when I was in high school, I was around 14 or 15 then”.
TIM BURDEN, Ireland.
“Big Question, I suppose it would have to predictably be STAR WARS. The 1993 box set paved the way for my collection”.
BRENDON KELLY, U.K.
“I was blown away by John Williams’s Superman score when my parents took me to the cinema in April 1979. I was 8. It was then that I really started to notice music in films and as I got older realised that the ‘big’ music I was interested in was by the same composer. So, I started collected everything I could get my hands by John Williams starting with Return of the Jedi in 1984 – that’s when I started collecting. A year or two later I did a blind buy, and that one score started my passion for my very favourite composer – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan by James Horner.
Superman is still my favourite score”
DONNA JOAN LACKLUSTER. Ireland.
“This goes way back to the early 80’s, when we were taping music from the TV! We did not buy records before 1985/1986. I think my sister and I; we got the bug from watching and listening to whatever was on repeat on TV. The spooky b/w Sherlock Holmes serials by Frank Skinner, The Invisible Man by Henry Mancini, Buck Rogers by Stu Phillips, Streets of San Francisco by Patrick Williams – also his music for The Magician. Later on, The Fog by John Carpenter and Future world by Fred Karlin. Also, Tarantula. I think we spent two or three years without even touching Goldsmith, Williams or Barry. So, our first soundtrack records were Return of the Jedi and A View to A Kill, we got both on Christmas 1985. From then on, we gradually started collecting, of course. But the appetite developed a couple of years before that”.
TIMOTHY FIFE. U.S.A.
“When I was a kid the Flash Gordon soundtrack made soundtracks pretty accessible. When I was in college the Virgin Suicide score by Air and the Vampyros Lesbos soundtrack were pretty important to me realizing I really appreciated the genre. After watching Tenebre and getting into Italian films I started to become a serious collector. This was before the reissues and you could still find originals at a reasonable price”.
GERMAN BARON BORRAS. Spain.
“Since I was a kid, back in the seventies…I started with TV series, and in the theatre with STAR WARS, but my all time favourite score is EL CID”.
RANDALL D. LARSON, U.S.A.
“Easy; ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. That’s the one that opened my eyes (and ears) to the power of film music and started my journey as a collector and a connoisseur of film music”.
PETR KOCANDA. Czech Republic.
“ALIENS, then later JURASSIC PARK”.
GREGORY WOODWARD. U.K.
“When I saw BEN HUR and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS as a kid, I had to have the soundtracks”.
So, we can see that film music is a global thing, and everyone is different in their taste of film music, favourite film music composers etc. The first buys or soundtracks that led people to start collecting and appreciating film music are varied, but there again so is film music itself. Onto soundtrack supplement twenty-five, and afterwards more from the collectors on wat started them off into the world of film music.
As I said my first soundtrack was LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, it was a score that for me just connected, I don’t know why as it certainly was not the first movie that I had seen, the sweeping theme, the mysterious sounds and the grand style that Maurice Jarre employed, was stunning and still today has the same effect upon me when I see the movie. I get goosebumps, and even become emotional, and this is nearly sixty years after first seeing the film and experiencing the same emotions as a seven-year-old. But, don’t you find that a lot of movie music does this it has the effect of reducing us to emotional wrecks at times, I was listening to THE DA VINCI CODE the other day, and the cue CHEVALIERS DE SANGREAL completely floored me emotionally, it’s weird because it’s not like I have never heard this piece, suppose its about how one is feeling on the day or at the time when you are listening to a particular piece of music. Hans Zimmer’s gradually building theme, just keeps coming, keeps building and gets right to the heart and the soul of any listener. Well this one specifically, the music flowed became grander and then in came the choir and the tears flowed. Damn you Hans, but thankyou at the same time. So in soundtrack twenty five let’s look at scores that hit the emotions, take no prisoners, reduce us to gibbering and shaking wrecks and make even the hardest of the hard wipe away a tear, and also scores that inspire and stir something inside. A soundtrack I came late too was THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, now this in no way qualifies for anything that resembles heartfelt or emotional or romantic, but it does however stir other emotions and for me sends shivers up my spine, I think its because I never listened to this score when it first came out, I had basically had it with the whole superhero thing, and thought Oh Yeah it’s a Batman movie. But how wrong was I! after watching the movie on TV I sat and just reflected on the images, the darkness of the characters and the superb way in which the film was directed and scored.
