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 Posted:   Jan 19, 2010 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

The Royal Hunt of the Sun

 Posted:   Jan 19, 2010 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

What about "If..." or "Family Life"?
Or his television music for "The Quatermass Conclusion" and several segments of Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected"?

A new release of his "Enigma" LP from '82/'83 would also be welcome...

 Posted:   Jan 20, 2010 - 2:45 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

His score for Triple Echo is very beautiful, scored for orchestra and Ondes Martenot. Also he wrote some lovely music for a short film called The Return (a ghost story), scored for chamber strings and the Ondes again. He's quite a champion of the Ondes!

I'd love to see those scores on CD sometime.

 Posted:   Jan 21, 2010 - 8:01 AM   
 By:   Manuma   (Member)

Eagle's wing

 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 1:12 AM   
 By:   Julian K   (Member)

Has anyone here ever been in touch with Mr Wilkinson. According to the IMDB he's still alive (at 84).

I'd love to see some of his work released on CD, especially ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN and THE QUATERMASS CONCLUSION.

 Posted:   Feb 10, 2014 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I recent saw the 1973 film THE HIRELING, which was scored by Marc Wilkinson. It has a dramatic one-and-one-half minute main title that seems more attuned to a thriller than to the story of a doomed romantic attraction that is THE HIRELING.

 Posted:   Oct 10, 2015 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

'Just bumping this in relation to 'Royal Hunt of the Sun' ..... an amazing film of an amazing play, and the music ignored ...

 Posted:   Oct 10, 2015 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

THE ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN was the first play I ever saw on Broadway, at the Anta Theatre, in November of 1965, almost 50 years ago.

One of the most effective, splendid, amazing stagings I've ever seen. The play had Christopher Plummer as Pizarro, and a feline David Carradine as Atahualpa. The staging involved a lot of masks and golden symbols, as well as a great deal of mime. It was the first play I ever saw, written by Peter Shaffer, who went on to greater fame with, among others, EQUUS, and AMADEUS, but hasn't had much of his work performed lately.

I remember, in particular, the song, "Little Finch," sung by Carradine to soothe an aching Plummer.

There was an lp of excerpts of Wilkinson's music for the show, accompanied by music he wrote for two other productions: ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, and AS YOU LIKE IT. The song on this was sung by the original Atahualpa, Robert Stephens. To my knowledge, the lp was never released on CD.

I looked forward avidly to the ROYAL HUNT film version. Robert Shaw was ideal casting as Pizarro, but Plummer played Atahualpa in the movie, and was, I think, miscast. He had none of the feline grace of Carradine, and came off more than a little fey, which Carradine's performance definitely was not. Also, the theatrical pageantry of the play was lost in the, necessary, spectacle scenes for the movie. Instead of a stylized mime of the Spanish slaughter of the Incas, at the end of Act I, depicted in slow motion in a lurid red light, there was actual blood splatter and multiple corpses in the movie.

Such is the case of film versions of brilliant stage plays. The movie has to show literally what the play can get away with suggesting. (EQUUS has the same drawback; in the play, it was naked boy clinging to a muscular, grown man, wearing a stylized horse head, but in the movie it's a naked boy clinging to a real horse. There's quite a subliminal difference in the visuals.)

After some searching, I managed to find original souvenir programs to both the Broadway play and the movie. There is still a program to the play, featuring the replacement cast, now available on E-Bay. I was also able to transfer the lp to a CD-R, though there isn't a lot of music in the play. The movie, as I recall, included more music than the play, including a wailing female voice, which reminded me of Yma Sumac, a 50's multi-octave singer, purported to be an Inca princess herself.

To my knowledge, there has never been a commercial recording of the film score.

 Posted:   Oct 10, 2015 - 4:29 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Thanks for the fascinating info there, JA.

I remember seeing Schaffer's 'Yonadab' staged in Edinburgh, with Alan Bates and Patrick Stewart, and it was spectacular, with ballet and amazing art direction, but it flopped, and I remember thinking it would have flopped even more, had it been filmed. A sheepshearing ballet with murder and clever stuff using spears and crooks as a Star of David, would just have disappeared in routine action scenes. I thought it very insightful, but it went nowhere with the critics.

Plummer of course swapped roles as you say for the film, and though he was humorous and even tongue-in-cheek in the film, he's still absolutely riveting, he was one to take risks. And his athleticism and dancing were sort of surprising, flawless.

The music is downright epic in places.

 Posted:   Oct 11, 2015 - 3:55 AM   
 By:   Julian K   (Member)

Wilkinson's music for Quatermass (aka The Quatermass Conclusion) is now available on an isolated music only track on Network's UK Blu-ray.

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