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Film Score Friday 3/10/00

by Lukas Kendall

Fans of The Poseidon Adventure in Southern California, tomorrow evening is your chance to see the film projected aboard the Queen Mary (on which parts of it were filmed), as a benefit to raise funds for restoring the ship. In addition to the screening, there will be special appearances by Shelley Winters, Carol Lynley, Pamela Sue Martin, Stella Stevens, and others associated with the film; a silent auction of Poseidon memorabilia; and fun fun fun.

Admission is $35 (it's for a good cause); doors open at 5PM and the screening is at 6PM. The event is in Exhibit Hall, Wharf Level Entrance aboard the ship. FSM will be there (in fact, I personally will be there) selling copies of our exclusive, limited edition Poseidon Adventure soundtrack CD among the other displays and vendors.

For more information, call 562-435-3511. What more do you want from us?!? To come to the screening!

Scoring Games

I received a few questions recently about why Jerry Goldsmith did not score either Reindeer Games (which he was originally going to do, and in fact started some work on) or Wonder Boys (for L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson). Goldsmith left Reindeer Games due to a scheduling conflict with The Kid; the film was scored by Alan Silvestri. As for Wonder Boys, the filmmakers decided to go with a more groove-oriented, contemporary approach and decided to hire Christopher Young as a stylistic choice.

Concerts

A couple of upcoming concerts, one this weekend, the other around Memorial Day:

There will be a concert of John Scott's chamber music this Sunday, March 12 at 4PM at the Church of the Lighted Window in La Canada, California; The Armadillo String Quartet, flautist Robert Shulgold and guitarist Gregg Nestor, performing. The program will include Scott's second string quartet, In the Southwest, his flute quintet In Arcadia, and a suite from Beneath the Mirror of Lake Baikal, an homage to the late Jacques Cousteau. Call 818-790-1185.

Gerald Fried's suite of music from the early films of Stanley Kubrick (The Killing, Killer's Kiss, Paths of Glory and others) will be performed live to picture during a concert by the Beach City Symphony on the night of May 26 at Marfee Auditorium, El Camino College, Redondo Beach, California. Stan Marguiles will narrate.

Herrmann/Williams Article

See yesterday's FSD.

From: Nathan Henninger <nhenninger@iam.com>

    Love the comparison!!

    To me the most obvious is there adventurous revolutionizing of orchestration for film scoring in light of the standard hollywood sound (not straying too far, but making it exactly their own distinct sound) and use of Leitmotif (how to create obsession through repetition). Hermann makes bizarre, and highly stylized combinations of instruments to get the exact sound he is looking for...WIlliams also has this "liberated" use of the orchestral forces.

    Also, their shared admiration for William Walton (and stylistic similarity to both composers) cannot be overlooked. Herrmann championed recordings of Walton's music.

From: "Brian Mellies" <dialbri3@earthlink.net>

    "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is not an electronic score, as described, although it does employ two theramins.

From: "Christopher D. Wright" <chriswright44@hotmail.com>

    I just wanted to comment that the article which compared the careers and music of Williams and Hermann by Snedden was a joy to read. I would like to see more articles which give insight into the life and experiences of our heroes, the great film composers. Williams and Hermann both have such extensive and diverse backgrounds, and I am sure that there are just as interesting stories to tell about some of the other greats out there. Keep up the great work you guys do at FSM!

From: Sean Carpenter <SCarpenter@cpr.org>

    Today's half-spurious, separated-at-birth comparison of Herrmann and Williams makes quite a silly mistake: "The third and, perhaps, most important common denominator between these two exceptional composers is that their respective film careers were launched by an early association with young and prodigiously talented film makers. In Herrmann's case, his debut for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) and for Williams his first collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Sugarland Express (1974)."

    Considering that Williams had scored more than 30 feature films over the course of 15 years before he worked with Spielberg on SUGARLAND EXPRESS, it's absurd to claim that assignment in any way "launched" his film career. And anyway, it wasn't until his second Spielberg collaboration, JAWS, that Williams became more widely known - commensurate with Herrmann's notoriety as a result of CITIZEN KANE. Not to mention that Williams' collaboration with Spielberg has been a little more enduring and productive than Herrmann's two films with Welles.

    But then, I'm not much on this kind of trivial comparison anyway.

    P.S. Can't resist one more hit:

    "On the Sea and Monsters from the Deep Reverberant harp strings characterise Williams' Jaws 2 score (1980) and Herrmann's Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef (1953).6"

    Reverberant harp strings (is there another kind?) characterize EVERY score ever written having to do with deep waters.

Things to Come Review

See the column earlier this week.

From: Kyle Beatty <lounge@appleogue.net>

    As an aside to Iain Herries' review of the Bliss disc: There is a theme in "Miracle in the Gorbals" which to my ears has a kinship with "Anakin's Theme" from that Star Wars movie.