The cue LIKE A DOG CHASING CARS is for me the highlight of the score, music of course credited to both Zimmer and Newton Howard, but I think we can safely say that this is down to Zimmer, it’s a builder of a cue, the composer layering and adding elements to slowly but dramatically cultivate an atmosphere that is thick with a sense of the foreboding but at the same time there are musical sounds and a style that says that this is music for the good guy, it enhances the action, gradually gathering momentum until the percussive components that are utilised become uncontrollable and usher in the driving strings and the tense sounding brass, it’s a great piece of scoring and has to it an almost Wagnerian sound about it, it is bold and grandiose, operatic, sinister, apprehensive and total consuming. The composition taking on more and more instrumentation as it continues to propel headlong all the time adding tension and excitement to the proceedings. The score as a whole is a shadowy and brooding one, but look at the movie, Neil Hefti would be a little out of place here and totally out of his depth too. The score is like a saucepan filled with water that is threatening to boil over on the hob, it ebbs flows, simmers, builds and withdraws but all the time maintaining a heady and fearsome musical persona, which is effective in the film and affecting when listened too away from the images. Whatever you do don’t listen to it on a long car journey, or you could end up becoming the Dark Knight weaving in and out of the traffic and trying to avoid capture by the law. It’s funny that certain film scores do have this effect, take CONAN THE BARBARIAN, if I put the THE RIDDLE OF STEEL/RIDERS OFDOOM on, everyone in my house goes out. It certainly is energetic to say the least, so if you like me missed or by passed THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, please give it another chance, it is well worth it.
As I mentioned CONAN THE BARBARIAN we might as well go there, it would be rude not too. I am of course referring to the classic score by the greatly missed Basil Poledouris, and not the later soundtrack by Tyler Bates, (why did I even mention that?) The score by Poledouris purveys a plethora of emotions, the music is epic, grandiose, action led, romantic, mysterious, well its just brilliant. I remember when I first got the LP on Milan records, the cover art blew me away and the score, well awesome is not description enough of this now iconic soundtrack. The thundering percussion, Carl Orff styled choral passages, dramatic and rasping brass flourishes and the driving but at the same time romantic strings all came together to create a score which is still now in my top ten soundtracks of all time. It’s a work that contains so many themes, so many haunting compositions and so many pieces of music that it is hard to take in that these all are from the one score.
Tracks such as THEOLOGY/CIVILISATION and ORPHANS OF DOOM/THE AWAKENING are filled with a romantic air, but also have to them a slightly menacing aura, the composer turning to the string section and woods with brass to convey the emotions of hope, the unknown and the final triumph of good over evil. Then there is the cue WIFEING or THE LOVE THEME, it is tender, touching, and over ally affecting, when listening to the track as just music it is one of those shudder moments in film music again, goosebumps galore and hairs standing on end. It is raw emotion and filled with a gloriously melodic theme, that undulates and builds till it arrives at its gloriously rich and romantic crescendo. CONAN THE BARBARIAN is probably one of the finest film scores ever written. On the subject of Basil Poledouris, it would be re-miss not to mention his rousing score for FLESH AND BLOOD, also his work on CHERRY 2000 is more than worthy of mention, an lets not forget, QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER, FAREWELL TO THE KING, RED DAWN, STARSHIP TROOPERS and LONESOME DOVE. I hope you will excuse me whilst I go off for a Poledouris session.
Ahh that’s better!!!!
But, now onto a handful of newer releases, as per normal here are a few short reviews or even just a recommendation on certain scores that have caught my attention, or been recommended to me, as always I must stress this is only my own opinion.
