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 Posted:   Sep 25, 2011 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

I'm big fan of this underrated Brit composer, and in particular what I consider his two finest scores - RING OF BRIGHT WATER and CROMWELL. Frank Cordell was our equivalent of Alex North or Jerry Fielding. A shame the available albums are in fairly poor quality with very few tracks from the films.

It'd be terrific if one of the major labels decided to release them, or even better - if Nic Raine did a re-recording for TADLOW.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2011 - 10:20 AM   
 By:   Sean   (Member)

Seconded. "Cromwell," in particular.

cool

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2011 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

The tone pyramid heard within Frank Cordell's KHARTOUM reminds me of Leonard Rosenman more, but placing Cordell in the company of North & Fielding is also "spot on". smile

Cordell's CROMWELL music is impressive and quite academic (possessing qualities one can hear in contemporary dissonant and/or choral concert works). I don't think CROMWELL and its music are well-known enough, despite their excellence, to receive the re-recording treatment.

RING OF BRIGHT WATER, however, did get re-recorded already (along with GOD TOLD ME TO) by Cordell himself, conducting the Phoenix orchestra. The LP was released in 1980, the year of Cordell's passing.
RING OF BRIGHT WATER may be even lesser known than CROMWELL, yet the composer was motivated enough to cull orchestral suites from his scores to this film as well as GOD TOLD ME TOO (aka DEMON). Perhaps these suites are published pieces available for concert performances and/or studio re-recordings.

I have a copy of this Phoenix LP. While it's a great thing to own, the 5 tracks on side 2 for GOD TOLD ME TO are not sufficient enough to satisfy my appetite for the entire score to this Larry Cohen movie. Yes, bring on more Cordell!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2011 - 2:47 PM   
 By:   AdamoH   (Member)

YES!!!! Ring of Bright Water!! and Cromwell...and God Told Me To...would love a cd of the original tracks to Ring of Bright Water,along with Dee Dee Warwick and Val Doonican's versions of the title song...i have the rerecording with God Told Me to..they are nice but the emotional depth of the score to Ring and God Told me to is lost..comparing them to the originals.....smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2011 - 1:46 AM   
 By:   goldsmith-rulez   (Member)

The tone pyramid heard within Frank Cordell's KHARTOUM reminds me of Leonard Rosenman more, but placing Cordell in the company of North & Fielding is also "spot on". smile

The original inspiration is the opening of the 2nd movement of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto. smile

A re-recording of extended suites from Khartoum, Ring of Bright Water, Cromwell & Demon would be nice, could fill a convenient CD twofer.

I wouldn't be quite so enthusiastic about Cordell's standing in film music history, but the above scores (and others) contain a lot of good music. Never quite understood what Leonard Malton meant when complaining about the "amateurish music score" of Cromwell in his TV MOVIE GUIDE.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2011 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Frank Cordell was our equivalent of Alex North or Jerry Fielding.

I agree with that too. I'd put Richard Rodney Bennett in that bracket along with Cordell. There are parts of Khartoum that sound VERY influenced by North, particularly Cleopatra, to the point where I wonder if Cordell was writing in response to a temp track.

I would say that the LP re-recording of Ring Of Bright Water is not quite as technically accomplished or as lush as the original score. Do the original tapes still exist?

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2011 - 5:58 AM   
 By:   SoundScope   (Member)

CROMWELL, in spite of its standing as "unknown" is one of those pieces that should have a full recording, of some kind, just on its merits of composition. I am sure that once heard and experienced in a better sounding and concert-like way, CROMWELL would become a favorite of some of our younger fans.

Indeed, CROMWELL!!!!!

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2011 - 6:05 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

I agree with that too. I'd put Richard Rodney Bennett in that bracket along with Cordell. There are parts of Khartoum that sound VERY influenced by North, particularly Cleopatra, to the point where I wonder if Cordell was writing in response to a temp track.




Cordell recycled the oracle music from 'Cleopatra' for the scene where Gordon enters the Mahdi's camp. I remember Lukas K saying that possibly temp-track was at work, right here on this board.

