Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Film Music Of William Perry: Life On The Mississippi And Other "Mark Twain" Flim Soundtracks
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
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Lovely Americana from a not-too-well-known composer
Stuart M. Paine | Arlington, VA USA | 10/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I knew Mr. Perry's music for thirty years without knowing his name. He had composed the wonderful piano scores for the silent films of the Paul Killiam collection which aired in 1971 on PBS as the series THE SILENT YEARS, hosted by Orson Welles. I particularly enjoyed his theme for THE GOLD RUSH (also the series theme).
Perry's music on LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI is irrepressibly joyous, romantic, tuneful, stagey and American in a manner similar to Kern or Willson. It's pleasant, traditional, folksy, easy to listen to and almost as easy to hum along with. It feels natural, never shocking. The orchestras (Slovak Philharmonic, Rome Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony) and choruses all perform sensitively and spiritedly.
My favorite is the suite from THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. Its Opening and Closing theme could easily have been from SHOWBOAT. "Good Times By the River" recalls moments from Delius's FLORIDA SUITE and "Starting Downstream" presages James Horner's sweeping theme to LEGENDS OF THE FALL. "The Raftsmen" combines harmonica, banjo and Jew's harp in a charming frolic. I also like the choral music from PUDD'NHEAD WILSON and THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER and the suite from LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI.
If I wanted to be critical, I could say that most all of the music sounds very similar, but then, these being Twain-themed works, that was the point, wasn't it? And besides, there are some European-sounding cues in INNOCENTS ABROAD - and even "Arrival of Royalty" from HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
I really wish there were more of Mr. Perry's film works available. This 1994 release on Premier Records has been picked up this year by NAXOS and I hope they also do the SILENT YEARS album.