Composer David Reichelt has written an interesting score for the movie, BREAKING EVEN, its a work that contains many musical textures and employs a varied line up of instrumentation throughout and although it is nt a score that I would call romantically laced or highly melodic, it is a thematic one. The composer providing compositions that to be honest cannot be ignored, as once you begin to listen to the score it is hard not to want to carry on and discover what is coming next, it’s a work that certainly invites the listener in and has to it an attractive and alluring musical persona. The orchestration is inventive, with subtle but affecting nuances being scattered throughout its approx. forty-minute duration. Largely made up of synthetic instrumentation and I would guess just a handful of conventional instruments, it is a pleasing work, that includes half a dozen vocal performances which have to them a mysterious aura. It is a score I would recommend that you do take a listen to, as I am confident it is something that you will take a shine to after a couple of outings. Maybe also check out some of the composer’s other film scores, KONIG LAURIN or 8 DAYS both available on digital platforms. CRIMINAL AUDITION is a score that has a few interesting moments, including what I took to be homage of sorts to the Italian western score, with whistling and also a quirky guitar/banjo type sound, however for me when a soundtrack includes dialogue snippets, it becomes a little annoying rather than entertaining, I would much prefer to just have the music from the movie and not dialogue at the beginning or in the middle of tracks, it’s just off putting, and for that reason I found it difficult to focus upon the actual score, you can hear the dialogue in the movie when you watch it, so why include on the score album? It is available on Spotify, so maybe take a listen, as there are some interesting sections, which although short lived are worth a listen, but the beauty of digital sites is that you can preview and try before you actually buy. This one is not for me.
LOVE AND MONSTERS, is probably the best of the bunch for this edition of soundtrack supplement, it’s a robust and vibrant work with urgent brass and relentless strings that drive and catapult the music headlong at pace. The music is courtesy of Marco Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp, and I have to say is an exhilarating and entertaining musical tour de force, of sounds and styles, which perfectly suit the various escapades of the hero of the movie. Set in a world that is infested with monsters, Joel (Dylan O’Brien) discovers that the love of his life is just eighty miles away, but to get to her he has to travel through a monster filled landscape, that is populated by all sorts of strange creatures, to do this Joel discovers his inner hero so that he be with his girl. It’s an entertaining romp, which one does not have to really think about, but go with it you might just enjoy the ride. The score is outstanding and for me is one of the best Beltrami soundtracks I have heard in a while, it’s like the composer has stepped back in time musically and delivers a action generated work that is in a word unstoppable. The majority of the score is symphonic, and it is filled to brimming with a rich and dark thematic sound, in places there are references to maybe a handful of old horror scores as in the style employed and even a sound that could be looked upon as being vaguely Jerry Goldsmith influenced in places, but we also hear some interludes that can only be the work of Beltrami, with harsh brass and booming percussion being utilised. This is one for your collection.
TIGTONE SEASON ONE AND TWO both scores are available on digital platforms and both have music composed by Leo Birenberg, the scores are really good indeed, I have to honest and say never heard of this series at all till now, but because the scores are so good I will now be looking to see what it’s all about and also whilst doing this will be on the look-out for more by this composer. So, is it an MMI recommendation, are we saying yes to the score? yes, we are. The music is grand and epic, and in certain places it evoked THE LORD OF THE RINGS by Howard Shore as it is resoundingly dramatic but also melodious and romantically laced at the same time. I love it, and listened through three times, as there are so many themes present. One to look out for.
TOORBOS is a film that explores the uprooting of a young forest woman and her community during the time of the last forest inhabitants of South Africa’s Knysna forest of the 1930’s. The music for the movie is by composer Andries Smit, and is a delightful score, I would say that the sound achieved is haunting, but not in a spooky way, it is made up of electronic or synthesised instrumentation, the composer layering the sounds and bringing them all together to fashion an effective soundscape, there are also a handful of cues such as HELPENDE HAND that evoke the style that Thomas Newman employed on many of his scores, by this I mean the sound is subtle and the style being lilting or slight, there is a theme there but it is as if the composer is stopping it developing, building slowly but never reaching its goal. It’s a style that is effective, but at times one would really like the themes to develop more, nevertheless I enjoyed the delicacy and the fragility of the work.
