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SALTER / SKINNER: Monster Music
William Stromberg, Moscow Symphony Orchestra
SALTER / SKINNER: Monster Music
Genre: Soundtracks
 
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1

SALTER / SKINNER: Monster Music by William Stromberg

      
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CD Details

All Artists: William Stromberg, Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Title: SALTER / SKINNER: Monster Music
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Marco-Polo
Release Date: 8/20/2009
Genre: Soundtracks
Style:
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 747313270521, 730099374729

Synopsis

Album Description
SALTER / SKINNER: Monster Music by William Stromberg

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CD Reviews

Frightfully delicious musical excitement!
William F. Flanigan Jr. | North Potomac, MD USA | 05/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Yet again, Messrs. John Morgan and William Stromberg have reached into the featureless depths of classical-film score fragments (in worse shape than even some of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and masterfully re-created (almost from scratch) music not heard in 60 years or ever (due to film re-editing)! And how does it sound? Beautiful! Tingling! Magnificent! And darn right scary! You may prefer to listen with a friend or at least keep the lights on. To the numbers: 5 stars (out of 5) for music reconstruction/orchestration/ arrangement (courtesy of Mr. John Morgan, a true wizard of the art); 4.5 for sound quality (recording/mastering); 5 for conducting and orchestral performance (courtesy of Mr. William Stromberg); 4 for the documentation in the CD booklet (courtesy of Mr. Bill Whitaker); and 4 for the bonuses (more on this later). Salter and Skinner's music helped keep Universal Pictures from the edge of bankruptcy (a frequent near-death experience for the studio in the 30's and 40's) with atmospheric scores of tonality for the second wave of Universal horror films, circa 1940. No wonder Mr. Morgan found that the original scores were just about nonexistent (leaving the tedious process of "spotting" or listening to the film's sound track to try and parse out themes and cues). It seems that the composers barely had time to go to the rest room much less worry about preserving their film scores. Mr. Salter is quoted (in the CD booklet) as saying: "we worked under terrible pressure...the last two or three days before the recording (of a film score) we didn't leave the studio...we stayed in our clothes there for two or two and a half days." Now, about some of bonuses on this CD. The original studio orchestra had maybe 30 members; this CD has an ensemble 2-3 times as large. Also there are three (count 'em!) versions of the classical Universal fanfare, each at a sightly faster tempo. Bottom line: Buy and enjoy (but not in the dark!)."
Monster memories
William Pye | I.O.M | 07/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Good Copy of orginal score.The Wolfman is the stronger of the tracks here though Son of Frankenstein is not in the same class as the music from The Bride of Frankenstein is still invokes great moments from the movie.Great for collectors even if they are not horror fans.The Wolfman tracks from the film are the first to be recorded and also includes music that was wrote but never used in the finished movie.Listening to the music from the DVD realeases of the films, you would find it hard pressed to tell the difference if any."
Very very cool
Stuart M. Paine | Arlington, VA USA | 06/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've had this MONSTER MUSIC CD for at least a decade and, not only has it frequently been in my player at home, it's found its way to my computer at work! There's nothing quite like a little Universal horror music for the office!

Speaking of work, the two composers here, Hans Salter and Frank Skinner, regularly faced this kind of work schedule:

Monday - watch the as yet unscored film together, determine which scenes should be scored, tentatively decide who would do which scene and then individually compose themes.

Tuesday - share themes for comment/criticism and then individually flesh out scenes and write out finished parts for delivery to orchestrators.

Wednesday - after maybe a final check, hand off the music to orchestrators. Following orchestration, copyists would write out parts for the studio's orchestra who would be in to record - on Thursday!

Wow! That's fast! These guys were GOOD.

I'm so glad Maestros Stromberg and Morgan have taken it upon themselves to right a terrible wrong and see to it that this Salter and Skinner music is available to the public.

Strangely enough, my favorite of these three scores is Skinner's THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS, the least horror-sounding one. It features a beautiful love theme and is really quite poignant. One would never imagine it to be horror music. THE WOLF MAN, following the example of KING KONG, is chilling with its striking and emphatic, descending 3-note motive, and SON OF FRANKENSTEIN is ever active, on edge and adventurous.

The only complaint I have is that the music sounds muted and doesn't jump off the disc. That's been an issue for me with the Morgan/Stromberg releases."