The opening Overture also has a passage from one of Holst's oriental-inspired works ('can't recall which one offhand) lifted more or less straight, and there are Waltonian bits here and there in the score. North's battle music in 'Spartacus' closely influenced the 'Cromwell' battle stuff.

That's the only criticism that MIGHT be levelled at his work, its derivative nature sometimes, but he had complete mastery of orchestration thanks to the RAF and jazzband training. He and his wife were pioneers in the pop-art movement (Richard Hamilton died recently) and I think some sneered at his 'pop-art' influenced arrangements like 'How Much is that Doggie in the Window?' and just didn't want him associated with 'serious' music, but he was on a par with Rodney-Bennett easily, and had great craftsmanship.

I like his particular blend of dissonance, he hits the balances just right for me.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2011 - 7:51 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Another fine film composer who we wish did more stuff, but as you know he died young, i loved his eerie God told me to -75- score, from a Larry Cohen horror film, does wonders for the film.

 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2011 - 12:59 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Cordell wrote a Chappell library music cue called "The White Mountain" that featured prominently in the otherwise rather silly Space 1999 episode "Mission Of The Darians". It's absolutely gorgeous. Pity that the Silva Screen and Fanderson Space 1999 albums only feature a heavily abridged version of the music (the way it appeared in the episode). The full version is over 4 minutes long and very much more developed. Reminds me of Bax or Delius somewhat.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2011 - 11:31 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

Thanks for the enthusiasm folks!

I just found this comment by Roger Feigelson from Intrada:

Tried to do it...but tapes are AWOL.

I believe they've got the manuscripts at the Trinity College of Music, London. Not sure what state rights/ownership's at, but a re-recording sounds more likely.

If not Tadlow, who else?

 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2011 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I agree with that too. I'd put Richard Rodney Bennett in that bracket along with Cordell. There are parts of Khartoum that sound VERY influenced by North, particularly Cleopatra, to the point where I wonder if Cordell was writing in response to a temp track.




North recycled the oracle music from 'Cleopatra' for the scene where Gordon enters the Mahdi's camp. I remember Lukas K saying that possibly temp-track was at work, right here on this board.


Would I be correct in suggesting you meant to write "Cordell recycled North's oracle music from 'Cleopatra'..."?

 
 Posted:   Sep 27, 2011 - 2:22 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Have always wanted a recording of "Cromwell" free of dialogue.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2011 - 7:58 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

North recycled the oracle music from 'Cleopatra' for the scene where Gordon enters the Mahdi's camp. I remember Lukas K saying that possibly temp-track was at work, right here on this board.


Would I be correct in suggesting you meant to write "Cordell recycled North's oracle music from 'Cleopatra'..."?

Thank you. Amended, amended.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2011 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

bump

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2011 - 7:32 PM   
 By:   SoundScope   (Member)

Yes, indeed! A CROMWELL without dialog is one of my grails (original or otherwise).

Tadlow and co. would be perfect and one can only imagine the majesty of it al!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2011 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

If they decide to re-record the score, I hope they don't use the Crouch End Festival Chorus. I'm not big on their take on THE LION IN WINTER. Too flat in articulation, and no feeling for the Latin text.

The Monteverdi Choir would be perfect.

 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2011 - 10:45 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Never quite understood what Leonard Malton meant when complaining about the "amateurish music score" of Cromwell in his TV MOVIE GUIDE.

Didn't know he said that, but I too found some of the musical accents in that movie very heavy handed. Powerful orchestral exclamations punctuating some of the speechifying, and many moments when I thought "that emphasis sounds way over the top for what's on screen".
But I'd like to hear the music away from the film as I suspect Richard Harris' hammy performance might have contributed to some negative impressions of the music.

 
 Posted:   Oct 4, 2011 - 1:39 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

If they decide to re-record the score, I hope they don't use the Crouch End Festival Chorus. I'm not big on their take on THE LION IN WINTER. Too flat in articulation, and no feeling for the Latin text.

The Monteverdi Choir would be perfect.




A clearly key consideration, given that there is no Latin in the score, and 17th Century English Puritans would have made sure none ever would be.

Don't spin, Oliver.

 
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