Daniel Pemberton’s score for THE TRIAL OFTHE CHICAGO SEVEN is released, Now Pemberton I think is one of those composers that has to be applauded, because he never sticks to a uniform approach when scoring a movie, his scores are all different, and I have to say have over the past three years become essential purchases and must have albums for one’s collection. This is a varied work, but one that never seems to let up, building tension, creating atmospheres, fashioning pieces of music and weaving thematic material that at times off beat but at the same highly effective. This score is no exception, and again its one to check out. The vocals by Celeste too are brilliant. One day I hope Pemberton will end up scoring a Bond movie, as I know he would do a great job.
METAMORPHOIS, the score for the gameby composers Mikolai Stroinski and Garry Schvman is soon to be released, this is a work of great quality, it’s a mystical and also a grandiose sounding work, I felt whilst listening to it that I was listening to the soundtrack of a Russian historical epic, or maybe the score to a big screen version of one of those Tales From Europe that the BBC used to screen back in the 1970’s. This is a score that includes large and sweeping cues, with driving or romantic sounding strings taking the lead or establishing the foundations of the composition, there is definitely an air of the mystic within the music, which comes across throughout the work, the atmospheres created are apprehensive and eerie, with the use of a female vocalist too being slightly unsettling, but also rather alluring and beautiful.
I was impressed in the way the harp is utilised, although being an instrument that is normally associated with the melodious and delicate, when employed here the atmosphere conveyed is one of an unnerving nature, almost chilling but at the same time fragile, it was reminiscent of the style of Bernard Herrmann and also evoked memories of the way in which John Williams used the instrument in the scene leading up to the savage shark attack in JAWS. Piano too is employed, but in a less than melodic fashion, instead the instrument conjures up a spidery and sinewy mood, that is given weight by harp and underlying strings. The score I am sure is made up of mostly of symphonic elements, but has also synthetic support, or maybe it’s the other way around as technology nowadays can be deceiving. The composers spoke of the game and the score:
“This very unique game, inspired by Franz Kafka’s famous novel, takes place in a bizarre and nightmarish world inhabited by insects and a corrupt bureaucracy. The game gave us an astonishing opportunity to write music inspired by the expressionist era of art and music in the early 20th century. Composers Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, as well later composers such as Bernard Herrmann were inspirations. We incorporated techniques of the era such as Sprechgesang (half spoken half sung), 12 tone, aleatoric, tonal and atonal harmonies to invoke a past age that worked perfectly for the world of Metamorphosis.” – Mikolai Stroinski and Garry Schyman.
(Interview coming soon with the composers to MMI).
This is a score well worth having, so many colours and textures, and an at times complex but rewarding listen.
Synopsis of the game: Set out on an extraordinary journey to unravel the mystery of why you transformed into a tiny bug. In the surrealist world of Metamorphosis, your newfound abilities are your last and only hope for redemption.
From a game score to a soundtrack that you may well have missed, released in 1973, TITO or THE BATTLE OF SUTJESKA contains an emotional and dramatic soundtrack penned by Greek Maestro Mikis Theodorakis.
This score I think is quite different from anything else the composer has written for film, we all know his scores for ZORBA THE GREEK, PHAEDRA and Z, but TITO is more of a slow burner of a soundtrack as in the composer creates drama and fashions a tense and emotional atmosphere, symphonically, without the aid of the instrument we associate with him rightly or wrongly, the Bouzouki, TITO contains what I would call more of a conventional score, but it does resemble some of the composers later concert music, with strings and brass working together to create haunting but subdued thematic material. The composer also utilises choir to great effect if but fleetingly, the subtle but affecting work is one that you should at least listen to once, it is proud and patriotic sounding and also filled with poignant and emotive nuances and interludes.
On the recording of the score the music is split up into eleven suites, some being just two minutes in duration others lasting up to six minutes plus. But saying this the score is still noticeably short, the film being scored sparingly and running for just under forty minutes. I have always thought that this is such an underatted work by Theodorakis, and at times there are certain passages and compositions that for me posses a style that is not unlike that of Ennio Morricone, available now on digital platforms, as is his up-beat work for THE DAY THE FISH CAME OUT which is also a soundtrack certainly worth a listen.
FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD AND MOVIE REVIEWS AND NEWS.