I confess that I'm not a huge admirer of Arnold's film music, although I like some of his concert works quite a lot. However, his main title for 1984 (1956) caught my ear. Check it out. Despite being film music of its time, it has, as Fred Steiner might have said, balls! The rest of the film has very little music.
I remember seeing this adaptation on TV as a young child. It caught my imagination and stayed with me. Radford's version is superior, but this one has a certain something, and the degraded youtube image almost adds to its atmosphere.
Somewhere, there is a video of a live performance of the 1984 main title from a 1950s British TV broadcast. I can't remember if someone posted here or on their facebook page. I'm trying to find it again for you.
Thanks, that music is great. I haven't seen the film since the sixties. It had two endings, one bleak as in the book, & one where they don't break Winston Smith & he rebels & ends up being shot together with his girlfriend. I think America got the book ending & England got the terrible - they can't break our spirit - ending, well we were down enough in the fifties.
The famous 50's BBC live broadcast starred Peter Cushing. I think it was shown twice (live each time). The BBC did a tele-recording of (I think) the second performance. The BBC showed it again in the 70's (or was it the 80's?), it was the best thing on the telly that year!
EDIT. The Peter Cushing BBC version is on Youtube as well.
I hate to say it, but he's more than a little influenced by Bliss's 'Things to Come' suite, in his dissonances, orchestrations and even a few phrases.
That's what I thought briefly too. But Arnold's title, though sharing a few fairly superficial similarities in shape, has its own voice. I dare say the Bliss piece was an influence, but Arnold replaced its triumphant optimism with strident aggression. Quite a clever and darkly ironic switcheroo.