Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Benjamin Frankel, Carl Davis, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra|
Curse of the Werewolf and Other Film Music by Benjamin Frankel
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
Listen to Samples
Alternately Eerie and Charming Film Music by a Master
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 06/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came to Benjamin Frankel's film music differently than most. Apparently he has been well-known for more than fifty years for his film music and although I'm sure I've heard some of his film scores in the process of seeing some of the films for which they were written (A Kid for Two Farthings, The Man in the White Suit, The Night of the Iguana) he was first known to me from the marvelous series of recordings on the cpo label -- his symphonies and string quartets. Thus, I was glad to get this CD and hear what he had done in the film realm. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the music here is every bit as good, although clearly cinematic, as the abstract works. Further, the principal work here -- the complete score for 'Curse of the Werewolf' -- is reportedly the first serial-method film score ever written. It is interesting, isn't it, that avant garde music is so much easier to assilimate when accompanying films than in the concert hall. It certainly helps when there are visual images and plot development to guide us into the music. I've never seen 'Curse of the Werewolf' but I'm told that it is a classic horror movie that has attained cult status. Certainly there is much here that would appropriately accompany eerie scenes, but there is also a good deal of music that is downright charming -- and I find myself wondering whether indeed those bits are serial; they don't sound it to me, but then I've not seen scores so what do I know? I was particularly struck by the bits called 'The Beggar' and 'Pastoral', and my flesh crawled at 'Leon Confronts the Horror.' A cracking good score played marvelously by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Carl Davis, himself a noted film music composer (The French Lieutenant's Woman, Topsy-Turvy).
Rounding out the CD is the love theme from The Net, a suite from So Long at the Fair (with its charming section called 'Carriage and Pair') and eleven bits from the Alec Guinness film, The Prisoner.
If I close my eyes and simply listen, without knowing the names of the various sections, I hear the same first-class composer that I've become familiar with through his symphonies and string quartets. Why he isn't better known is a mystery to me. Like Korngold and Rosza and others, he would possibly be better known as a concert music composer if he had never written for films, but then we wouldn't have had these wonderful scores, would we?
Great music, great sound
Erik Homenick | San Diego, California | 08/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a fan of classic horror films, I had already been well acquainted with Benjamin Frankel's outstanding score for Terence Fisher's 1961 masterpiece, THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF. Little did I know, however, that Frankel was actually one of Britain's premiere composers for his time, and aside from his work on cinematic scores, he was also prolific as a composer of concert works.
This installment of Naxos's FILM MUSIC CLASSICS series features Frankel's film works exclusively, and what is presented is incredibly listenable and engrossing. The featured score here is Frankel's WEREWOLF music, which is worth the price of the disc alone. Full of menace one minute, tender and melodic the next, this is a first-class score. Hearing it for the first time separate from the images I know so well, I quickly realized how successfully the music works as a stand-alone concert suite.
Also on this album are selections from a few other of Frankel's films including SO LONG AT THE FAIR, THE NET and THE PRISONER. I must admit, I've not seen any of these, but Frankel's music still works as a completely separate entity.
Carl Davis leads the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with elan. Additionally, the sound engineering here is excellent.
This disc is a must-have for anyone who is a fan of CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF or for anyone who enjoys good film music.