Though this hasn't much to do with any film score in particular I post this performance of the magnificent Dudley Moore playing a parody of a Beethoven piano sonata. Moore was an incredibly gifted musician who lost his way in a series of daft decisions about roles in Hollywood films. Really, the only decent one was "Arthur" - which was memorable because of that wonderful title tune by Christopher Cross, "The Best that you can do".
A great loss to the world of music, this Royal College of Music graduate was a polymath - comedian, actor, musician and writer. I think his first mistress was music and he was unfaithful to her in his final decade.
Here he is in a series called "Orchestra" with 'the screaming skull", conductor George Solti:
there are two Cds you can order on amazon cheaply-"Bedazzled-Revisited"(the soundtrack on cd from the original tapes-have this- sound quality is great better than Harkit as that was from an LP) and " Dudley" that has a compilation of stuff including "Bedazzled", and "30 is a Dangerous Age,Cynthia" produced by Martine Avenue Productions-
The "Bedazzled" jazz piece, with Moore at the piano, is typical of his artistry. Thanks so much for that link. I feel terribly sad when I watch this because it reminds me of how we've been robbed of this musical talent. What a complex individual Moore was and you may have seen the film "Pete and Dud" (made for TV?) about his relationship with Peter Cook - a very jealous man; well, he had reason to be!!
Moore was a brilliant pianist, and a tremendous personality. I do think you're being somewhat unfair to some of his American cinematic output, though. In addition to the delightful "Arthur," with his magnificent performance, and tremendous chemistry with Sir John Gielgud, his films with Blake Edwards, the hilarious and autumnal "10," and the underrated "Micki & Maude" are worthy of appreciation, and both films are aided by Moore's perfectly-pitched performances.
I love his jazz output, as composer and pianist/leader, but the one thing that I'm shocked hasn't been mentioned here yet is his Tchaikovsky-cum-Rachmaninoff-cum-Chopin-esque score for the leaden melodrama "Six Weeks." It's really lovely music, worthy of a full release. Moore recorded a piano/synthesizer version of selections from it on his album "Songs Without Words," and performed a ten-minute suite from it with a full orchestra, as heard in the "Live from an Aircraft Hangar" album, which is essential listening for any and all Moore-philes.
You make very good sense here!! However, for me, the self-parodying nature of a lot of his performances - as the feckless and insecure drunkard - were somewhat close to the bone. He let the world think he was a hopelessly bibulous fool who meandered through Hollywood films in order to make money he couldn't make from being a classical musician. And to have characters in his films clapping and cheering when he'd play his trifles - and who probably had no real knowledge of good music - really turned me off. He'd sold out, I felt.
Some of his films had charm but, as I said earlier, his real mistress was music - and he couldn't seem to balance that with a more popular appeal. A complex man who oozed charm and musicality in equal measure.
I have the original Broadway cast album to "Beyond the Fringe," which gets an annual play. One of the funniest tracks is purely musical. In "And the Same To You / Colonel Bogey," Moore plays variations on the Colonel Bogey March, eventually reaching crescendo after crescendo, while desparately trying to find a finish to the piece.
His score for Six Weeks is really lovely. His album Songs Without Words, on which it features, is well worth a listen. There's a certain, almost indiscernable melancholy present in almost every track, which is somehow compelling.
Moore might have made for a very good full time film composer if the quieter, more ethereal scoring moments in Bedazzled, and especially his music for Inadmissible Evidence are anything to go by. Inadmissible Evidence is a particularly striking departure from the smooth Moore-jazz sound he's known for. It's very sparse, serious, and almost Bartokian in nature. But I guess he was too busy being funny, giggling, and just being Dudley Moore for the film music side of things to gel. Too bad. He could have been a British Henry Mancini.
By the way, the earlier poster seemed to imply that Moore was a boozer. Not the case. Peter Cook was the real drunk, while Dudley merely faked drunkenness for the Derek And Clive albums, and Arthur, of course, seemed to cement Moore's association with boozing. But it was (mostly) acting. Moore, in later life, was briefly mistaken for having a drink problem as a result of symptoms associated with the neurological illness that was to prove fatal to him. And what a tragedy that was. Peter Cook's untimely death was largely self-inflicted, but Moore's demise was the real tragedy. So sad and cruel.
I think this is a poignant fact about Moore, except that I think he did have drink and domestic violence problems - at least one of his wives (Tuesday Weld) cited him for violence. And he did drink, yes, particularly in the latter years. It is a bit of an urban myth attributed to that fatal neurological disease that he didn't drink, when he did.
You are right about his compositional abilities, not least in the area of improvisation. As I said, he lost the plot. Perhaps he succumbed to the Hollywood lifestyle? I suspect so.