Jean Prodromidès has written music for concert, stage and screen during his life. Yet, Mr. Prodromidès is a composer who remains as obscure to classical music aficionados and opera lovers as to soundtrack collectors and cinema buffs.
Amongst a plethora of threads here @ FSM (and elsewhere, no doubt) devoted to John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith comes a neotrinity type of appreciation for the music of Prodromidès on vinyl.
Purportedly, all original sound recording elements no longer survive on Prodromidès' film music save for those album masters created for vinyl programs.
The journey started in 1960 with LE VOYAGE EN BALLON on 12" Philips LP ...
... which was followed rapidly on French EPs by ...
...ET MOURIR DE PLAISIR ...
... and L'OURS (both 1960)
1961 witnessed Prodromidès' dramatic oratorio for French television - LES PERSES - which was fortunately made into an album on Philips.
A couple of EPs were to follow, one on 1962's LE BATEAU D'EMILE ...
... and 1964's LES AMITIES PARTICULIERES ...
... before a long period of time set in with very few film assignments & no albums forthcoming.
Here's Jean Prodromidès (circa 1979)
Prodromidès created his final magnum opus for cinema with his DANTON soundtrack
after which he no longer wrote for the silver screen but concentrated upon operas (at least 3 of which have been recorded and released on albums).
Here's one biographical page on Prodromidès from the libretto notes for his opera H.H. Ulysse (circa 1984)
Below are the film scores of JEAN PRODROMIDES-L'HOMME DANS LA MUIERE-52-GENEVIEVE A GAGNE SON PARI-53-DANS L OMBRE DES COMBATS-54-UN JARDIN PUBLIC-55-COURTE TETE-55-LES BIENS DE CE MONDE-57-ARCHIMEDE LE CLOCHARD-58-LE VOYAGE EN BALLON-58-MAIGRET ET L;AFFAIRE SAINT FIACRE-59-LE BARON DE L ECLUSE-59-BLOOD AND ROSES-60-LES PERSES--61-SPIRITS OF THE DEAD-67-SOUS LE SIGNE DU TAUREAU-68-24 HEURES DE LA VIE D UNE FEMME-68-THE EDUCATION IN LOVE OF VALENTIN-75-DANTON-83
And the haunting "Salome" that keep my attention on a TV broadcast, when I was 9, as I have had just seen "Planet of the apes" , listening hints of "Salome" recalls me the music of Jerry a lots !!! Salome, parcours and le livre des katuns can be found on iTunes
Le voyage en ballon is a truly beautiful score which I would recommend everyone to check out. I like the other Prodro tracks from other scores which I have on some compilations but "Le voyage" is surely the one to go if I was to pick just one.
Thank you, ToneRow, for reminding of this great and overlooked composer.
Recently saw the rarely-screened MISE A SAC aka PILLAGED, Alain Cavalier's adaptation of a Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake) "Parker" novel. Effective score by Prodromidès, as I recall. Wish this movie and the music were more easily accessible.
I didn't realize that Prodromides had scored the "Metzengerstein" segment of SPIRITS OF THE DEAD. That's the Roger Vadim-directed segment with Jane and Peter Fonda. His portion of the film's score has not been released.
I remain very fond of the score to Danton, and was very happy it was released a few years ago with suites entirely new to me. Also had picked up Ballon when it became available because of the delightful samples.
For us Spotify lovers, it's nice to see all these available digitally as well.
Anyone know if there's any source difference between the Disques and Milan cds of "Voyage en Ballon"? Are both from LP, or did Milan find a more original source?
Perhaps record producer Clément Fontaine has the answer. He claims in the Disques album that this is the unabridged & remastered edition in collaboration with the composer himself.
Regarding album masters for vintage French recordings on labels such as Barclay or Philips, even these have went missing. We are very fortunate to have the volumes of Prodromidès on DC as well as items such as Ledrut's "The Trial" via Kritzerland on CD.
Maybe our Canadian Advise & Consent has contacts with Fontaine & DC ...?
Before posting, I emailed Milan USA but no response. Wasnt sure how to contact Milan France who did the release, and I couldnt find VOYAGE on their site. I've seen the booklet, but it's in French. I didnt ask Advise&Co because the Disques release was before Milan, but maybe they'd know if Milan simply re-used their release.
You also have to keep in mind that in France in 1960 there was only a 10" LP release - besides an EP - of LE VOYAGE EN BALLON. The same content which was then available on the Japanese Philips CD from 1997 with about 30 minutes of music where for example the "White Shirt Ballet" track was missing. Only the former US LP was longer with about 40 minutes. This means that in France they would certainly only have the album master for that 10" LP as could be seen from the Japanese CD. But the Milan CD now seems to reproduce the content of the DCM CD which is identical with the content of the US LP. So you can almost figure out yourself what they did.