From: Brooks Wachtel, WHY06@aol.com

    I agree that "Things to Come" is a great composition. One wishes that more of the score was available. One small correction, "Things to Come" was written by H. G. Wells, but produced by Alexander Korda.

From: Sean Carpenter <SCarpenter@cpr.org>

    Just a quick thank-you for the reviews posted on your site today. This is the sort of thing I find most valuable (depending, of course, on who does the reviewing) - and I especially like the brief reviews. I'm glad to see this becoming a regular part of the site.

Umbrellas Question -- Answered!

From: Stephane Michaud <s.michaud@videotron.ca>

    YES, Catherine Deneuve was dubbed in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"; her singing was done by Danielle Licari, a French singer who came from jazz, but was famous in her time for her wordless "vocalises" albums. Sony Music released a lavish 2-CD soundtrack album, expanded and remastered, to coincide with the 1996 restoration of the film, and it is still available from, say, CDNOW.

    Though Deneuve rehearsed her own songs for "The Young Girls of Rochefort" (1966), her next musical with the same director (Jacques Demy), something tells me they replaced her voice here as well. BUT, she performed a song for real in last year's French farce, "Belle Maman", and yes, she SHOULD have been dubbed!!

From: CLauliac@aol.com

    To answer to last friday's question about Catherine Deneuve's singing, many will probably be disappointed to learn that Ms Deneuve never sang a single note of "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg". She was actually dubbed by a young french singer named Daniele Licari. In fact, most of the actors in the movie are dubbed. The soundtrack to "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is available in France on a very nice 2CD set (Sony Classical - SM2K62678) featuring the complete songs and score, the orchestral main title and lots of bonus tracks.

    Legrand and director Jacques Demy later collaborated on two other fascinating musicals: "Two young girls from Rochefort" (1967) (Philips) and the magical "Peau d'ane" (1971) (Playtime). The former features Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac, George Chakiris and Gene Kelly! (dubbed like everybody else). "Peau d'âne" stars Jean Marais and Catherine Deneuve. Both soundtracks are widely available on CD in France, complete, fully remastered and handsomely packaged. Both movies have been are extremely popular works for more than twenty-five years.

    I strongly recommend "Two young girls from Rochefort", one of Legrand's sunniest, most enchanting work displaying a wide range of styles (toe-tapping jazz, bittersweet melodies, and a haunting piano concerto to boot!) Once you hear his melodies, you'll never forget them... "Peau d'âne" is a fairy-tale and features fewer songs but a lot of underscore, also brimming with exquisite melodies.

    Two more CDs, easy to find in France: a compilation (playtime) focusing on Legrand's scores for director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Cyrano, The horseman on the roof), and Legrand's first score for Claude Lelouch: "Les uns et les autres" (1980) (RCA) , co-composed with Francis Lai. This one I find less interesting, although it contains some nice thematic material from Legrand.

    Check them out.

Remembering George Duning

From: "FINN, BILL" <WILFIN@SAFECO.com>

    I was very sad to hear about George Duning, especially that his music was never really re-discovered by many of us before he passed. Along with Alex North, Hugo Friedhofer and Elmer Bernstein he was among the first Hollywood composers to regularly write scores based on an American sound rather than on a European or Viennese one. And the lack of bombast in his music probably helped him extend his career into the '60's. His two Star Trek episode scores of course a lot of us know - they are quite beautiful scores indeed.

    Unfortunately, like Friedhofer, Ernest Gold and any number of composers who worked kind of in-between the Golden age guys and the Williams/Goldsmith era, his music has mostly been ignored, especially by the record companies. How sad.

    I was happy to have had the opportunity to meet Duning in 1993 when he was in Indianapolis for 'George Duning Day' (Mr. Duning was born in Richmond Indiana). He gave a short talk about his days at Columbia, dotted with several amusing anecdotes and some film clips. I noted how keen his recollection (and wit) were. He was in his mid-80's at the time, but you wouldn't have thought it after talking with him - he seemed to have a personality that somehow matched the tone of much of his music, understated, funny, engaging and friendly.

Links

Ricard Befan's John Williams website now has a comprehensive article on the Hook score: "An Awfully Big Adventure: The Music of Hook," by John Takis. Find it at http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Palace/5170/special/hook.htm

Lee Holdridge will be the guest on "The Score" radio program (host: Michael Enright; http://www.webspawner.com/users/thescore) next Tuesday at 7:30AM Eastern time on WSIA New York, 88.9FM. A wide range of his music will be featured. You can hear the program on Real Audio at wsia.fm or www.silive.com.

Finally, visit the Music from the Movies website for a review of FSM's Flim Flam Man CD: http://home6.swipnet.se/~w-67269/pages/soundtrackframe_1.html

Have a good weekend!

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